Tag: health tips

8 Health Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

8 Health Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

The earth is covered in plants that provide living creatures with food to keep us healthy and medicine for when we are sick. It makes sense that plants are an essential part of any healthy way of eating. Even in the harshest conditions, plant life, 

20 Delicious & Healthy Plant-Based Recipes Ebook

20 Delicious & Healthy Plant-Based Recipes Ebook

The earth is covered in plants that provide living creatures with food to keep us healthy and medicine for when we are sick. It makes sense that plants are an essential part of any healthy way of eating. Even in the harshest conditions, plant life, 

7-Day Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

7-Day Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

The Mediterranean Diet has sustained its reputation as one of the world’s healthiest diets for more than two decades. When it first gained popularity in the United States in the 1990s, most Americans thought a heart-healthy diet restricted not just saturated fat, but all fat, leading people to favor low-fat and no-fat options (HELLO increase in sugar and processed foods consumption!!!!). Despite a higher consumption of fat in Mediterranean countries like Italy and Greece, the prevalence of heart disease, obesity, and cancer is low. As research continues to support the consumption of healthy fats, the Mediterranean Diet holds strong with its emphasis on nourishing fats.

Here’s what you should know about the Mediterranean Diet’s core healthy fats:

Olive oil
• Good source of monounsaturated fat, which keeps arteries flexible and lowers blood pressure, reducing the risk of cardiovascular events.
• High in antioxidants like polyphenols and vitamin E.
• Helps support absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K).
• Great for dressings and low- or medium-heat cooking but may start to break down and create free radicals at temperatures over 380°F.
• Look for extra-virgin, cold, or expeller-pressed oils in dark containers that include a “harvest” date rather than a “best by” date.

Nuts and seeds
• Almonds, cashews, pine nuts, tahini, pistachios, walnuts, and hazelnuts are good sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, protein, magnesium, and iron.
• Store in cool, dark places to protect them from going stale and their oils from oxidizing (going rancid).
• Very nutritious but are high in calories when consumed in excess.
• Be mindful of serving size – one serving of nuts is typically one ounce, or one small handful.

Wild-caught fish and seafood
• Fatty fish, such as salmon, herring, and mackerel, are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation.
• High in protein and a natural dietary source of vitamin D.
• Stick to simple preparations to preserve nutritional values.
• When caught using responsible methods, wild seafood provides a sustainable source of both heart-healthy fats and protein.

Olive oil, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds are some of the highest quality fat sources you can include in your diet. In addition to being heart healthy, these foods may also support a healthy weight, a reduced risk of diabetes, and improved neurological function. To optimize the positive impact these healthy fats have to offer, choose fresh, properly stored, and properly sourced products.

 

Download a 7-Day Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan!

This meal plan includes the following recipes:

Lentil & Feta Tabbouleh

Greek Chicken Salad

Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad

Roasted Carrots with Lentils & Tahini

Salmon Nicoise Salad

And many more! 

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How Mindful Eating Can Change Your Relationship with Food

How Mindful Eating Can Change Your Relationship with Food

It can be easier to lose weight when you’re eating mindfully but there are plenty of other reasons to adopt a more mindful approach to your eating habits, even if you’re not actively looking to slim down. From getting to grips with emotional eating to 

How to Curb Your Cravings with Mindful Eating

How to Curb Your Cravings with Mindful Eating

Hands up if you’ve tried pretty much everything to kiss goodbye to cravings and had no luck whatsoever? With mindful eating, you don’t need to spend heaps of time and energy on crushing your cravings completely. Telling yourself that you absolutely can’t have a particular 

Top Tips for Transitioning to a Plant-Based Diet

Top Tips for Transitioning to a Plant-Based Diet

Changing to a plant-based diet can be a big change, especially if you’re used to eating plenty of meat, fish, dairy and eggs in your diet. This can make it super daunting to commit to this lifestyle. You can make it a whole lot easier by easing yourself into becoming a vegan or following a plant-based diet. This way, you’re gradually being more vegan with your eating and you can get used to it. If you try to go fully vegan straight away, it can be overwhelming.

Understand how vegan nutrition works

Before we dive into how you can transition to a plant-based diet, let’s talk briefly about what kind of things you can eat when you do so. Vegans can be more likely to be deficient in certain nutrients and this is super common if you don’t replace animal products with vegan friendly alternatives. Calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and vitamin D are common examples. If you’re eating a whole food diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds and fortified foods, it’s a lot less likely that you’ll be lacking in these nutrients.

Check the ingredients

When you wander around the grocery store, you’ll often see a ton of foods that are labeled as “vegan”. This won’t always be the case though and not all vegan foods will be labeled in this way. It’s super smart to have a good look at food labeling and judge the situation for yourself. Anything that contains eggs, milk, meat or fish is a no-go but animal products can be more of a grey area. A few to look out for include whey powder and casein. Both of these are dairy products.

Taking animal products out of your diet

A lot of people find it easier to become a vegetarian first, and drop meat and fish from their diet. This gets you into the habit of removing animal products, without ditching all of them in one go. You can do this in stages and start introducing meat-free and fish-free days into the average week. It can be super tempting to add more eggs and dairy to your diet to make up for the lack of meat. Try to keep your consumption of eggs and dairy the same as before and add more whole foods instead.

Adding more whole foods into your diet

At the same time, you can also start adding in more foods that are naturally vegan. Look for ways to get more fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, legumes, seeds, nuts and tofu into meals and snacks. This can be super helpful for replacing meat and fish in meals and can easily bulk out meals. Lots of meals can be made vegan just by swapping out certain ingredients.

Cutting out eggs and dairy

When you start to feel more comfortable in eating less meat and fish and more whole foods, you can ease into the next step of your transition. It can be easier to focus on moving away from either eggs or dairy first, rather than ditching both at the same time. If you know that you’re going to really struggle with ditching one particular food, leave this “barrier” food until the end of your transition and start phasing it out gradually at that point. Cheese is a super common one here. This step can be the hardest and it may take months to make your way through this stage of becoming vegan.

Tackling cravings

It can be super challenging to give up certain food groups and it’s totally normal to get cravings for meat or dairy, for example. You may find that experimenting with vegan alternatives can curb the cravings, especially if you don’t dive into this straight away. When you first go vegan, the taste of vegan alternatives can be off-putting. This is super common as you’ve not long stopped eating the real thing and you’re subconsciously comparing them to each other. After a little while, you start to forget what “real” cheese or meat tastes like and vegan alternatives can be a lot more effective for tackling cravings.

Another option is to buy vegan dairy alternatives and eat them alongside your “barrier” food(s). The trick is to gradually decrease the amount of “barrier” food you’re eating while also increasing the vegan alternative. Eventually, you’ll only be eating the vegan alternative and your taste buds will have acclimatized. This can work great with cheese, for example. Start off with a ratio of 75% dairy cheese and 25% vegan cheese and work your way to only using vegan cheese.

What if you can’t give up a certain food?

Sometimes, giving up on a particular food turns out to be a deal breaker for going 100% vegan. If you really can’t live without something, it’s okay to be mostly vegan and still have that food. You’re still doing a whole heap of great work to reduce your consumption of animal products.

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6 Ways to Boost Your Energy Levels This Winter

6 Ways to Boost Your Energy Levels This Winter

Falling temperatures and shorter days can zap your energy during the winter. Most of us struggle with the dreaded 3pm energy slump, but in winter, it can feel as though this lasts all day long. If it’s a major struggle to get out of bed 

2020 is the Year of Happy – Tips for Staying Happy and Stress Free

2020 is the Year of Happy – Tips for Staying Happy and Stress Free

Have you spent a lot of the beginning of 2020 wishing that you were happier with your life and less stressed? A lot of the time, we take our happiness cues from the outside, especially ones that other people can see. And if we don’t 

Set Your Health and Wellness Goals for 2020!

Set Your Health and Wellness Goals for 2020!

Are you planning to improve your health and wellness goals in 2020? If the past year hasn’t gone quite as you planned on the health and wellbeing front, the New Year is a great time to think about where you’d like to be – both this time next year and much further down the line. Here are some tips for setting some goals that will improve your health and wellness, and some of the key areas that you might want to focus on.

Setting Health and Wellness Goals

It’s not “all or nothing”. When we set health goals, it’s often on all-or-nothing basis. You might start off with the best intentions but it’s often unsustainable in the long term. If you don’t exercise much to begin with, resolving to work out every single day can be a bit too much. Meeting in the middle at 3 workouts per week is something you can stick with even when life gets busy. You don’t necessarily need to commit hours to workouts either, especially if the ones you do are pretty intensive.

SMART goals. SMART stands for Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. Keep these in mind when you’re setting health and wellness goals. Be sure to factor in your current health situation and what you might realistically be able to achieve without changing your lifestyle beyond all recognition or compromising your health.

Be patient. You won’t see significant changes to your health and wellbeing overnight but keep reminding yourself that every little bit of progress you make will start to add up overtime.

 

Health and Wellness Goal # 1 – Sleeping Well

How much sleep do you get in the average night? If it’s not the recommended 7-9 hours, make sure one of your resolutions includes getting a good night’s sleep – especially the deeper, more restorative stages of sleep. Ideally, you want to be spending around 20% of your sleep in a deeper stage of sleep but this can be much lower if you wake up a lot during the night.

Lack of sleep can make you more likely to develop a host of health problems and it can also be a risk factor for cognitive decline. Here’s a scary thought … every cell and tissue in your body benefits from adequate sleep, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity are just a few of the problems that can stem from poor sleep.

Not getting enough sleep is also a factor in weight gain. It disrupts your levels of key hormones, particularly ghrelin and leptin. These hormones control your appetite, with ghrelin telling you when you’re hungry and leptin stepping in when you’re full. When they’re imbalanced after poor sleep, it’s no great surprise that it triggers overeating. In the long run, it leads to weight gain.

If your sleep could be better, make sure that 2020 is the year that you commit to better sleep. It’ll help to protect you against the health risks associated with chronic insomnia and can be a secret weapon in keeping your weight in check.

 

Health and Wellness Goal #2 – Social Interaction

Do you ever feel lonely? If the answer is “yes”, it’s time to make social interaction another wellness goal for 2020. It’s very possible to feel lonely and isolated even if you have a good support network around you. Loneliness is linked to higher levels of inflammation that can then pave the way for health problems. It’s even been linked to dying earlier!

To stop loneliness being a problem for you, make a pact with yourself to get out and meet new people as part of your 2020 wellness goals. Whether that involves signing up for a new fitness class or joining a book group, look for new opportunities for social interaction.

 

Health and Wellness Goal #3 – Gratitude

You might have heard of gratitude as a major trend in self-care but you may be less aware of the potential health benefits. According to research from UC Davis, people who express gratitude on a regular basis are happier and have less physical health problems. It may even be able to reduce cortisol levels and biomarkers of inflammation.

Want some of this for yourself? Spend a few minutes every day thinking about things that have made you grateful or thankful. Keeping a gratitude diary has been shown to reduce perceived stress too. Practicing gratitude as one of your big health and wellness goals for 2020 could improve both your physical and mental wellbeing.

 

Health and Wellness Goal #4 – Random Acts of Kindness

Performing random acts of kindness for other people is another great health and wellness goal for 2020, especially if you’re committed to improving your happiness.

In a study from Oxford University, performing acts of kindness was linked to slightly higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction. Resolving to carry out at least one act of kindness per week in 2020 can help with this.

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Detox Tips to Reset Your Diet and Life This Winter

Detox Tips to Reset Your Diet and Life This Winter

Did you know that winter is the perfect time to detox? Going about it in the right way helps your body prepare for spring, lose any weight you’ve started to gain over the holidays, and feel fitter and healthier. Winter also brings changes for your