Set Your Mind The Way You Want To Set Your Body.

Why are you eating? Are you hungry? How about bored, sad, nervous, anxious, stressed, or happy? These are just a few of the reasons you may be reaching for something to eat. But these are all emotions and not actual signs from the body that it needs nourishment.

The Mind Leads the Body

There isn’t anything you can do without thinking it first. So choosing to make healthy decisions isn’t brain surgery….you just have to think it. Sounds pretty easy right? We all know it’s not that simple…..easier said than done. Choosing to eat unhealthy food is a thought you have before you actually do it. Maybe it sounds good or you are short on time and its the easy choice to make. We all have reasons, or should I say excuses, for making those unhealthy decisions. So first things first, changing the way your mind thinks will get you off on the right path. For example if you are tempted by certain foods in your house, get rid of them! When you are stocking up at the grocery store don’t buy those foods that are going to tempt you once you get them home. If you don’t have them, you can’t eat them!

Your Body Feels

Paying attention to your body may seem mindless, but it actually can tell you a lot! After exercising how do you feel? Maybe tired yes, but typically don’t you feel better? So eating right and choosing healthy foods can do the same thing. It’s like taking care of your car. Car washes, oil changes, maintenance…..we want to keep our car running and in tip-top shape right? So why not treat our body that way. Fuel ourselves with good, healthy foods and our body will keep running as we want them to. Eating on the unhealthy side is going to make our bodies tired, no energy, and basically no life. Think of food as fuel for your body, it keeps it running and moving as you want it too. Just like gas to a car. But you aren’t going to put diesel in your car when it needs unleaded. So fuel your body with the right kinds of foods, it’ll work better when you want it to, and for many years to come!

Once you control your mind you can conquer your body! Like I said before first things first, mind then your body.

You are the only one with YOUR mind and the only one that can change the way YOU think. Take the reigns!!!

~ Your Health Dork ~

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Back to the Keyboard…

Hello ~

Sorry I’ve been gone for so long, but I’m finally back!! I’m looking for ideas from you on topics you would like to know more about. I’d like to research and write about things that interest you. Please let me know what’s on your mind. Meanwhile I’ll start looking into some hot topics that are swirling around right now.

Hope you all had an amazing holiday season and Happy New Year! Here’s to 2013!!

Have a great weekend!!

~ Your Health Dork ~

Healthy? Take a Second Look.

Looking at labels could not be more important than it is in our world today. Even though a product claims to be “healthy” one way or another, until you read the label you will never know for sure. Maybe they have reduced the fat, but added more sugar. So really a label reading low-fat might be true, but they don’t tell you up front they have added something in its place. Here are 3 examples that might be worth a glance.

Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter

You may think reduced-fat PB is the way to go to, but have you read the label to check out the ingredients? It’s peanut butter and in my opinion it should only be made of peanuts! Artificial sweeteners are added, but that only takes off 0.5 grams of fat and 10 calories….is that really worth it? The unsaturated fats found in nuts, seeds, pb, and olive oil  help protect our heart, lower bad cholesterol, and fight inflammation in our bodies. Choosing your peanut butter can be made easier if you go with organic or natural. The calorie content can be scary with pb, just remember moderation and only allow 1-2Tbsp per serving.

Frozen Yogurt

Since yogurt is being considered a health food then why not treat yourself to a dish of frozen yogurt?! For the most part I’d have to agree, but we have to watch it with portion sizes and topping that are added. There are so many self-serve places around that lets you choose your portions along with loading on all types of delicious toppings! Very quickly you went from a healthy snack to calorie overload and you didn’t even realize it.

Gluten-Free Foods

Celiac Disease is what causes people to have to go gluten-free, it’s not a choice for them. Gluten is a protein found in grains such as rye, wheat, and barely which leads to inflammations in the small intestine and prevents sufferers from absorbing certain nutrients.  It seems that this ‘diet’ has become quite popular lately even though some people who chose to live this way don’t actually have to. Due to the marketing of gluten-free products as health foods we have to watch out because some products actually contain significant amounts of sugar, saturated fat, and preservatives. Don’t fall into this craze if you don’t indeed need to be gluten-free. When it comes down to it you only need to go gluten-free if you have been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.

These are just a few of the things out there that claim to be “healthy”, but might need a second look. Looking at labels might take a little extra time so ultimately it’s up to you if you want to know what you’re putting into your body.

~ Your Health Dork ~

Dairy: Good or Bad?

So I’m not sure about you, but I have been hearing and reading a lot of things about the “no dairy diets” and going “dairy-free.” But why? And what does this actually entail? Growing up I always had to drink my milk at dinner and many mornings had cereal with milk. Have things changed since then or was I doing something terrible for my body growing up? So many questions…

I wouldn’t say things have changed since back then, but I would say we are more knowledgeable about dairy products and how they are made. One thing about milk that a lot people might not realize is that it is actually a processed product. Milk is filled with growth hormones and antibiotics used to make the cows lactate unnaturally. Even though this helps milk look white and creamy it is also to blame for skin problems, acne, allergies, inflammation in the body, and much more. Anything that the cow eats or is injected with is going to be in the milk as well. Not sure about you, but I personally don’t know what is going into each and every cow every single day. Little scary to tell you the truth.

One thing I was concerned about was calcium and how I was going to get enough without eating dairy. Well of course there is plenty of other ways besides dairy alone. On average 1 cup of milk has 296mg of calcium. Here are a few other ways to get your calcium intake that you need. Sesame Seeds -1/4cup(351mg), Spinach- 1cup(245mg), Collard Greens-1cup(266mg), Kelp -1cup(136mg), Tahini or Sesame Seed Butter-2tsp(126mg), Broccoli-2cups(124mg), Swiss Chard-1cup(102mg), Kale-1cup(94mg), Brazil Nuts – 12 nuts(90mg), Celery-2cups(81mg), Almonds – 23nuts(75mg), Papaya-1md(73mg), Flax Seeds-2Tbs(52mg), and Oranges-1md(52mg). Seeing there are many other ways to get my calcium I guess this is one reason I don’t necessarily NEED dairy in my diet.

Casein, have you ever heard of it? No? Me either until I began doing some research on this topic. Let me tell you it definitely opened my eyes! Casein is proteins that are commonly found in mammals milk with about 300% more in cow’s milk than in human’s milk. Casein has a variety of uses , from being a major component of cheese, to being used as a food additive, and even used as a binder for safety matches. As for food it has amino acids, carbs, calcium and phosphorus. Now for the kicker, here are the major uses of Casein. Paint, glue, cheesemaking, plastics, fiber, and protein supplements. Paint? Glue? Do I really want something in my body that is also used to make glue?

Going dairy-free may sound difficult depending on your lifestyle, but it’s not impossible. There are many substitutes for some of your favorite dairy products. Baking with milk is very common, but simply using equal parts water and juice will work just fine! There are also things like almond milk, oat milk, rice milk, soy milk, soy cheese, and non-dairy frozen desserts. Things have come a long way in our world today as far as organic and health foods available.

This info isn’t meant to draw you away from dairy products, but it is meant for you to take a good look at your lifestyle. Maybe you have discomfort, headaches, asthma, joint pain, bloating, gas, or an array of other symptoms and just aren’t sure why. Something as easy as less dairy or no dairy could be your fix. It might be something to look into.

So now what do you think…. Dairy: Good or Bad?

~ Your Health Dork ~

Raw Food Diet.

If any of you have read any of my previous blogs you know I’m not a fan of the word diet, but here I am using it in my subject line. This isn’t really by choice though…let me tell you why. On Saturday I went to a Raw Food Diet seminar, that’s what they call it! So really they are choosing to live a lifestyle of raw foods. Hey to each their own!

I’m not going to sit here and bash this lifestyle or try to sway you to get on board with it, but I will say that I left with a great deal of information. The gal that did it has been doing it for I belive it was 6 yrs now and had went to an institution to become very knowledgable in the area.

The raw food diet is simply foods that are minimally processed and in their natural state. A lot of people think it’s pink, uncooked meat, and sushi just to mention a few, but really it’s not that at all. Anything cooked above 118 degrees isn’t considered raw because the heating of it takes out all the benefits. Microwaves are a no-no!! Zapping your food for just a few seconds takes out all the benefits of the food.

Leafy greens, fresh fruit, seeds, nuts, good oils, and veggies are just a few of the examples of foods in this diet. These types of foods are high in enzymes which help break down the foods. We have them naturally in our bodies already, but to use the ones we already have uses 30% of our energy to break that food down. Foods that already have enzymes in them break down on their own requiring none of our energy. All living foods have enzymes.

Fruits and veggies are 70% water! That sounds like a lot doesn’t it? Well think about eating a lot of those throughout the day plus your normal intake of water…..you should be hydrated and ready to go!

One of my questions about following this ‘diet’ was “where are the proteins?” I always thought the majority of protein was found in meats. Well the darker the leafy green the more protein it has in it. Also an avocado had a great deal of protein along with good fats. The process of heating meats actually congeals the proteins together.  It turns to a jelly and once consumed that jelly is sitting inside your belly. Yuck!

If The Raw Diet sounds like something you’d be interested in there are tons of books out there about it. I’m just touching on it and sharing the information I received. It’s a very interesting concept so if it’s for you then bring on the Raw Food!

~ Your Health Dork ~

Plan Ahead.

A lifestyle change isn’t going to just happen overnight. There needs to be some planning involved and some mental preparation. Are you ready for it? Of course you are…. If you want it bad enough it’s all up to you! Planning is going to create new habits, better habits! It’s going to make things a lot easier and less stressful. You may be thinking I’m crazy for saying that, but after some time you will see for yourself. Disciplined people are the ones who are successful when losing weight and keeping it off. It takes effort to succeed in a challenge. No one said losing weight was easy, if it was everyone would look like professional athletes or supermodels!

Planning ahead and staying on a schedule can keep your blood sugar steady, which can help keep the hunger headaches away, and keep you from feeling extremely hungry or fatigued. When you experience any of these feelings there is a good chance once you do eat you will overeat. When you deprive your body of food it goes into hunger mode. Once you do eat something it will store it away as fat because it doesn’t know when it will receive food again. Also your metabolism doesn’t work correctly and once you do eat something you will end up gaining weight.

Planning ahead can take a little extra time and preparation, but your life is well worth it. In the evenings plan what your meals and snacks will be for the following day. Especially if you are gone all day you need to pack snacks, meals, ect. so you are able to eat when you want and eat exactly what you want. If you are prepared and end up getting hungry you will just eat anything in sight, healthy or not. Everyone has different schedules so someone who works 8-5 will have to prepare differently than someone who is a stay at home parent or simply just works from home.

Exercise is the same way. If you don’t plan ahead to go to the gym, yoga, fitness class, whatever it is you do then there is a chance you may not go. If someone mentioned going to happy hour would you go? Did you have plans to workout? If you didn’t then you probably would go have a drink or two. But if you had plans to workout you might stick to your guns and go get your sweat on! Again discipline plays a big part in all this, even exercise.

~ Your Health Dork ~