Unplug And Unwind For A Healthy Lifestyle…

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to take a camping trip near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) to unplug and unwind and enjoy some beautiful, pristine country with my family. With our pop-up camper in tow, vehicle stuffed with camping gear and the dogs, we left to meet our daughter and her family for a long weekend of fun and relaxation.

It had been years, since I was up this way and I somehow forgot how breath-taking and peaceful this area in Northern Minnesota really is. If you’ve never visited and enjoy the great outdoors, I would highly recommend it. It is a great place to get back to nature, unplug from technology and the media, get away from the busyness of daily life and feed your spirit to create balance.

Speaking of unplugging from technology and the media, did you know that “we are exposed to more stimuli in one week than our ancient ancestors were exposed to in their entire lifetime?”¹ That’s a little scary. Many people today have a hard time breaking away from all of the news and media, which is unfortunate and unhealthy. In fact, “one of the most powerful things you can do as a human being in our hyper-connected, 24/7 media world is say: ‘I don’t know, or I don’t care in regards to what’s happening all over the world all of the time.'”² If you missed a little more news you would probably feel less anxious, sleep better and over-all feel a whole lot better.

That was one good thing about this camping trip, we were all forced to unplug and be more present with each other, which is something we all can work on.  In this area, even if you bring your cell phone, you can’t really use it a whole lot. It is hard to get service, so forget about catching up on the latest social media posts. I brought my cell phone along on the hiking trails and down by the lake, but only to capture some of the gorgeous scenery.

We all need time away from technology to unplug and unwind and reconnect with ourselves to rejuvenate our mind and body. In my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about self care and how renewing your energy is a necessity. We all need time to get away from our daily routines and work life. Even if you can’t get away from work, or don’t have the time built-up for a vacation, there are plenty of other ways you can unplug and unwind in your daily life. After a long day at work, why not get outside and enjoy a nice, long walk? You can also take in a yoga class or get a massage to relax your mind and body. If you live by a lake, why not go for a boat ride, take out your paddle board, go for a bike ride around it, or just sit quietly and take in the calming affects of the water? There are many options. The important thing is to get away and out of your regular routine. Oh—and make sure you leave your cell phone behind, or at least turn it on silent!

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Daily Stoic. http://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes/notes/all/The Daily Stoic, pg 4

²¹Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Daily Stoic. http://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes/notes/all/The Daily Stoic, pg 3

Invest In Some Affordable Health Care…

Affordable health care is something we all want. While many people are counting on the government to help out, it’s not going to happen overnight. It takes time, money, research and a lot of planning to find something that really works and is affordable to many.

In the meantime, why not take matters in your own hands and invest in yourself? We all have choices, when it comes to health and well-being and eating more whole foods is one way to help you stay healthy.

Did you know that over 65% of Americans are over weight and almost half the population has a chronic disease?¹

That is alarming and something we should all be concerned about! People often look for a quick-fix to a growing waistline, or medical problem. The truth is there is no quick-fix. Most people don’t gain a bunch of weight over night, so why would you expect to lose it so dramatically? Weight gain is typically the result of over consumption and eating a poor diet, which often includes eating a lot of processed and fast foods over a period of time. Many processed foods contain added sugar, hydrogenated oils and other preservatives and chemicals that can pack on the pounds. If you continually feed your body these types of foods, health issues can also arise over time.

In my new book, Wholey Cow a Simple Guide To Eating And Living,” which is available on Amazon, I talk a little about this and how a life-style change incorporating better eating habits and staying active is a better solution to dieting. Why not be proactive and choose more foods that provide the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and meat? While you don’t have to eliminate processed foods altogether, you can look for ones that are better for you and have fewer ingredients. You can also try and incorporate some sort of exercise into daily routine. You don’t need to necessarily visit the gym, but it is important to find some sort of activity you enjoy.

I am passionate about helping people take control of how they eat and what they eat. That is why I am happy to say that my book is now available on Kindle for only $2.99! I wanted to offer a promotion to make it affordable for many of you.

Wholey Cow!

I hope you invest in yourself. Here’s the link to Amazon if you want to check it out!

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹“Overweight and Obesity Statistics.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2017.

8 Ways To Overhaul Your Diet

With the New Year upon us, many people are ready to make a change to their diet. If you have been frustrated with your weight or have health problems, you might be eating the wrong foods. Many people eat too many processed foods and sugary snacks, which can cause weight gain and make you sick. People often look for a quick fix for a growing waste line or a medical problem. What is really needed is a life-style change incorporating healthy eating habits.

Following are 8 Ways to Overhaul Your Diet:

  1. Eat Breakfast

    Breakfast is thought to be the most important meal of the day, according to many nutrition experts. After a long night’s sleep, eating breakfast gets the body going and gives you energy for the day ahead.  It is ironic that breakfast is the most skipped meal. Both children and adults are guilty of missing this important meal. Many of you feel rushed in the morning and don’t necessarily give yourself  the time to grab something to eat before you head out the door. Do yourself a favor and take a little time to eat something healthy. Breakfast doesn’t have to be hard, or complicated. Try mixing a few healthful ingredients together to make a smoothie. Maybe try a banana, handful of spinach and some protein powder. Use whatever fruit and vegetables you like. The are many possibilities. If you are in a rush, grab a banana and yogurt. If you have a little time, make yourself some eggs. Try adding in some healthy vegetables and maybe some left over chicken or ham. Again—you have many options. The point is to eat something healthy preferably with protein and vegetables.
  2. Pre-plan Your Meals

    When it comes to cooking, it is important to pre-plan your meals. Make a list of some meals you would like to make. If you want to try something new, find some recipes you would like to try. You can use one of your favorite cookbooks, or search Pinterest. Make a grocery list of any ingredients you will need for the recipes you choose as well as any other items you may need. Once you have your groceries, you can prepare some items ahead to make things easier. Chop vegetables in advance for salads, snacking, stir-fries, etc. If you are making a dish with chicken, you can cook a few extra chicken breasts to have on hand for salads, or another meal such as chicken fajitas. Pre-planning saves time, gives you a set plan for meals and allows you to eat healthier. By planning ahead, you will be less likely to visit that local restaurant for a greasy burger and fries.
  3. Replace Bad Oils With Good Oils

    Calories are often hidden in unhealthy oils such as corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil and others. Try replacing these unhealthy oils with olive oil or coconut oil. These oils are anti-inflammatory and contain healthy antioxidants. Update your pantry with these healthy oils.
  4. Replace Crackers & Chips With Nuts & Seeds

    Processed foods, including crackers and chips, are often loaded with chemicals and preservatives. Although they may taste good, many have addicting properties that keep you eating and wanting more. Try replacing some of these snack foods with nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds contain good fats your body craves. They also contain protein and fiber, as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals your body needs. If you are looking for something crunchy to eat, snack on almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pecans and sunflower seeds. Nuts and seeds fill you up and give you extended energy. Enjoy 1 to 2 handfuls.
  5. Watch Out For Condiments

    While many people love condiments, many are loaded with sugar and chemicals. Ketchup and mustard seem to go hand in hand with a burger and fries, but when is the last time you looked at the ingredient list? Many people slather on the ketchup, not knowing they are consuming a large dose of sugar. Ketchup is loaded with high fructose corn syrup, which essentially is sugar and is horrible for your body. Other condiments including sauces and dressings are also loaded with sugars and preservatives. Manufacturers often mask sugar in the ingredient list by  using other names such as high fructose corn syrup, maltose, molasses, dextrin, fructose, dextrose, dextran, barley malt, evaporated can juice, rice syrup, sucrose and the list goes on. When choosing condiments, be selective and use sparingly.
  6. Make Your Own Dressings

    As I mentioned, many dressings contain sugar and other chemicals. If you like eating salad, you might want to consider making your own dressing. Many people like vinegar and oil, but there are many other options. You can make a healthy dressing using olive oil, lemon and your favorite herbs. Check out Pinterest for some healthy dressing choices. If you are eating out, ask for your salad dressing on the side. That way you can add the amount of dressing to your salad you like. Some restaurants have healthier dressing selections. Ask in advance what your options are.
  7. Look For 5 Ingredients or Less When Buying  Processed Foods—

    Consumers are often swayed into buying processed foods products because they are convenient, tasty and easy to prepare. Many processed foods however, are loaded with sugar and fat and contain a variety of chemicals and preservatives. Most processed foods also have a long ingredient list. If you are looking to overhaul your diet, look for products that have 5 ingredients or less. For example, you would be better off choosing a bag of Tostito’s over a bag of Dorito’s. Tostito’s contain 3 ingredients, whereas a bag of Dorito’s has a long list and many of the ingredients are long and hard to pronounce. Who know’s what they really are? A better idea is choose more whole foods. Many whole foods come with out an ingredient list, as they are made by Mother Nature. Fill your refrigerator and pantry with vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, meat and good oils.
  8. Eat More Good Fat

    Although low-fat foods are popular, they aren’t all healthy. Fat plays a big part in how a food tastes. Low fat foods often have added sugar or other chemicals added to them to make them taste better. Opt instead for healthy fats found in assortment of whole foods. Add avocados, nuts, seeds, olives, coconut oil, olive oil, dark chocolate and a variety of fish to your diet for a healthy dose of fat.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

6 Ways To Add Coconut Oil To Your Diet

Coconut oil is a great option when it comes to adding more good fat into your diet. Coconut oil not only tastes good, but is good for you.  It contains monounsaturated fatty acids, (MUFAS), which help with heart health and protect your body from many chronic and debilitating diseases.  Coconut oil has plenty of other healthy properties, as well. It helps boost your immune system, helps speed up your metabolism, helps reduce inflammation, helps prevent wrinkles, aides in digestion and more.

Add More Coconut Oil To Your Diet

Many of you may be familiar with coconut oil, but may not be sure how to add it into your diet. Following are a few options for you to try:

  1. Cooking With Coconut Oil
    You can use coconut when cook. Many people use vegetable oil, corn oil, canola oil and other types of oil when cooking. You can easily replace these, especially the unhealthy ones with coconut oil. Choose a good quality, expeller, pressed coconut oil. You can use coconut oil in stir frys, cooking vegetables, browning meat, cooking eggs, etc.
  2. Baking With Coconut Oil
    You can use coconut oil when you bake. Many recipes call for butter, margerine, or some type of oil. You can easily replace them with coconut oil in the same measurement. Use coconut oil for muffins, breads, bars and more.
  3. Add Coconut Oil To Your Smoothies
    Give your smoothie a boost with some coconut oil. Smoothies can be fun to make and can be good for you when you use healthy ingredients. You can add vegetables, greens, fruit, nuts and seeds to your smoothies. You can also experiment with adding coconut oil, which is a super food. Adding coconut oil to your smoothie provides a healthy dose of fat, that is good for the body and joints. Try adding 1 tablespoon to your mix.  You can also add other super foods to your smoothies including maca powder, cacao nibs and chia seeds.
  4. Add Coconut Oil To Your Coffee or Tea
    If you drink coffee, or tea, why not add a little coconut oil for a quick pick me up? Coconut oil melts fast, yet provides slow, sustained energy for your body. Why not start your day out in a good way? Add 1 tablespoon to your hot drink. Most people don’t notice the taste.
  5. Add Coconut Oil To Your Yogurt
    If you eat yogurt, you may already be adding healthful ingredients such as fruit, nuts and seeds. Why not add coconut oil? Just add a teaspoon and stir it in your mix. You will be adding both healthful nutrients and good fat into your morning meal, or afternoon snack.
  6. Add Coconut Oil To Bone Broth Or Soup
    Bone broth and soup are staples in many diets and cultures around the world. That’s because they are rich in nutrients including calcium, magnesium and more. Soup is known to help promote well-being and boost healing in your body. Why not add a little coconut oil and make your soup or broth even healthier? Most soup contains some fat from added meat. By adding coconut oil to your recipe you will also be consuming more healthy fat.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Why Put Off Tomorrow What You Can Do Today?

We’ve all heard the saying, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today,” but how many of you really live by it? My guess is that while we all may have good intentions, we are all prone to procrastination at times— some more than others. Why, you may ask, is that? We are all complex human beings. Often times, our daily activities can seem overwhelming and get in the way of what we truly would like to accomplish. When this happens, our feelings often take over and can stop us from doing what we truly desire. So how can get around this? The answer is actually pretty simple…take one step at a time.

walking-with-one-foot-in-front-of-another

In fact, Brian Tracy, Professional Speaker, Best Selling Author, & Entrepreneur explains the concept with a metaphor. He asks, “‘How do you eat an elelphant?’ The answer is, ‘one bite at a time.’ This can be applied to any goal. You accomplish it one step, one task, one measure at a time. He also talks about eating your frog, which is about tackling your most important, daunting tasks, and getting them done. Brian’s main point is that you eat your most ugliest frog first, the next ugliest, and so on, until all your frogs are done. When you ‘eat your frog,’ you feel empowered, happier, energized and are more productive.”¹

frog

Robert Emmons, in his book, Thanks, tells us “to go through the motions and do it now, and the feeling will come.” ² Have you ever felt overwhelmed by doing a task, but went ahead with it anyway and then felt a sense of relief after, even if you didn’t complete it? Brian Tracy explains this as “‘Slice and Dice.’ You can cut a big task down to size with the ‘Salami slice’ method. Basically you lay out the task in detail and resolve to just one slice of the job for the time being.”³

slicing-pepper

What have you been putting off that you want to do?  Perhaps you want to clean up your garage, so you can park your car inside during the winter months? So take that first step. Fold up that ladder. Get some boxes to organize your garden tools or other stuff. Hang up your bike and keep going until your space is uncluttered.

If you want to start eating better, again take that first step. Go to the grocery store and try shopping the perimeter of the store only. There you will find most things that you need to incorporate a healthier diet including fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. Shopping this way will help you avoid processed foods, which are often loaded with artificial ingredients, additives and sugar. When you get home, go to your pantry and get rid of any processed foods that you know are unhealthy and want to avoid.

produce

If you want to add more exercise to  your day, vow to take a walk after work. Change into those sweats and tennis shows and get yourself out the door. If you like going to a gym, pack your gym bag ahead and take it with you to work. That way you will be prepared and less likely to make an excuse for not going.

healthy-light-woman-legs

So what are you waiting for? Make sure you take that first action step and keep going.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹Tracy, Brian. Eat That Frog. A book Summary. http://www.super-super.com/hpe152/page11/page16/page17/files/frog2P.pdf

Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—Thanks. http://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes/notes/all/Thanks, pg. 5

²Tracy, Brian. Slice and Dice The Task. http://www.briantracy.com/blog/leadership-success/slice-and-dice-the-task/

Break Your Routine And Incorporate A Real Change…

It is hard to believe that fall is upon us.

fall-autumn-red-season-medium

I hope you enjoyed the summer, while it was here. I know I did. I do like the fall season however, and always enjoy the beautiful fall colors and the cooler, brisk mornings. While fall typically signifies change, many of us like routine and may have a hard time adapting to new things. While routine can be good because it makes us feel safe and comfortable, it can also, at times, makes us feel stuck.

In fact, in the article, “Creating The Greatest Ideal of Yourself, author, Dr. Joe Dispenza, says, “if you repeatedly think and act in identical ways on a daily basis, your brain will become molded into a specific hardwired pattern that will support the same level of mind. It’s ironic. Most people routinely think the same thoughts, perform the same actions, and secretly expect something different to show up in their lives. If however, you were to sincerely think about a greater ideal of yourself before you started your day, you would begin to make your brain fire in new sequences, patterns, and combinations.”¹ That is why he recommends doing something that breaks your routine. It can be as simple as taking a different route on your routine, morning walk. You might just see something different that sparks a new idea. You could also take a different route to work, to the gym, or the grocery store. Maybe you could try a new food item, such as a different vegetable, or prepare it in a new way. The possibilities are endless, but the point is to change it up and stimulate your brain!

vegetables-vegetable-basket-harvest-garden-medium

Speaking of changing it up, fall is a great time to try out some new recipes. Many people are inside more and may have more time to experiment with some new foods. Why not pull out one of your cookbooks and dust it off?

cookbook

You might just find a new recipe you love. You can also search Pinterest, or another food site. There are literally thousands of recipes to choose from. Find something that appeals to you and incorporates a healthy dose of vegetables, or some other fall favorite.

You can also invite over some family, or friends to share your dish. Who knows? It just might inspire you to keep going and keep experimenting with healthy food and that is a good thing!

Source:

¹ Dispenza, Dr. Joe. Creating The Greatest Ideal of Yourself. Dr Joe Dispenza website.
http://www.drjoedispenza.com/index.php?page_id=creating_greatest_ideal

Thanks for reading!

Barb

P.S. Make sure you follow my blog for some new recipe ideas.