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.

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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.

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.

10 Tips on Building a Healthy Meal

nutriplateHealthy meals are more vegetables and fruit with smaller portions of protein and grains. You must adjust your portions accordingly on your plate to get what you need without too many calories. Think about a split plate in thirds, it usually has one bigger section and two smaller sections – the larger portion of the plate should be where your fruit or vegetable goes and the smaller ones are for your proteins and grains.

Here are 10 tips to building a healthy meal:

1. Make half your plate vegetables and fruits – vegetables are full of nutrients and may help to promote good health. Choose red, orange, and dark green vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.

2. Add lean protein – choose protein foods such as lean beef and pork, chicken, turkey, beans, or tofu. Twice a week make seafood the protein on your plate.

3. Include whole grains – aim to make at least half your grains whole grains. Look for “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” on the food label. Whole grains provide more nutrients, like fiber.

4. Don’t forget the dairy – pair your meal with a cup of fat-free or low-fat milk. They provide the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk without the fats and calories. You can substitute milk for soymilk as your beverage or add a fat-free or low-fat yogurt with your meal.

5. Avoid extra fat – using heavy gravies or sauces will add fat and calories to otherwise healthy choices. Steamed broccoli is great but avoid topping it off with cheese sauce instead use something like a small sprinkling of low-fat parmesan cheese or a squeeze of lemon.

6. Take your time – savor your food. Eat slowly, enjoy the taste and textures and pay attention to how you feel. Be mindful. Eating quickly may cause you to eat too much or have a stomachache or heartburn.

7. Use a smaller plate – use a smaller plate at meals to help with portion control. That way you can finish your entire plate and feel satisfied without overeating.

8. Take control of your food – eat at home more often so you know exactly what you are eating. If you eat out, check and compare the nutrition information. Choose healthier options such as baked instead of fried.

9. Try new foods – keep it interesting by picking out new foods you’ve never tried before like mango, lentils or kale. You may find a new favorite. Trade fun and tasty recipes with friends and find them online.

10. Satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way – indulge in a naturally sweet dessert dish – FRUIT!! Serve a fresh fruit cocktail or a fruit parfait made with yogurt. For a hot dessert, bake apples and top with cinnamon.

I hope these 10 tips help to building a healthy meal – by utilizing smaller portions and the right type of foods – you should be on your way to a lower calorie intake on a daily basis and weight management.

Do you need help with your healthy lifestyle design? Do you need more information about nutrition? If so, contact me today I can help!

Visit my website to learn more about healthy foods here. Catch up on all of my other articles on my blog 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 to Eating Healthy on a Budget

Grocery-shopping-on-a-budgetAre you always trying to find a way to eat healthy on a budget? Do you need to learn how to stretch your food dollars each week? There are always things that can be done when working with a food budget it’s just about knowing how to get to the end result of savings each and every time you shop. There are, of course, 3 main steps to help you get there each time: plan, appropriate prices and meal preparation such as preparing once and eating three times. Prepare your list ahead of time you shop and try not to deviate from it.

Here are 10 tips to keep you eating healthy even on a budget:

1. Plan, plan, plan! – before you head to the grocery store and/or health food store plan your meals for the week. Include meals like stews, casseroles, or stir-fries to help stretch the expensive items into more portions. Check to see what foods you already have and make a list to buy the ones you need.

2. Get the best price – check your local newspapers, online and at the store for sales and coupons. Ask about a loyalty or reward card for extra savings at the stores you shop in. Look for specials or sales on items that you have listed.

3. Compare and contrast – locate the unit price on the shelf directly below the product and use it to compare different brands and different sizes of the same brand to determine which one is more economical.

4. Buy in bulk – it is almost always cheaper to buy foods in bulk. Smart choices are family packs of items that can be frozen and used at a later date. Remember to make sure you have the freezer space for bulk frozen foods.

5. Buy in season – buying fruits and vegetables in season can lower the cost and adds the freshness. If you aren’t going to use them right away, buy some that still need time to ripen.

6. Convenience costs… go back to the basics – convenience foods like frozen dinners, pre-cut vegetables, instant rice, instant oatmeal, or grits will cost you more than if you make it from scratch and should not be on your list. Always select fresh! Schedule the time to prepare your own foods and save money.

7. Easy on your wallet – certain foods are typically low-cost options all year round. Try beans which are less expensive and provide lots of protein, carrots, greens or sweet potatoes and fruit such as apples or bananas are also good to select.

8. Cook once and eat all week – prepare a large batch of favorite recipes on your day off. Freeze in individual containers. Use them throughout the week and you will not have to spend money on take-out meals.

9. Get your creative juices flowing – spice up your leftovers by using them in new ways. Try leftover vegetable stir-fry, quinoa with vegetables such as mushrooms or your can top your garden salads with colorful raw vegetables. Remember throwing away food is throwing away money.

10. Eating out – restaurants are expensive so if you must go save money by getting the early bird special or going out for lunch instead of dinner or look for “2 for 1” deals. Stick to water instead of ordering other beverages which will add to the bill.

Are you looking for help in finding the right lifestyle design for you? If so, contact me today I can help!

Visit my website to learn more about nutrition here. Read more of my articles here at my blog.

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 to Reduce or Eliminate Sodium

sodium01Do you add salt to everything that you cook and eat? Most of us do but it plays a key part in high blood pressure and everyone should reduce their sodium intake down to about 1 teaspoon of salt a day or supplement with fresh herbs. Adults, 31 and older, African Americans of any age, and individuals with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease should eliminate their sodium intake.

Here are 10 tips to reduce or eliminate sodium:

1. Think fresh – A lot of sodium eaten is found in processed foods; cheesy foods, cured meats such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and deli meats, ready-to-eat foods such as canned chili, ravioli and soups. Stick with fresh foods that are generally lower in sodium. Additionally, fresh herbs, lemon or limes can be used as well.

2. Enjoy home cooked foods – cook more often at home and stay in control of what your food is prepared with this will help to eliminate any unnecessary amount of salt.

3. Fill up on vegetables and fruits – fresh or frozen they are naturally low in sodium.

4. There are a variety of proteins with which to choose that are low in sodium. For instance soy takes on the flavor that you add such as herbs, lemon, mushrooms and ginger can all take the place of sodium.

5. Adjust your taste buds – reduce your salt intake gradually and pay attention to the natural tastes of various foods. This will help your taste for salt to lessen over time.

6. Skip the salt – skip adding salt when cooking, keep salt off the kitchen counter and the dinner table. Use spices, herbs, garlic, vinegar, or lemon juice to season foods. You can even try black or red pepper, basil, curry, ginger, or rosemary.
7. Read the label – it is important to read the nutrition facts label and the ingredients to find packaged and canned foods lower in sodium. Look for foods labeled with “low sodium”, “reduced sodium”, or “no salt added”. It is always best to purchase fresh instead of canned items.

8. Ask for low-sodium foods when you eat out – restaurants may prepare lower sodium foods at your request and will serve sauces and salad dressings on the side so you can use less.

9. Pay attention to condiments – if you like soy sauce, ketchup, pickles, olives, salad dressings, and seasoning packets then you are probably eating a high amount of sodium. Choose low-sodium soy sauce and ketchup if you must. Eat carrot and celery sticks instead of olives or pickles.

10. Boost your potassium intake – choose foods with potassium, which may help to lower your blood pressure. Potassium is found in vegetables and fruits such as potatoes, beet greens, tomato juice and sauce, sweet potatoes, beans (white, lima, kidney), and bananas. Some other sources of potassium include yogurt, clams, halibut, orange juice, and milk.

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

Click here to read more of my articles. Visit my website today for more information about nutrition, 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.