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.

4 Tips to Eliminate Stress-Related Debt

Debt-stress-File-6021396-300x205When one is heavily in debt or have over-extended oneself, this can certainly cause a large amount of stress and affect every area of your life. Debt can be accumulated through credit cards, student loans, business loans, car loans, mortgages first or second, or small to large ticket items and at times this can be simply what some call everyday living. Clearly a lot can happen over the years and debt can build up. It can become very frustrating and create pressure on personal relationships, career, family, health and can lead to illness.

Here are 4 tips that may help provide you with some relief of the debt-related stress:

1. Focus on the big picture – you can become overwhelmed and frustrated while paying off debt which causes you to lose focus of the big picture. Remember your debt is only temporary if you stay focused. Allow yourself to focus on your emergency funds and retirement, imagine the extra money you will have once your debt is gone – in other words don’t lose the focus on the big picture.

2. Remember the why – the why is the big reason for striving to be debt free. Everyone has personal goals, focus on what those goals are and remember the why.

3. Make room for rewards – you cannot stop living just because you have debt. Celebrate those big wins with small rewards, set up a system based on your goals and then treat yourself when you accomplish them, so if you have a goal for paying off $1,000 in debt in 6 months and you pay it off in 3 give yourself an extra treat. Just make sure your goals are realistic.

4. Pay off debt like it’s a game – if you think of it as a game (and maybe include some of your like-minded friends and family) you can see who reaches the finish line first. Getting out of debt is more about your attitude than your finances, be a debt-fighting warrior and you will win the game.

When you start to utilize these tips you will feel a little less stressed and less frustrated, and perhaps a little more excited when you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Want to read all of the blogs from this past week? You can read them all in full here.

Do you need some stress relief, debt counseling, or a better financial plan? If so contact me today and let me 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.

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.

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.

10 Ways You Can Incorporate Healthier Fruit To Your Meals

fruitsEating more vegetables and fruits as part of their healthy lifestyle is likely to reduce risk of some chronic diseases. Fruits provide nutrients vital for health such as potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid. Most fruits are low in fat, sodium, and calories and none have cholesterol and can be fresh, frozen, dried, whole, cut, pureed or canned. Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the Fruit Group.

Here are 10 simple tips to fit more fruits into your healthy lifestyle:

1. Keep visible reminders – keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter, or in the refrigerator.

2. Think about taste – buy fresh fruits in season when they may be less expensive and at their peak flavor. Add fruits to sweeten a recipe.

3. Think about variety – buy fruit that are dried, frozen and drain canned (in water or 100% juice) as well as fresh, so that you always have a supply on hand.

4. Don’t forget the fiber – make most of your choices whole or cut fruit rather than juice, for the benefits that dietary fiber provides.

5. Be a good role model – set a good example for children by eating fruit every day with meals or as a snack.

6. Include fruit as breakfast – at breakfast top your cereal with ½ banana, peaches, or strawberries; add blueberries, 100% juice.

7. Try fruit at lunch – at lunch pack a tangerine, banana, or grapes to eat or choose fruit from a salad bar. Individual containers of fruit like peaches or applesauce are easy and convenient.

8. Experiment with fruit at dinner as well – at dinner add a small amount of crushed pineapple to coleslaw or include orange sections, dried cranberries, or grapes in a tossed salad.

9. Snack on fruit – dried fruit make great snacks and they are easy to carry and store well.

10. Keep fruit safe – rinse fruit before preparing or eating them. Under clean, fresh water rinse fruit, even if organic is used to remove dirt and surface microorganisms. After rinsing you may place in a strainer to air dry.

Have you had a chance to read all of our past articles, this week has been all about nutrition, if not you can read them here.

Do you need help with creating a healthier 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, 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.