With the holidays right around the corner, your friends and family are getting ready to gather, feast, and share. Stories will be told, recipes will be exchanged, and a good time will be had by all. The question is, what will you bring to the festivities this year? And why just bring something tasty when you can bring something that’s both tasty and healthy?
We’ve scoured the internet for a handful of healthy holiday recipes to get your festive ideas flowing. Use them to start brewing up batches of party snacks and treats you can share with pride.
Savory Pumpkin Hummus
Whip up this delicious pumpkin snack and bring some color to any holiday get-together. Plus, pumpkin is rich in many crucial nutrients like vitamin C, fiber, and beta-carotene.
You know the holidays are right around the corner when you first catch that hearty smell of roasting chestnuts on the crisp air. You can easily bring this warm, nostalgic snack to your own festivities. And chestnuts are high in fiber and calcium.
These chocolate bars are no-bake, easy to make, and have no refined sugars. Because sometimes you just want some chocolate for the holidays. Now you can, and still have enough left over to share. Or keep for yourself. We won’t judge either way.
Butternut squash adds a seasonal spin to this classic falafel ball. These are healthy, delicious, and easy to make. Give them a chance, and you’ll wonder how you ever made it through the holidays without them.
These treats will satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth, and they have zero refined sugar. Dates, cashews, sultanas, cacao powder, and orange juice—that’s all it takes to create a snack to take your festivities to the next level.
When it comes to preparing holiday snacks, making one that’s both tasty and healthy feels like a miracle. But with a little research and practice, you can bring flavorful ingredients to life to share with your loved ones during this special time of year.
Staying healthy through the holidays can be a challenge for anyone. For some tips on how to enjoy the holidays without the weight gain, check out this blog post.
Do you ever wonder if you are on the same page as the universe? Somedays, it can be a struggle, but I would suggest not to go there, instead try to keep your positivity in check, by trying to raise your vibration. Below is a How-To article that I picked up from Spiritual Health that gives you techniques to raise your vibration instantly!
**In an ideal world, you get to wake up every day feeling grounded and centered in your strongest emotional, mental, and spiritual state. In this world, reality is more complex than that. Whether it is due to an intense astrological event, an unpleasant personal experience, or an unexpected outside force, every once in a while you may find yourself feeling drained and not your best self. Fortunately, you are always in charge of your own experience and can turn this around momentarily when equipped with the right tools to raise your vibration.
When you feel yourself getting carried away by the life’s hectic energies, and you want to regain your center and raise your vibration or overall state of being fast, the following tools are here to help you.
USE GRATITUDE, LOVE, AND JOY | RAISE YOUR VIBRATION
Love for yourself, others, and the world around you is at the very top of the emotional scale. It is the highest of all of the positive emotions, and it is often grouped alongside of appreciation, compassion, joy, gratitude, and passion. There are no bad emotions on the emotional scale, the lower ones are there to provide you with valuable information as well as show you where you have been holding your focus. To change your focus instantly and raise your vibration, you should tune-in to the emotions that have the highest resonance: love, gratitude, and joy.
Three ways to align with these vibrations are:
-Say out loud three things that you are grateful for today to quickly shift to a state of gratitude. It matters not how big or small these things are, but rather how you feel about them. You can say that you are grateful to be alive and that the sun is shining above your head. You can be grateful for your loved ones. You can be grateful for that amazing and nutritious meal you had.
-Call someone you love and ask them about their day. Shifting the focus from you to other people is a sure way to get out of your own funk.
-Say or do something nice for a person next to you. This also shifts your focus towards other people, which is psychologically proven to instantly raise your mood. As a Chinese saying goes, “If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”
NOURISH YOUR BODY WITH FOOD
Nutritious food is a vital part of our day, and there is a balance to achieve. Just like eating processed junk food is bad for you, so is forcing yourself to eat otherwise healthy food that is simply not making you happy. Your goal is to keep trying new foods and recipes until you find what is equally beneficial for your body and joyful for your soul.
Quick tips to find balance in your culinary choices:
-Eat organic, raw food. It can be smoothies, juices, salads, or even healthy raw desserts from nuts and fruits. There is a lot to learn from the raw vegan diet and thousands of recipes to discover and try. There is something out there for everyone.
-Drink plenty of filtered water. This will help detox your body, which in turn will help you feel better and lighter.
LET YOURSELF RELAX AND REJUVENATE
A busy, cluttered mind can be a cause of much distress. The monkey brain, as psychologists call it, has the ability to create problems that do not exist through worrying about things that might never happen. Your goal is to gently and lovingly stop it. To do so, you can incorporate different healthy relaxation techniques.
Quick relaxation tips:
-Take a bath with Epsom salt to relax and detoxify the body. Try adding some essential oils to help soothe the mind as well.
-Choose a meditation that serves you at this moment. It can be silent or guided, or you may choose to do a walking meditation in a park or in nature.
-Do a short breathing exercise. One example is the 4-7-8 breath. To practice this type of breathing exercise, inhale with your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale with your mouth for 8 seconds. Just doing this for a few minutes will help you feel more calm and centered.
-Say no to things that drain your energy; things that are not your responsibility and are often done only out of guilt or obligation. Choose how you spend your time and energy wisely.
GET CLOSER TO NATURE
In Japan in the 1980s, scientists developed what they call Forest Therapy (also known as forest bathing). While for people who love nature this was not new, for the big city dwellers this was groundbreaking. This therapy is different from hiking, as the people participating do not have a particular destination in mind and are not in a hurry to get there. The idea behind this practice is to simply be inside nature, breathe it in, and once again feel that you are connected with the whole world. Many say that it helps see the world anew with all of its vibrant colors and amazing potential. If ever there was a perfect way to raise your vibration, this is it.
Tips for appreciating nature:
-Walk barefoot on the ground and lay on the grass.
-Find a tree that stands out to you and go next to it. Hug it or sit by its trunk and meditate.
-Unplug from all of your electronic devices for an hour or for a day.
START MOVING AND SHAKING
Your physical wellbeing is closely connected to your emotional state and is important to raise your vibration. Negative emotions and traumas can get physically stuck in parts of the body. This is why physical movement is so important; it can literally shake out the stuck energy that is not serving you. Getting physically moving also raises the endorphins, hormones responsible for many functions in the body. They also trigger positive emotions.
Quick tips to shake it up a bit:
-Go for a run or a brisk walk.
-Stretch or do yoga.
-Start dancing like no one is watching. Turn on the music that brings you joy and move in any way that feels right.**
East Coast Life Solutions offer a selection of Energy modalities such as Reiki, Aroma-Touch, Symphony of Cells and Chakra Balancing to raise your vibrations. Go to our website Offering page to priceswww.eastcoastlifesolutions.com
**Special Acknowledgement to Spiritual Health and Katalina Aster for this excellent article.
There are many reasons to get out and go to the market on the weekend. East Coast Life Solutions will be at the Alderney Market this coming Saturday, May 5th. See You There!
A favorite springtime adventure of mine is to tune up the bikes and ride with my wife to the local farmers market. We’re lucky to live in a neighborhood that hosts Friday evening open air markets where local farmers come to sell their goods. It’s a wonderful mixture of vegetables, fruits, cheeses, artisan breads, and local meats. Rounding out the blocked street with booths lining the sidewalk are everything from homemade candles, crêpe stands, and hot roasted coffee to other temporary shops selling handmade goods.
The first thing I notice is the colors. The greens are dark and shiny. The red peppers are vibrant and alive. The yellow squash naturally draws your eye while the cut beets radiate a luxurious purple. Vegetables are packed tightly into cardboard cartons and stacked on pitched boards showcasing the labor of the local farmers. It’s as much a visual sensation as it is flavor packed.
Most of our trips to the farmers market involve picking up items we can build a recipe around. We’ll find fresh arugula and come up with a clever summer salad. If the lamb looks good, we’ll grill chops that evening. And who doesn’t love making peach cobbler out of locally procured peaches and handmade granola?
For example, last summer we were on a mission, and the prize was homemade BLT sandwiches.
The BLT is a classic sandwich made with bacon, lettuce, and tomato on toasted bread with mayonnaise. The smoky saltiness of the bacon is complemented by the crisp lettuce and sweet tomato. Add creamy mayo to toasted brioche bread and you have one of my all-time favorite sandwiches.
We found romaine lettuce, Roma tomatoes, fresh sliced smoked fat back, and brioche bread that was still warm from that morning’s oven (we settled on store-bought mayo but it was still a good haul). Riding home, we built our sandwiches and couldn’t help but notice how much better these sandwiches were. Not only were they delicious, we knew exactly where our food came from. We met the farmers and butchers. We learned their story, and somehow this added to the experience.
Eat Like a Local
Farm-to-table is a social eating movement that encourages people to eat both regionally and seasonally. Sometimes called “farm to fork,” it largely refers to food made from locally sourced ingredients, often natural or organic. The farm-to-table movement came as a reaction to the processed foods and use of preservatives in the 1950s. Consumers didn’t like not knowing where their food came from. They didn’t know their greengrocer. Butchers were replaced by cooler bins filled with plastic-wrapped meats. The human connection to eating was reduced to running to a supermarket and grabbing boxes of processed grains, eating vegetables grown with pesticides, and buying meats that were raised on hormones.
While grocery shopping became easier and was filled with countless options, consumers were being pushed further away from the farmers as goods were being shipped from around the world. In response to this global trend, people reexamined both their relationship with food and the community in which they purchased it.
Fresh Food Tastes Better
Local food is often more nutritious. Because it’s not shipped long distances, locally grown foods can be healthier and tastier. A study from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture looked at 16 popular fruits and vegetables and discovered on average all of these foods traveled close to 1,500 miles before being sold. Unripe fruits and vegetables are much more resilient that ripe ones. To keep food from going bad during transit, fruits and veggies are picked before they are completely ripened and able to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients. This is why you’ll see green bananas at the store and you have to wait to eat them.
The longer vegetables can remain on the vine or tree, the longer they have to convert sun and minerals into the ground into the produce. And that extra time produces more nutrients that taste better. That’s why a bright red tomato off the vine tastes better than the greenish one from the store.
By buying closer to home, you’re eliminating the steps between you and your food. This helps eliminate exposure to pollutants and contamination. Food grown in distant locations has the potential for food safety issues at harvesting, washing, shipping, and distribution.
Local Means Less Gas
Farm-to-table might not save you from eating too many local beans, but it definitely means less trips to the gas station. Considering that the average distance for produce to travel is 1,500 miles, it costs a lot of money to ship food. The average 18-wheeler semi-truck travels about 5 miles per gallon of gas. That means it’ll take 500 gallons of diesel fuel to cover the distance. While energy standards are getting better for large trucks, that’s still a lot of gas to move your vegetables.
Shopping locally won’t save the world, but it will help cut back on carbon emissions.
It’s Good for the Neighborhood
Shopping farmers markets and local merchants is good for the economy. The money that is spent on local farmers and growers all stays close to home and is reinvested with businesses and services in your community. Cutting out the middleman means that local producers don’t have to pay shipping charges. Taxes collected in the community stay in the community.Buying locally can improve the economic vitality of small farms and encourage others to start their own businesses. Buying locally can improve the economic vitality of small farms and encourage others to start their own businesses.
Look at the Choices
It would be wonderful if strawberries grew year-round. Unless you live around the equator, you’re like the rest of us that wait until mid-summer to get our hands on local grown strawberries. But this isn’t a bad thing. Even areas with shorter growing seasons have interesting and exciting things to eat. This is why getting to know your local growers and producers can be exciting. Listen to them. See what they have to offer. And try the fruits and vegetables that are in season.
You wouldn’t go to Italy for the Kung Pao chicken, so why would you try to get produce out of season at the market? While this isn’t 100 percent practical for feeding your family, especially if you live in a large city or are under budgetary restrictions, a large component of farm-to-table is being conscious of your food choices.
Buy What You Need
An astonishing amount of food is wasted every year in the United States. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, an estimated 30–40 percent of all food supplies are thrown away each year.
This number corresponds to approximately 133 billion pounds, or $161 billion worth of food.
Food waste is the single largest component going into municipal landfills.
Green grass is beginning to show, tulips are starting to bloom, and the snow is melting. Springtime is finally here. Huzzah!
With the changing of the weather comes good ol’ fashion spring cleaning. If you’d like to mix it up this year, leave the dirty details of your house to a cleaning service, and spring clean your body instead.
Here are three easy ways you can get started on spring cleaning your body.
1: Pantry Purge
If you have a goal to eat healthier foods and snacks, let’s begin in the kitchen. For starters, how long has it been since you de-junked your pantry? Chances are you have graham crackers way past their expiration date (gross) and bags of potato chips and pretzels that make it too easy to graze on empty carbohydrates.
This might be a little difficult, but it’s important to get rid of the junk and replace it with healthier snacks and foods . We’ll get to the healthy replacement foods later.
If you’re worried about wasting food, you can donate any non-perishable items to your local food pantry or soup kitchen. You can also give perishable items away to your friends. As for the rest? It’s going in a big, black garbage bag.
Food for Thought: This doesn’t mean you can never enjoy your favorite treat. It just means that instead of stashing them in your home like a squirrel collecting nuts for the winter, you’ll have to head to the bakery to purchase that single, gooey, chocolate and caramel brownie you love.
Out with the Old
With your first sweep of the cupboards and pantry, get rid of all the stuff you know is horrible for your health. This will be the candy bars, sugary juices, chips, gummy bears, soda—it’s all gotta go.
It may feel like you’re rubbing sugar in your wounds, but it’s important to completely rid your house of poor food choices. Otherwise, you’ll continue to fall back on old, unhealthy eating habits. Because let’s be real—if there are Hostess cupcakes in the cupboard, you and I are both going to eventually cave and eat them.
Later, you’ll feel better about your decision to pantry purge. Especially when you experience the many health benefits that come from eating nutritious meals and snacks. (And how awesome your figure looks in the mirror!)
Next, check out the ingredient listing on the remaining products in your pantry. If you see sugar, salt, or unhealthy fats listed as one of the first ingredients, it’s a safe bet this isn’t a healthy food option. This should go in the trash.
Don’t forget to check your freezer too—just in case you’ve stocked up on frozen pizzas and ice cream.
In with the New
It’s time to go grocery shopping. Since you’ll be emptying your cupboards of junk food, you need to replace it with healthier alternatives. This is the time to think about what kinds of foods and flavors really tickle your taste buds.
For instance, you’re gonna hate life if you try replacing your Cool Ranch Doritos with celery sticks. But if you find something comparable and tasty, you’re more likely to enjoy and stick with it.
Eat This Instead
Here are just a few healthy snack options you can fill your pantry and fridge with:
Nuts—Almonds, pecans, walnuts, and natural peanut butter are all great sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats if eaten in moderation. A yummy trail mix is another nutty option. Stick with unsalted for less sodium.
Air-popped popcorn—It might not be movie-theater style popcorn that’s swimming in butter, but you can season it yourself. And it is a much healthier alternative to potato chips.
Hummus—A good quality hummus is rich in protein and fiber, and in my opinion, it seriously tastes amazing with carrots and bell peppers or other veggies. Guacamole and pesto are other savory dipping sauces that are on the healthier side.
Hard-boiled eggs—They’re super easy to prepare and provide you with a good source of proteins and fats. Plus, you can sprinkle a little sea salt for extra flavor.
Berries—Whether fresh or frozen, you can never go wrong with a handful of delicious raspberries, blueberries, or plump strawberries.
Greek yogurt—If you’re craving something sweet, try adding some berries or banana slices along with a drizzle of honey.
Did you know that the microbial cells in the gut outnumber human cells 10 to 1? Yeah, I didn’t know that either. Learn something new every day and all that jazz. To further illustrate this point, think of the microbiome as a tropical rainforest living in your gut. Just as there is a wide diversity of plant types in the rainforest (which all play a different role in the ecosystem), each microbe (bacteria) in your gut also plays an important role.
So basically, your microbiome is pretty vital when it comes to your gut health.
Eating Healthy Takes Guts
When we eat certain processed foods, the delicate microbe balance in the stomach can be disrupted and thrown out of whack. Obviously, you don’t want that. To help keep the right balance of microbes thriving in your gut, consider the following tips:
Cut back on sugars and starches—If you think you love sugar, it’s nothing compared to a bad bacteria’s sweet tooth. Sugar is their favorite food. To keep bad bacteria from building up in your gut, avoid consuming anything with refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup. And take care to reduce the amounts of starches you’re eating (think bagels and white bread, corn-based foods, potatoes, etc.).
Nosh on whole, unprocessed foods—The more healthy, whole foods you eat, the better. This would include fibrous fruits and veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
Chow down on fermented and living foods—Now I’m personally not a fan of sauerkraut or pickles, but foods like these and fermented dairy products like kefir and yogurt (made through natural fermentation with good bacteria) can actually help to increase the rainforest of friendly bacteria in your gut.
Supplement with a good probiotic—This can go a long way in keeping your gut on track by repopulating healthy bacteria. Try taking USANA® Probiotic This probiotic supplement helps bring balance to your belly and digestive tract with a blend of good bacteria—Bifidobacterium BB-12 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG.*
3: Move Yo’ Body
Part of spring cleaning your body includes getting regular exercise. Think about it—our bodies aren’t designed to sit around all day. (Why do you think your adorable toddler runs around all day and is a hurricane of energy?)
Yet far too often we slump down in our desks all day at work, and then go home to slump some more on the couch while we binge-watch Netflix.
Incorporating daily movement into your lifestyle can have major positive health benefits. Even 30 minutes of moderate movement can help rid your body of toxins through perspiration.
Easy Ways to Move More
If you work in an office setting at a desk all day, you can still get daily movement in:
Park further away in the parking lot so you have to walk a bit
Always take the stairs over the elevator (unless there’s like 20 floors, in which case I say screw it and take the elevator)
Use a standup desk so you’re not sitting on your butt all day
Take work breaks and go for a 10–15-minute walk outdoors, or even walk laps around the building in colder weather
As for exercising, you don’t have to join a gym or train for a marathon (especially if you’re like me and you hate running). There are tons of fun and easy ways you can get your daily movement in and also get your heart rate up.
Here arejust a few different enjoyable ways you can exercise:
Walking the dog
Playing Pokémon GO
HIIT workouts (high intensity interval training)
Mud Run 5K
Mowing the lawn
Rollerblading (does anyone else love watching the roller-bladers at the park?)
Whether it’s wearing a fitness tracker and getting 10,000 steps a day or taking a daily bike ride, find what works best for you and get movin’.
Spring Forward with Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning your body doesn’t have to be difficult. But by incorporating these simple tips into your daily routine, you can start off this spring season with a fresh pep in your step.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever struggled to live a healthy lifestyle. I know I sure have. And it can be super easy to feel down on yourself every time you skip the gym or choose drive-thru for dinner. Especially when you see all the moms on Instagram who post videos of their insane home workouts and healthy meals (while somehow still managing to raise their kiddos), or the pics of the shirtless guys by the pool with abs for days.
If we’re comparing ourselves to some perfect image of health, it’s no wonder living a healthy lifestyle can seem so daunting.
But maybe it doesn’t have to be so hard.
Here are three small ways you can get started living a healthy lifestyle today.
1: Drink Up
If you think about it, water is pretty darn important. About 71 percent of the earth’s surface is covered in water, and about 60 percent of the adult human body is made of water. So if you thought you were a meat suit running around, think again. You’re really more of a mermaid. YAS!
Here’s just a few of the benefits that come from drinking water:
Can help increase energy and relieve fatigue
Helps to flush out toxins
May improve your skin complexion
Aids in circulation and digestion
Helps maintain body temperature and absorption
Water You Waiting For?
Make it a habit to keep a water bottle on hand. Keep one at your desk, throw in one your gym bag, and even keep a glass on your kitchen table—wherever you need a visual reminder to drink up.
When was the last time you took a drink of water? (Take a swig now.)
2: Meal Prep
Unfortunately, it’s true what they say—beach bods are made in the kitchen. If your goal is to lose fat or build more muscle, eating healthy meals is a must. Fortunately, this is where meal prepping can be extremely helpful. Not only will this prevent the McDonald’s employees from knowing you on a first-name basis, but you’ll save on money and time as well. Think about it—buying food in bulk to prepare healthy meals will be much cheaper than grabbing fast food every night.
Meal prepping will also help you to stay on track with your healthy eating when you’re busy, because you’ll already be prepared with ready-made meals.
From Apples to Zucchinis
The premise for meal prep is simple. Start by setting aside one day a week for prepping, and decide how many meals you’d like to prepare.
For example, let’s say that every Sunday afternoon, you will prepare dinners to last Monday through Friday. To start, select a few healthy recipes beforehand to try out and be sure to have all your necessary ingredients on hand. From there, cook up enough food and chop enough fruits/veggies to last a week.
Rubbermaid offers a pretty good selection of cool containers that work great for separating your meals into convenient servings so they are good to go whenever you need them. Check out some other comparison brands for convenient storage ideas. You can even use something as simple as plastic baggies to store your veggies or snacks.
If you prefer an easier, healthy meal each day and you’re okay with something simple like chicken with a baked sweet potato or veggies, it can still taste anything but boring. You can cook up boneless, skinless chicken breasts beforehand, and then season them the day of. Monday could be a nice lemon pepper seasoning, Tuesday, drizzle your chicken in Buffalo sauce, make Wednesday’s chicken Cajun-style, and so on. You can also toss in a delicious and easy-to-make black bean, corn, and quinoa salad for an extra kick of flavor.
Git ’Er Done
Meal prepping is also great for multitasking. Listen to a podcast or audiobook while you cook, or get caught up on your favorite guilty-pleasure show. You can even start a load of laundry while you’re at it.
As an added perk, you’ll probably discover that you are actually cutting down on time spent in the kitchen. After preparing dinners for the week, you may find yourself throwing together the next day’s breakfast or lunch before cleaning up.
It’s a great way to get a lot done all at once.
3: Work Out a New Workout Program
Exercising is another way you can live a healthy lifestyle, and there are tons of great health benefits associated with regular exercise like weight loss and improved boosts in energy.
The great news is, there are so many interesting exercise options to choose from. So if you’re not a fan of running or lifting weights at the gym, don’t do it. Instead, pick something you really like.
Here’s a few fun options:
Dancing—Bollywood dancing, ballet, ballroom—the list goes on and on with dance options. You could even take a twerkout or Zumba dance class at a local gym, or play an hour of Just Dance on your Xbox Kinect or Dance Dance Revolution on the Wii.
Hiking—If you’re a nature lover, hiking totally counts as exercise. You could also go for long daily walks, try rock-climbing, or get into mountain biking.
Yoga—There are so many different kinds of yoga classes you could try. If you don’t mind the heat, go with hot yoga. If you’re an acrobat at heart, give acroyoga a try. There’s even a thing called goat yoga with baby goats and it looks delightful. Seriously, look it up.
The Sky’s the Limit—This is your chance to get really creative. Try hula-hooping, jump roping, unicycling, water aerobics, or even larping. (Stands for live action role-playing. Think of mock sword fighting in your favorite Zelda costume.)
The C’s—Try a home calisthenics program or CrossFit class at the gym. These kinds of workouts will really build your overall muscular strength and endurance. And okay, it doesn’t start with a “C,” but let’s add karate to the list for kicks.
DIY Workout—Invent your own mini workouts to do throughout the day. Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. Do calf raises when unloading the dishwasher. Get down and plank while waiting for your tea kettle to boil. Do tricep dips on your couch during TV commercials. Taking these little extra steps can definitely add up in a good way.
When All Is Said and Done
When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, there isn’t a magical cure-all. But by taking little steps such as these every day, you really can improve your overall health, and by doing so, improve the quality of your life.
How do you live a healthy lifestyle? Comment below with your favorite examples.
The holiday season is here and with it comes time spent with family and friends eating delicious food. Mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey, pie, cookies, and cocktails are staples at every celebration and party. Indulging in these seasonal treats is fun, but this time of merriment can quickly add up on the bathroom scale.
Your physical fitness doesn’t need to suffer this year, though. There are several reliable ways to avoid packing on extra pounds this holiday season. And none of them require depriving yourself of the splendid holiday treats you enjoy so much.
Dishing up proper serving sizes at a holiday meal makes overeating harder to do. Choosing a half-cup of stuffing—instead of half-a-plate—allows you to enjoy the taste of comfort food while leaving room for more nutritious dishes. And when in doubt, choose vegetables, fruits, and protein over starchy, refined grains, and sugar.
Aim for Quality
Next time you’re in line at the dinner buffet, pick up nutrient-dense foods first. At holiday parties, these take the shape of green salads, roasted vegetables, and turkey. Choosing vegetables and protein first will fill your stomach with quality food and leave less room for tempting filler foods (potatoes, stuffing, dinner rolls, etc.).
Another great way to balance your holiday meal is by adding whole fruit to your plate. Apples, oranges, and pomegranates are in season this time of year. These fruits are full of fiber and vitamins that support healthy digestion and immunity. And they’re naturally sweet and delicious.
Watch Out for High Calorie Filler Foods
Starchy foods—like potatoes and dinner rolls—sugary cocktails, and cookies let you eat a lot and not feel full. That’s because these foods are low in fiber and high in sugar. Your body digests them quickly and the resulting blood sugar highs and lows make it difficult to listen to what your body needs.
Conversely, high fiber side dishes with lots of fruits and vegetables sustain you longer and make your more aware of when your stomach is actually full. There are easy ways to substitute nutrient poor dishes for more wholesome options. Whole-grain dinner rolls and sweet potatoes are healthier alternatives to mashed potatoes and white bread. A conservative glass of red wine has valuable antioxidants not found in other beverages. Fruit salad instead of cookies provides the sweetness you and your guests crave without the calories.
Eat Well Throughout the Day
One of the easiest ways to sabotage your diet is to skip meals in anticipation of eating large ones later. So don’t fast all day in preparation for a special family dinner. Instead, eat a balanced breakfast and choose a lunch that will keep you full and sustained until the evening.
Fiber-rich foods and snacks with fruits, veggies, and protein increase satiety and help keep cravings at bay. Fruits and vegetables provide the fiber to fill your stomach. Protein slows digestion and helps keep you full for longer.
Build your pre-party meal with these facts in mind. A salad for lunch (size: approximately three cups) can help reduce the calorie intake at your next meal by nearly 12 percent. Fueling your body well before a holiday get-together will help you make better eating choices and quiet the urge to overeat.
Make It Yourself
Worried about what you should eat at a party? Provide a calorie conscious dish at the next potluck. Preparing refreshments yourself allows you to control sugar and fat content. And it ensures there will be something available for you to eat. Odds are you won’t be the only party-goer looking for a healthier option.
Another way to promote healthy holiday eating is hosting a party of your own. Serving nutritious snacks and beverages and enjoying the company of friends and family will sustain the holiday spirit and provide a healthy evening.
Good conversation with loved ones is calorie-free and a terrific way to spread holiday cheer. Focus on the people at the party, rather than the food. If you need extra motivation to stick to healthy-eating goals, aim to talk to three different people before partaking in the holiday spread. Meet two new people before going back for seconds.
Reward Good Behavior
Making healthy choices this holiday season doesn’t require self-deprivation. You’ll feel confident after a day of proper portions and nutritious meals. Reward yourself with a slice of pie or cake. These treats shouldn’t come after every meal, but they’re well deserved after you have provided your body with proper nutrition.
Withholding tempting foods can backfire and lead to binges that will set you back on your journey to holiday health. So treat yourself appropriately and remember to eat all things in moderation.
Plan activities together that take advantage of the season. A long walk after dinner can help aid in digestion. Snowshoeing, skiing, playing football, and charity races are excellent ways to spend time together and burn those holiday calories. Maintaining your physical fitness this holiday season doesn’t have to be a solo effort. This year, you and your loved ones can grow closer and stronger by making physical activity a fun way to spend time together.
Don’t Wait for January to Make a Change
For most people, the holidays are followed by the reckoning—a month of diets, commitments, and resolutions. But if you want to make a change in your health, now is the best time. With the tips you just read, you can enjoy your holiday season and get a jump on your 2018 goals.
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Crunchy leaves, costume shopping and apple picking. Who doesn’t love fall and all the festivities that accompany it? One trend seems to have grown more popular year after year: the pumpkin spice latte (PSL for all you trendy readers). We’ve already warned you about the pumpkin problem here.
Let’s put it in perspective: a pumpkin spice latte contains more sugar than one can of Mountain Dew. But don’t fear, my PSL lovers — there is still a way to enjoy all the pleasures of this coveted seasonal beverage without the added sugar. However, before we jump into the healthy PSL, I wanted to share some secrets I learned about the health benefits of pumpkin. This seasonal beauty packs a healthy punch.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
Catching zzs — Pumpkin seeds contain an essential amino acid — tryptophan — which the body converts into melatonin. Pumpkin seed powder has been called the new glass of warm milk.
Helps maintain healthy weight — One cup of cooked pumpkin is only 49 calories. Add pumpkin to your diet to help with cravings. Pumpkin contains fiber, which also helps you feel more full.
Forget carrots — Pumpkins are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, substances that support eye health.
The list of health benefits from pumpkins goes on and on. Learn more about this fall super food here.
Now that we know pumpkin without the spiced latte is a vitamin-rich power punch, let’s delve into a recipe that will curb your craving and also provide a healthy breakfast option to change up your morning routine.
Recipe: Pumpkin Spiced Latte Smoothie
½ c. fresh pumpkin puree
1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
1 ½ Nutrimeal Free + 1 ½ French Vanilla Nutrimeal scoop
4 ice cubes
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ginger
½ tsp. instant coffee
Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy.
Pour into your favorite smoothie mason jar and ENJOY.
Forget about Pumpkin Spice Lattes–try this doTERRA On Guard® Pumpkin Smoothie. Fall in love with the flavors of fall with this delicious treat infused with doTERRA On Guard Protective Blend.
On Guard Pumpkin Smoothie
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:1 minute
1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
2 frozen bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie seasoning
2-3 drops doTERRA On Guard Protective Blend
1 cup ice
Combine all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth.
For a garnish, add some whipped cream and pumpkin pie seasoning.
Almond Milk: This type of milk is cholesterol free which can help enable a healthy heart. Almond milk can also aid in maintaining and lowering blood pressure.
Pumpkin:This vegetable is a great source of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene can help decrease the development of particular cancers, such as prostate cancer, and can help reduce risks of getting heart disease and asthma.
Bananas: Potassium is a significant nutrient found in bananas. Consuming a good amount of potassium and lowering intake of sodium are great choices to help reduce risks of cardiovascular disease and heart disease. Bananas are also a great food choice when fighting off viruses because they are easily digested and can get you nutrients without making your stomach upset.
Lemon Oil Product Description
As one of doTERRA’s top selling oils, Lemon oil has a variety of uses and benefits. With a clean, fresh, citrus aroma, Lemon is known for its purifying properties. Often used in cleaning products and air purifiers, Lemon has distinct cleansing and deodorizing characteristics that make it a popular choice for cleaning surfaces and purifying the air. As a versatile oil, Lemon also has the ability to aid in digestion and support healthy respiratory function when taken internally.* Whether it is being diffused, taken internally, or applied topically, Lemon essential oil offers a variety of benefits.
Lemon Oil Uses and Benefits
Looking for new ways to use Lemon oil? Here are a few topical, aromatic, and internal uses for Lemon oil, along with the top Lemon oil benefits to help you get started:
Add Lemon oil to your water for a refreshing taste or as an alternative to sodas and sugary drinks. When taken internally, Lemon oil can also naturally cleanse the body and aid in digestion.* You can even add a drop of Lemon oil and sliced fruit to your water for a delicious infused flavor.
Whether you like working on your bike, your car, or projects in the garage, you know the frustration of trying to get black grease off your hands. No matter how hard you scrub with soap, there always seems to be a greasy residue left behind. Give your soap a little extra cleaning power by adding a few drops of Lemon oil to your soap mixture, and give your hands a good scrub.
Have you ever tried using Lemon oil for skin? It turns out, Lemon oil can help exfoliate your skin. When incorporated into your skincare routine, Lemon oil can help give your complexion a refreshed, healthy looking glow. To make your own homemade exfoliant scrub, combine 4–5 drops of doTERRA Lemon essential oil to a small amount of oatmeal and water. As you apply the Lemon oatmeal scrub to your skin, you will feel the cleansing and refreshing properties of Lemon oil working to exfoliate and clean your skin.
When diffused, Lemon oil provides an uplifting environment and promotes a positive mood. Due to the chemical makeup of this oil, it has been shown to help improve mood with an energizing and invigorating aroma. If you want to diffuse Lemon oil, use three to four drops in the essential oil diffuser of your choice.
Diffusing Lemon oil will also help cleanse and purify the air and surfaces in your home. Whether you are trying to eliminate airborne odors, or just like to keep your house smelling fresh, bright, and clean, Lemon is an optimal choice for diffusing—on its own or in a diffuser blend. Looking for a good Lemon oil diffuser blend? Add 2 drops of Lemon, 1 drop of Lime, 1 drop of Lavender, and 1 drop of Rosemary to your diffuser for a “Clean Summer Kitchen” aroma.
The cleansing and preserving qualities of Lemon make it the perfect oil for maintaining your furniture. Whether your furniture could use a good wipe-down, a new shine, or a just a little TLC, there are several uses for Lemon essential oil when it comes to cleaning and preserving furniture. By adding a few drops of Lemon oil to olive oil, you can create your own non-toxic furniture polish at home. When applied to furniture, Lemon oil leaves a clean shine, prevents fine wood finishes from drying out, and can replace lost moisture in antique woods as it penetrates worn finishes. When trying this polish on your own homemade furniture, always apply the polish in an inconspicuous spot before applying it to the entire piece. Take a look at our Wood Polish DIY to learn how to make your own.
While Lemon can work wonders with wood furniture, it is also useful for maintaining leather furniture. It takes a lot of work and special care to preserve a leather couch or leather chair, but Lemon essential oil takes a lot of the work out of it for you with its preservative properties. Use a Lemon oil soaked cloth to wipe down your leather furniture to help preserve the piece, and prevent leather from splitting.
Are you a fan of lemon-infused desserts? You can add a sweet and zesty punch to your favorite treats and dessert recipes when you add a little Lemon essential oil. When used properly, Lemon oil often adds a sweet, sugary taste to desserts, without the processed sugar or other alternative ingredients. For example, Lemon essential oil makes these Blueberry Lemon Muffinsa delectable treat. The bold, bright flavor of Lemon oil makes these Honey Suckers the perfect homemade treat. You can cool off in the heat with this delicious and refreshing Strawberry Citrus Slush with Lemon essential oil. Your favorite lemon-flavored treats are just waiting to be transformed—try your hand at baking with Lemon oil today!
Lemon oil is a great remedy for the early stages of tarnish on silver and other metals. No need to throw out jewelry, silverware, or other household items that have started to tarnish—just put a couple drops of Lemon oil on a cotton ball, and rub on the tarnish to bring back the natural beauty of your metals.
A major benefit of Lemon essential oil is its purifying properties, which makes it the perfect component for homemade cleaning agents. If you are worried about dirt and grime, Lemon essential oil is the perfect solution for cleaning the surfaces of your bathroom and kitchen.
Add Lemon oil to a spray bottle of water and use it as a homemade cleaning solution when you wipe down your countertops, baby high chair, bathroom sink, or anything else that needs the purifying power of Lemon. To make the solution even stronger, consider adding a little vinegar. The beauty of a homemade cleaning solution made with Lemon essential oil is that it doesn’t include all the chemicals that store-bought cleaners have. You can rest easy knowing that your cleaning agent won’t pose a threat to you and your family, because it is chemical-free! Want more Lemon oil cleaning ideas? Try this easy and effective glass cleanser.
While Lemon oil holds many cleansing and purifying properties when used topically, it can also be very beneficial when taken internally. When seasonal changes start to bother you, try taking Lemon internally to assist with seasonal respiratory discomfort.* Aside from assisting with respiratory discomfort, Lemon oil can also be taken internally to naturally cleanse the body and aid in digestion.* When taking Lemon essential oil internally, dilute one drop on 4 fl. oz. of liquid. As mentioned above, you can also find creative ways to add Lemon to your water. Once you’ve discovered your preferred method for taking Lemon oil internally, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of respiratory assistance and body cleansing.*
Stubborn, sticky residue used to be an annoyance, but with the help of Lemon essential oil, you can get rid of goopy messes without hours of scrubbing or the use of toxic chemicals. Did you peel the price tag off of your new water bottle, only to find a sticky residue left behind? Does your toddler’s fascination with stickers frequently result in an adhesive mess on the bedroom wall? Did your teenager leave behind a big sticky mess after making a PB&J sandwich five hours ago? Normally, these situations would mean a long night of scrubbing for you, with remnants of a sticky mess still left behind. However, adding a little Lemon oil to a rag will help you get rid of these messes (and others like them) in practically no time at all.
Want some ideas for Lemon essential oil recipes? Here are a few of our favorites:
Watch this video to learn more about the benefits and uses of Lemon essential oil:
Lemon essential oil is extracted from the lemon rinds, or peel of the lemon. The lemon rinds are cold pressed to produce lemon essential oil. An expression distillation process, cold pressing is typically used for citrus oils when producing essential oils, and uses high mechanical pressure to produce oil from the lemon rind. While other distillation processes use heat, the process of cold pressing merely squeezes the oil from the rind, with the help of mechanical pressure.
Fun Fact: In one year, a single lemon tree has the potential to produce between 500 and 600 pounds of lemons. It typically takes around 45 lemons to fill a 15mL essential oil bottle.
Chemistry of Lemon Oil
Main Chemical components: Limonene, ß pinenes, γ-terpimene
When we examine the scientific makeup of Lemon essential oil, it is clear that Lemon can’t help but provide an energizing, uplifting feeling when diffused or applied topically—it just comes naturally! Lemon oil is comprised of chemicals called monoterpenes, which are generally known to have uplifting characteristics. Along with other citrus oils, Lemon is composed of Limonene and beta-Pinene, two monoterpenes that are known for their uplifting properties.
Lemon oil shares chemical components like Limonene and beta-Pinene with other doTERRA essential oils like Bergamot, Wild Orange, Grapefruit, Lime, and Douglas Fir. That is why all of these oils, including Lemon oil, are often used to promote a positive mood and create an uplifting environment.
doTERRA sources Lemon essential oil from citrus orchards in Sicily, Italy, where families who have grown lemon and bergamot for generations help grow and harvest the lemons that are eventually used for doTERRA Lemon oil. In the past, economic downturn caused many Sicilian orchards to close; however, through Co-Impact Sourcing®, doTERRA has provided a business opportunity for growers who wish to continue their family tradition of running an orchard. Watch this video to learn more about doTERRA’s Co-Impact sourcing initiative in Sicily.
Oils that blend well with Lemon oil
Not only is Lemon a versatile oil when it comes to uses and benefits, but it also blends well with a variety of other essential oils. If you want to bring out the bright, energizing scent of Lemon oil, consider blending it with other citrus oils like Grapefruit, Lime or Bergamot. The refreshing scent of Lemon also blends well with minty essential oils that contain a citrus note, like Douglas Fir or Wintergreen. Lastly, Lemon oil can be the perfect complement to spicy oils like Cinnamon or Wild Orange.
Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas. Avoid sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after applying product.
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I think it’s safe to say, most everyone knows how crucial protein is in your diet. In the body, proteins break down amino acids that promote cell growth and repair. An added benefit: they take longer to digest than carbs, which means you feel fuller for longer and on fewer calories. Whether you are a body builder or keep up a casual exercise regimen, no one can deny the power of protein.
So, how much protein do you need? It’s suggested that men eat between 1 and 1.5 grams and women eat between 0.5 and 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. Depending on the intensity of your exercise and training, you may need to eat closer to 2 grams.
I also think it’s safe to say that if asked, most of us would be pretty quick to say that most animal products (meat, eggs, dairy) are great sources of protein. But what if you don’t eat any animal products? Do you have to give up on your high-protein dreams? Absolutely not.
Thankfully, there are several high-protein options for those who choose a plant-based diet.
Foods in the legume family (green peas, lentils) are a great source of vegetarian protein. One cup contains 7.9 grams—about the same as a cup of milk. If you don’t like these foods as a side dish, try blending them into a pesto. a pesto or hummus.
Quinoa is my favorite grain and not just because I love the nutty taste! It contains 8 grams per cup as well as ALL NINE essential amino acids the body needs for growth and repair. You can eat it on its own or add it to soup. I sometimes swap out my morning oatmeal for quinoa—delicious!
Nuts and Nut Butter
All nuts contain healthy fats and protein, making them the perfect addition to a plant-based diet. It’s always best to choose varieties that are raw or dry roasted. If you’re selecting a nut butter, make sure to check the label to see if it has added ingredients. Manufacturers love to sneak in added sugars. Choose a brand with only salt or no additives.
With so many different varieties, it’s easy to find one you’ll love. While they all taste different, they have one thing in common: lots of protein. Two cups of beans contain about 26 grams! The best part? You don’t have to make them from scratch to reap the benefits. Simply rinse and heat canned beans and you’ve got yourself a high-protein dish!
You probably recognize the name from the famed Chia Pets, and yes, it’s the same plant! These seeds are delicious and contain 4.7 grams per two tablespoons. I love adding them to green smoothies, oatmeal, or even making chia seed pudding.
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
I’m not going to argue with getting protein from chocolate! Unsweetened cocoa powder contains about 1 gram of protein per tablespoon and is the perfect thing to add to your protein shake or smoothie. Try it out with banana, peanut butter, and your favorite protein powder.