3 Foods Surgeons Are Calling “Death Foods”

We all know that some foods aren’t great to consume, but they aren’t all the same.  Some of these unhealthy foods are so bad that some surgeons have begun referring to them as “death foods”!  Sound dramatic?  A little.  But perhaps that name is warranted, and even necessary, in order to grab our attention and convince us to stay away from these dangerous foods.  Just what are they?  Keep reading the list below to find out what these so-called death foods really are, and why you should be avoiding them!

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Sugary drinks

Whether it’s soda, which we already know is packed with dangerous chemicals, or fruit juice with added sugar, the point is that sugary drinks are one of these “death foods” because sugar is toxic and causes many healthy problems.  While sugar can be naturally ocurring, meaning that a totally natural fruit juice is fine, unless you make it yourself, it’s likely that it contains some form of added sugar (which can have tricky names on the ingredients label to hide this increasingly undesirable ingredient).  While sugar is something we should all be aiming to cut out of our diets as much as possible, it’s especially dangerous to drink sugary drinks, because we don’t become full or satisfied, and we often don’t realize how much sugar we’re really consuming. Lay off the soda AND the fruit juice or energy drinks, and try to drink your coffee or tea with stevia instead of sugar, and drink more water instead.  If you’re worried about getting bored with water, check out these great infused water ideas here!

 

Whole grains

While these are often touted as a healthier option than refined grains, the truth is that they still aren’t the ideal way to consume carbohydrates.  You can get more carbs, fiber, and nutrients from vegetables than you can from whole wheat bread, brown rice, etc.  This doesn’t mean whole grains are bad for you no matter what, but the truth is that many of us tend to abuse whole grain foods because we think they’re a health food.  The truth is they’re a healthier option compared to an unhealthy food, but it doesn’t mean that they should make an appearance on our plates every day.  Try packing more vegetables on your plate if you really want to see a difference in your health!

Canola and other vegetable oils

These need to make their way out of your pantry, stat!  Canola and other vegetable oils are hydrogenated, meaning they can cause your body to store more fat, as well as increase inflammation in your body.  It may seem harmless if you’re only using it to grease your pan, but switch to other healthier oils like olive or coconut, or use an organic butter instead!

 

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The 3 Best Ways to Triple Your Energy

Everyone wants to have more energy– energy to spend with the kids, energy to really kick it up a notch at the gym, energy to pursue hobbies, spend time with loved ones, and enjoy making the most of our free time.  The truth is that after a full day of work, caring for our families,and maintaining the basics of our lives to fully function, like laundry, errands, and cooking, most of us are worn out.  Try these 4 tips to triple your energy levels and get the most out of your life!

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Triple up on the basics for triple the energy.

You know that it’s important to get enough sleep, drink enough water, and eat properly.  It’s common sense, and it’s constantly tossed at us as if it were life-altering advice, but here’s the thing:  it’s good advice.  Some of the best advice, actually!  Try making a serious effort to get enough water and sleep every single day for a month, and in that amount of time, try your best to eat clean (or cleanish if that’s all you can manage)– that might mean doing some meal prep, planning for your day’s snacks before leaving the house, downloading a water-tracking app, and setting alarms to tell you when you have to be in bed, but give it an honest shot for a month.  When your body is getting the proper amount of sleep, the proper amount of hydration, and the proper amount of nutrients it needs to function, you’ll feel younger, more energetic, less tired, and happier!  Triple your energy by giving your body the full ingredients list that it needs.

Find out what’s slowing you down.

It might sound dramatic, but getting an allergy test could reveal some interesting information that you might not otherwise know.  Many people with light to moderate allergies experience chronic fatigue caused by their allergies, and many of these people didn’t know that this was an allergy symptom.  We always thing of allergic reactions as anaphylactic shock, hives, etc., but now that you know that fatigue is a symptom, don’t you think it’s worth it to get checked out?  Quite a lot of people have sensitivities to dairy or gluten, as well as many other common ingredients. While some allergens will be difficult to avoid, others can be removed from your home or diet very easily, making this a quick way to find a solution to your chronic fatigue and lack of energy!

Develop these 3 mindful practices.

Once you know you’re getting enough hydration, sleep, and nutrients, time to level up:  changing the way your mind processes your environment, your interactions, and your own personal thoughts sounds like a big task (and it is), but there are three simple ways you can get started on the mental and emotional aspects of tripling your energy.  First, set aside a few minutes each day to meditate.  Whether you do it on your couch, in your garden, or in the shower, take anywhere from 5-10 minutes to just be calm and quiet.  You don’t have to enter a trance or anything intimidating– even if you can’t clear your mind totally, just acknowledge each thought and then visualize pushing it out of your mind.  Taking this time to purposefully avoid absorbing any outside inputs can help your brain to relax, relieve stress, and prepare you for a big meeting, a crazy schedule, or anything else life is going to throw at you.  Besides meditation, try to revamp your to-do lists.

Besides your pre-set to-do list (go to work, pick up the kids, buy groceries), the reality of life is that you can probably do 3 additional things at most.  Block all of the other clutter out and focus on the three big things you want to achieve each day.  Three is, mentally, an easily managed number compared to the 19 things you might otherwise list (it’s easy to fill out a to-do list if we really sit down and thing about it!), so stick to three for a few weeks and feel the difference!

Finally, find a physical activity that you enjoy, and enjoy it fully.  Whether it’s a kickboxing class, walking in the park, or practicing pilates by yourself in your living room, your body and mind need an outlet.  It sounds counterproductive, spending more energy to get more energy, but that is indeed how it works!  The mental stress that exercise relieves is notable, and the physical effect is a stronger, more agile body that tires out less quickly.  A workout doesn’t have to be scary and intense.  It does, however, have to be something you can commit to regularly and that you enjoy.  Try a few different workouts until you find one that makes you feel great!

 

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The 5 Best Carbs That Will Uncover Your Abs

Many of us have been taught (incorrectly) that carbs and abs don’t have anything in common, and that they are actually enemies!  Wrong!  Our bodies need carbs to function optimally, but of course, not all carbs are made equally.   Keep reading the list below to find out which carbs are best for you and your abs!

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Cold Potatoes

Think potato salad straight from the fridge– the cold temperatures transform the potatoes’ digestible starches to resistant starches, which means they’re harder to digest.  Why do you want to eat something harder to digest?  Because while your body is working to break down those resistant starches, you’re also burning fat!  More of that, please!

 

Apples

Seems simple (and it isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when we think of carbs), but it’s true– the carbs in apples are minimal and healthy, and come packed with tons of other benefits!  With one apple, you’ll be getting a healthy dose of carbohydrates while also taking in a great dose of dietary fiber.  Add in the fact that apples contain flavenoids that help to burn fat, and you’ll want to make this fruit your go-to snack!

 

Quinoa

The most protein-packed grain out there, quinoa also packs a dose of heart-healthy fats!  Add the fiber and B vitamins that come naturally in quinoa, and you’re looking at one of the healthiest carbohydrates out there! The great news about quinoa is that it’s incredibly versatile, too, so it can be used as a breakfast cereal-type grain, a rice replacement, or even a salad topping!

 

Legumes

Think lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas– all of these are basically superfoods, and make a great carbohydrate option because they also come packed with lots of fiber and protein!  They’re also known to help lower LDL cholestoerol (that’s the bad one!), and are shown in studies to aid in weight loss!

 

Whole Grain Pasta

Once you’ve got the toppings on your pasta, you won’t even notice the difference between this and regular pasta, but your body will thank you!  Whole grain pasta hasn’t been stripped of it’s natural nutrients the way refined pasta has been, and it won’t have as much sugar, either!  Toss in the fact that there are whole grain pastas made from all types of grains, and you’re moving into exciting opportunities to experiment with new ingredients and recipes to find something you love!

 

Which of these carbs are you going to put on your shopping list for your next grocery run?

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What Celebrities Put In Their Water

We all know that celebrities have it made when it comes to health and fitness– they have the money and the connections to access the priciest treatments, personal trainers, nutritionists, personal chefs, and even ingredients!  While they don’t always live the healthiest habits, they do tend to know some great tips and tricks for staying slim, energized, and strong.  On top of that, they tend to know that one of the keys to the body and health that they want is to stay hydrated!  Plain old water can get boring sometimes, but there are some amazingly creative ways to dress it up in a healthy way1 Keep reading below to see what ingredients celebrities put in their water, and snag some tips for yourself!

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The Classic

You’ve probably seen a ton of photos on instagram of water with cucumber, lemons, and some type of herb (mint, usually).  Pretty and all, but what good can it do you?  Khloe Kardashian and Heidi Klum swear by this mix!

 

The Creative

Lauren Conrad is known for her start in reality tv, which she used to then launch a successful lifestyle blogging and fashion career.  Her go-to mixes for delicious water?  Orange with lemon and lime, lemon with raspberry and mint, and blackberry with cherry and lime!

 

The Common

We’ve all heard that warm water with lemon is a great way to kick-start our metabolisms and fat-burning processes each morning.  Miranda Kerr, Victoria’s Secret Angel, takes this tip to heart and has a healthy dose of warm water mixed with lemon juice every morning before her protein shake and breakfast.

 

So whether it means adding fruit and herbs or changing the temperature, there are tons of ways to change up your 8 daily glasses of water.  Making sure you’re getting enough water each day is a top tip to looking and feeling your best, from your metabolism to your skin to your athletic performance!

 

Which of these healthy waters are you going to try first?

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7 Food Combos that Triple Weight Loss

 

We all know that some foods are super foods when it comes to weight-loss and nutrition, but did you know that even regular, non “super” foods can boost your weight loss efforts when combined properly with other foods?  If you’re looking to get the most out of your diet, keep reading the list below to see which simple food combinations you can start working into your diet to get all the best benefits you can on the diet-side of your health journey!

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Cucumber, Lemon, and Water

Not only can this combo replace other calorie-rich drinks in your diet, it also helps burn fat!  The lemon juice contains polyphenols that you body can use to burn fat, as well as work as an appetite surpressant.  Get vitamins K and C from the cucumber!  And of course, staying hydrated helps your body work more efficiently!  Try prepping a few bottles of this water each night to take to work each day.  Give it a month, and along with healthy eating habits and exercise, reap the benefits of the fat-burning power of this combo!

 

Almonds, Berries, and Cottage Cheese

The slow-digesting protein in cottage cheese will help you stay full while getting you a full dose of amino acids, and it’s extremely low-fat!  Throw in some berries to get a good serving of antioxidants and almonds for a great dose of healthy fats.  This makes the perfect snack or breakfast!

 

Apple, Spinach, and Ginger

Try making a green shake in the morning with protein and vitamin-packed spinach.  Get a little sweetness and fiber from green apples, and throw in some ginger for an extra fat-burning boost!  This makes a great breakfast option or afternoon snack!

 

Avocado, Quinoa, and Black Beans

Think burrito bowls sans rice, or rice and beans with a twist!  The protein and vitamins you’ll get form the quinoa and black beans make this a great meal for any time of day, but especially after a workout!  And the avocado will help you to feel full, give you a great dose of vitamins, and boost the amount of healthy fats in your diet!

 

Olive Oil, Potatoes, and Pepper

When cooked in a healthy way and eating in moderation, potatoes can help us to lose weight, because they’re packed with potassium that helps us to burn fat!  Bake them in olive oil for the heart-healthy benefits of healthy fats, and add pepper for flavor and to get a dose of that cholesterol-lowering piperine.

 

Apples, Cinnamon, and Peanut Butter

Perfect for a snack or a quick meal in the afternoon, this combo packs everything– vitamins and fiber from the apple, protein and fat from the peanut butter, and cinnamon’s fat-burning attributes!  Easy to make and to always have on hand in the kitchen, this little snack can pack a huge fat-burning punch!

 

Oatmeal, Cinnamon, and Blueberries

Oatmeal might seem plain, but it’s whole grains are heart-healthy and proven to keep us feeling fuller for longer.  Add to that the super-food properties of blueberries and the fat-burning qualities of cinnamon and you’re all set with a healthy breakfast that will keep you full until lunch while tasting great and giving you the necessary dose of vitamins and fat-burning polyphenols!

Which of these combos are you going to try first?

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Top 10 Ways to Be Happier

Everyone wants to be happy, but few people realize that happiness is something that we can cultivate, not something that we just stumble upon!  It’s an action to participate in daily, not a gift that we should expect at our door at any minute.  Still, it can be tricky to navigate the musts of life– the kids, the rent, the work schedule, and beyond– while remembering to mindfully cultivate happiness, so check out my top 10 ways to be happier in the list below!

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Stop comparing.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” wrote Theodore Roosevelt, and he was right on the money.  One of two things inevitably happens when you compare yourself to someone else.  You either judge them negatively to soothe your own opinions or perceptions about yourself, or you judge yourself negatively because your perception or opinion of that other person is higher than the one you have of yourself.  Both of these are toxic, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to stop.

Try to mentally correct yourself every time you go in for a comparison.  Another woman having a happy family doesn’t mean that your family is less happy.  Another co-worker getting a raise doesn’t mean that you aren’t appreciated.  Your neighbor being gorgeous doesn’t make you less beautiful.  When you stop the constant comparison, you offer grace to other people and to yourself to just be human.  We all have good and bad days, and we all have good and bad traits.  Not everything is visible on the surface, so stopping this unhealthy behavior is one of the biggest steps towards being able to celebrate with others the joys in their life while still caring for your own!

 

Connect with others.

It sounds so simple, but it’s true– humans are social animals, and we need some socializing besides just our family or co-workers to really live a full life.  Whether it’s a running group, a book club, a volunteer organization, or a choir, get out there and find something that interests you, and then find where you can meet others interested in the same thing.  Chances are you’ll make lifelong friends, and even if you don’t, you’ll get the double benefits of regularly pursuing an activity that serves no other purpose than making you happy, and you’ll get to do it with people that you have something in common with!

 

Eat clean.

Clean eating can have a dramatic effect on our moods (not to mention our bodies and health stats!), so consider dropping processed foods.  You don’t have to dive in head first, either– it’s a big change!  Try adding more organic fruits and veggies to your diet and slowly cutting out foods that come in boxes or bags.  You’re bound to start feeling better, you’ll probably lose a bit of weight, and you’ll definitely find a new recipe (or four) that you love!  Taking care of our bodies and minds means literally caring about what we put into our bodies, so consider this an important first step on your journey to cultivate happiness.

 

Keep learning.

Sounds philosophical, but it’s true that we should never stop learning.  You might be done with formal education (or maybe you’re ready to chase that degree), but there are so many other things out there to learn.  You could learn how to embroider, how to speak Spanish, how to bake vegan cakes, or how to blog!  There is a wealth of information available to us for (mostly) free on the internet, and there are plenty of ways to turn your learning adventure into a new hobby or excuse for social meetups!  Keeping your brain active will help you to feel happy, and the good feeling that comes with mastering new skills is addictive!

 

Set goals.

Just because you’re making it alright in life doesn’t mean there isn’t more you could achieve.  Setting goals helps give us something to measure progress with, and it also helps us break big things we want into smaller and more manageable steps.  Whether your goal is to save up enough money for a trip to Greece or learn a new language or lose 20 pounds or change careers, there are so many mental health benefits to setting out a blueprint to achieving something you want, and then using it to move through the necessary steps toward success.  Whether it’s grafting plants into a beautiful technicolor garden, mastering the culinary art of sushi, or going back to school, there’s always something great out there to be achieved, and you deserve to be chasing it!

 

Use your body.

Exercise has great benefits for both your physical and your mental health!  If you hate the gym, though, don’t write off exercise altogether.  Keep trying until you find a physical activity you really enjoy.  It could be swimming, hiking, weightlifting, kickboxing, yoga, ballroom dancing, fencing– the list is infinite, really.  The point is that you should be using your body to move through the world in a purposeful way that makes you happy and keeps you healthy.  Punishing yourself with workouts is a no-go.  Find an exercise that you truly enjoy, and then reap the benefits of working out without it feeling like a chore!  You’ll sleep better, your body will be healthier, and your mind will regulate your endorphin production– all a winning combination to cultivate happiness!

 

Help other people.

No matter who you are, you’ve got something to contribute to this world.  Start small, in your community– even if you don’t have money to donate to organizations, you probably have a skill that could do some good for someone.  You could teach English to recent immigrants, run donation drives for food or clothes, or help high schoolers with their university applications or resumés.  There are so many ways to help others– when you really start looking, you’ll see opportunities everywhere!  The mental benefit of doing something for others is huge– research has proven over and over again that we enjoy a mood boost when we do something kind for someone else.  Go out there and get that mood boost, and make your community a kinder place in the process!

 

Stop worrying.

Easier said than done, right?  Of course it is!  But it’s true that worrying about tomorrow robs us of our peace today.  Concern is warranted in some situations, but how much time do you spend each week worrying about things that might happen?  Things that, in the end, don’t happen, or were going to happen inevitably and were thoroughly unaffected by your worrying?  Imagine someone showing up at your door with a gift box filled with all of the time you’ve spend on pointless worrying!

It’s important to be proactive when you know a problem is on the horizon, but try to cut back your pointless worrying.  You might have to establish a mental mantra, such as “I will not worry about things I cannot change”.  You can also try “reverse worrying”– every time you catching yourself with silly or dramatic “what-if”s, give yourself a positive “what if” for each negative one you think.  Actively and mindfully balancing out the possibilities of the future can help you to have a more positive outlook.

Plan a trip.

Even if international travel isn’t in your budget, a trip can be more affordable than you think, and it can do you a world of good! Think of the type of travel you are interested in– are you dying to go to Europe, take a road trip, go camping?  If your budget is a limit, try looking for nearby “getaway” deals on groupon and airbnb.  Even if you just drive 3 hours out of your hometown, changing your scenery and routine will give you the chance to readjust your perspective on your life, enjoy some time away from the daily grind, and give you the opportunity to see new places, meet new people, and try new things.  Then you get to experience the joy of coming back home and sleeping in your own bed again!

 

Spend some time outside.

We used to live outside, don’t forget!  It’s important for us to spend time outside, and even moreso for those of us that live in big cities and concrete jungles!  Whether that means camping, going for a walk in a park, or having a tea and reading a book in a garden, make sure you spend a little time outside to reconnect to the world.  Extra points if you get your hands and feet in the dirt!  And while you’re at it, try greening up your office and your home with a few new house plants!

 

 

Which of these tips could you start enacting this week to cultivate your own happiness?

 

 

 

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Top 10 Foods That Put You In A Bad Mood

 

Many things can affect our moods in positive or negative ways, but few things are as powerful as the food we eat!  Just think how irritable you feel when you’re really hungry, or how happy you feel after you’ve eaten your favorite healthy lunch!  We know that some foods are mood-boosters, and you know what that means:  some foods can put you in a bad mood, too!  Keep reading the list below to find out which bad-mood foods you should be avoiding!

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Baked Goods

Packed full of sugar and saturated oils, these guys often leave us feeling lethargic, tired, or depressed (not to mention the guilt onset after throwing back multiple brownies or cookies!), so opt for healthier snack or dessert options instead of passing by the bakery!

 

French Fries

The perfect storm of high fat, sodium, and refined carb content, french fries are a common craving (and a common side dish, too!) that can put us in a funk.  The reason?  The cause our energy to peak (very fun), and then suddenly drop (not fun at all), which makes us feel sluggish and tired.  Opt for a baked potato or a side salad at lunch instead of french fries!

 

Alcohol

The fact that it’s labeled a “depressant” says it all– while consuming it can bring us a short period of happiness and giggles, it ends in a mood drop, and that’s not even mentioning the potential hangover and dehydration!  Make sure to drink at least one glass of water between each drink (more is ideal!) and drink on a full stomach and in moderation!

 

Soda

You alread know it’s basically poison!  But did you know that the intense sugar rush we feel from drinking a soda also ends in an abrupt crash just a few minutes after we finish drinking it?  Not to mention the cancer-causing ingredients they can contain and the bloat they often cause, this reason alone is enough to swear off sodas!  Try flavored waters, fresh juice, or a chocolate milk if you’re really craving something besides plain old H2O.

 

Lunch Meat

Processed meat for sandwiches or hotdogs is full of nitrates, food colorants, and lots of other nasty additives and preservatives, which can cause bloating, mood swings, water retention, and even headaches!  Steer clear of the deli at lunch time and keep your mind and body happy for the rest of the afternoon!

 

Margarine

The high amount of processed fats in margarine can cause a blood sugar imbalance, which can lead to mood swings and weight gain!  Don’t let this sneaky food onto your plate– if you think it’s butter but you’re not sure, ask!  And clear it out of your fridge and try an organic butter instead of margarine for cooking at home!

 

Canned Food

You might think these are healthy options for cooking at home since they’re usually legumes or vegetables, but you haev to watch the sodium content on the can’s label!  You also need to check and see if the can is labeled “BPA-Free”, as the chemical BPA has been linked to chronic mood disorders (among other nasty side effects)!

 

Potato Chips

So tempting, but so terrible!  These guys are usually fried in vegetable oil, meaning they’re packed with saturated fats.  These fats work against the good-guy Omega 3 fatty acids that we’re so intent on adding to our diets!  Don’t let your small potato chip snack undo all the good fats you got from that avocado and olive oil in your salad at lunch!  These guys can cause inflammation and even mood swings due to the damage they do to the balance of healthy fats in your diet!

Processed Foods

If it comes in an individual wrapper inside a box, you can pretty much bet it’s processed.  These foods are often high in refined sugar content, as well as saturated fats and all types of preservatives, additives, and colorants.  That means you’re in for a wild blood sugar ride as the sugar hypes you up and then crashed you back to the ground, which negatively affects your mood!  Opt for a piece of fruit, some crackers and cheese, or a few veggies with hummus if you’re feeling hungry for a snack during the day!

Packaged Seeds

If the seeds you’re buying have been processed in any way, there’s a good chance they’re coated in a preservative called potassium bromate.  This chemical can interfere with your thyroid’s ability to absorb iodine.  When your thyroid is out of whack, your mood might be, too.  One of the first thing doctors check in patients with depression is their thyroid levels!  Try purchasing organic seeds that haven’t been processed with any chemicals if you’re looking to enjoy the benefits that seeds and nuts bring to a healthy diet!

 

Are you surprised that these foods made the list?  Are there any of these foods that you need to clean out of your cabinet?  Let me know in the comments section!

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8 Things to Do Before Bed to Lose Weight


Everyone knows that weight loss requires exercise and proper eating habits, but there’s so much more to consider if you want to guarantee your weight loss success!  By forming healthy habits and routines, getting in all the little tips and tricks you’ll need to employ each day becomes really simple and second nature!  Check out this list to find the 10 simple things you can do before bed each night to boost your weight loss success!

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Go to bed at a decent hour.

This seems like a no-brainer, but many of us aren’t getting enough sleep, and good quality sleep!  Count back from the time you have to wake up in the morning, and give yourself 8 hours.  It might mean you need a 10 or 11 pm bedtime, but just try it.  Getting a full 7-8 hours of sleep each night not only replenishes your energy, it also provides your bodies with the positive effects of fasting, which can help you to get or stay lean!

 

Stop eating a few hours before you sleep, but don’t go to sleep hungry!

Make sure your dinner is a properly balanced meal so that you’re getting all the nutrients you need before clocking out for the day!  You want to avoid going to sleep immediately after dinner in order to give your body a chance to begin the digestion process normally.  That said, some days just don’t run on the routine we prefer– it’s not healthy to go to bed with a growling stomach, so if you haven’t had a good solid meal but you’re ready to sleep, try having a serving of cottage cheese– it’s low fat, high protein, and also contains tryptophan, which has powerful sleep-inducing effects!

 

Look away from the screens

Set up a bedtime routine where you use low-lighting and NO SCREENS to start relaxing.  The blue light from screens can prevent the release of sleep hormones that help us get good REM sleep, so try getting in bed and reading a book or a magazine for 30 minutes before you go to sleep! Getting enough high quality sleep will allow your body to heal from your workouts, it will keep your brain happy and your immune system healthy, and will also regulate your hunger hormones throughout the night and the next day!

Lower your ambient temperature

Some people claim to only be able to sleep if they have cold air blowing in the room– this makes a lot of sense because sleep researchers have found that REM sleep occurs more quickly for people sleeping in a room with a slightly lower than ambient temperature.  Even better? When our bodies are cold, they start burning our brown fat reserves– that means belly fat!  Imagine burning belly fat all night while you sleep!  Take advantage of this sleep hack and see the results for yourself!

Take a bath or a shower

Studies show that a shower or bath– especially when our heads are submerged– has a blood-pressure lowering effect.  This makes it a great way to relax and prepare for bed, and also serves as a temperature drop cue for our lizard brains– when humans lived outside under the stars, the temperature drop of the setting sun was a sleep cue!  While we don’t live the same way anymore, studies show that recreating this temperature drop helps prepare our minds and bodies to sleep.

 

Eat peppers

Seems simple, but did you know that the fat-burning compounds in peppers continue working throughout the digestive process?  Throw some chopped peppers into your dinner a few nights per week to reap the benefits of fat burning while you sleep!

Wear yourself out

While working out in the morning has a lot of fans and positive benefits, working out at night can be great for you, too!  It might not work with your schedule, but it’s worth a try.  You’ll burn even more calories while you’re sleeping, and you’ll sleep well after that physical exertion.  Throw in a post-workout, pre-bedtime shower and you’re setting yourself up for some amazing, restorative sleep!

 

Have a glass of wine

Red wine contains heart-healthy compounds and can give off a bit of a sleepy effect as well!  Try to have your wine and hour or two before bed so that your body has time to process the sugars it contains.

 

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Top 10 Foods That Age You

Just like there are foods that can help to keep us young, there are also foods that age us!  Make sure you know what foods to avoid to keep premature aging at bay!  Keep reading below to find the 10 worst foods that cause us to age faster!

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Energy Drinks

Whether you only drink them in cocktails, have a daily habit, or only partake occasionally, energy drinks should be eliminated from your healthy diet!  They’re packed with sugar, and the acid they contain can really damage the enamel on your teeth.  The caffeine content and the sodium these drinks pack can also lead to dehydration, which isn’t doing your skin any favors.  Opt for tea, vitamin-packed juices, or water!

 

Breakfast Meats

Bacon, sausage, ham– these processed meats are high in sodium and often contain preservatives.  These preservatives can produce free radicals in your body, which are a culprit for cancer.  Opt for organic options, farm fresh options that don’t contain chemicals, or vegetarian options.

 

Deep-fried Anything

When we fry foods like this, we’re heating oil to very high temperatures, which produces free radicals.  These free radicals can do a lot of damage to our health, but there are also more “superficial” concerns– these free radicals are terrible for the aging process on our skin!  Avoid deep-fried foods whenever possible!

 

Trans Fats

Found in many places (think donuts or pastries, for example), these fats can cause high levels of inflammation, and they also make our skin more vulnerable to UV rays!  Avoid trans fats if you’re looking out for your skin!

Charred Meat

Even if you love your meat really really well done, try to avoid eating meat that’s been blackened.  This charred meat causes inflammation, which can break down collagen in the skin.  If you want a young face, you want to keep your collagen in tact!

 

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Found to be even worse for your skin than sugar, high fructose corn syrup is found in an incredible amount of processed foods.  The easiest way to cut this out of your diet is to start clean eating!

 

Alcohol

Drinking to excess can cause those pesky free radicals that age our bodies from the inside out.  The occasional glass or two of wine won’t hurt, but try to choose alcohols that are no sugar added, and definitely avoid those sugary cocktail mixes!

 

Freezer Dinners

These are sodium bombs!  Even the healthy/diet oriented brands can contain a huge amount of sodium.  The problem is that these are often marketed as sugar-free or fat-free, but when processed food is labeled free of sugar, fat, or sodium, you can bet that those other two factors are packed in tight in order to keep the food tasty!  Try making your own freezer dinners by meal prepping ahead of time!

 

Chips

The salt and the crunch can be so satisfying, but you can find those factors in plenty of other healthy foods!  Potato chips are often fried, and you don’t want those calories or fats.  On top of that, sodium levels on most chips are through the roof, which can cause dehydration, among other problems.  If you’re looking for crunch, try a crisp green apple, carrots and celery (with hummus!), or whole grain crackers!

 

Sugar

This little villain pops up all over the place, and while it can be difficult to cut out totally from your diet, it’s not that hard to cut back!  Avoid obvious overloads such as candy, margaritas, and baked goods, because sugar can damage collagen in your skin (among other health problems that we already know about)!

 

Which of these are you going to cut out of your diet?  What are the replacements that work best for you?

 

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3 Fatigue-Causing Foods

Most of us have busy schedules and it’s easy to feel fatigued every now and then.  Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen as well as getting enough sleep are the best ways to combat fatigue, but did you know there are foods that may be causing it too?  Keep reading to learn about the 3 foods you should cut out of your diet in order to stop fatigue in it’s tired, tired tracks!

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Pasta

Who doesn’t love a good bowl of pasta every now and then?  The problem is that it can be a cause of fatigue!  Why?  Because it’s packed with simple carbohydrates, eating pasta causes an immediate blood sugar spike.  This spike in blood sugar causes our insulin levels to fall.  This sudden and extreme change in our bodies causes the onset of fatigue.  Try avoiding pasta, and if you really have to have it, try making zoodles (spiralized zucchini noodles) or at least opting for whole grain pastas.

 

Dairy Products

While these can have great healthy benefits, some people might find them hard to digest.  That difficulty in digestion usually happens in the lower intestine.  People with very mild allergies to dairy products may find that they cause inflammation, and when that happens in the lower GI tract, it can prevent our bodies from absorbing all the other good nutrients that we’ve eaten.  That lack of nutrients is a definite cause of fatigue, so if you’re feeling chronically fatigued, try going a week or two without dairy and see if that changes!

 

Gluten

Not everyone needs to be on a gluten-free diet, so let’s get that out of the way right now.  However, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with Celiac’s, you might have a gluten sensitivity.  That sensitivity to gluten could be causing inflammation and other uncomfortable symptoms in your system, which are definitely triggers for fatigue!  Try cutting back on gluten, or cutting it out of your diet entirely, for a few weeks if you suspect this may be the cause of your fatigue.

 

Do you suffer from chronic fatigue?  What diet changes have helped you?

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