Nutrition: Vegetables For Vitality—Spotlight On Celery

In this blog, I wanted to spotlight the vegetable, celery, as it has important nutritional value.

Celery stalks
Celery stalks

Celery is one of those vegetables that doesn’t have a real distinct flavor, but packs a real punch when it comes to nutrition. Like beets and kale, celery has a variety of medicinal properties. Many people are familiar with adding celery to soups, and a variety of recipes, but don’t necessarily buy it to enjoy alone. Celery is rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. It also contains vitamin A, C, D, K, B12, B6 and is loaded with fiber, so it makes a good crunchy snack.  Some people enjoy it with peanut butter, or other dips.

Celery with dip and peanut butter
celery with dip

It has a host of other healthful benefits as well.

  • Reduces Cholesterol:
    Snacking on celery may help reduce artery clogging cholesterol. That’s good news. Celery contains a unique compound called  3-n-butylphthalide (BuPh) that helps lower lipids. It also contains phthalides that stimulates bile juices and works to lower cholesterol.
  • Helps Prevent Cancer:
    Studies show that eating celery is beneficial, as it may help fight against the formation of cancer, especially breast cancer and leukemia.  Celery contains protective compounds called polycetalines that help prevent toxicity in the body and fight carcinogens.
  • Helps Lower Inflammation:
    Celery is an anti-inflammatory food that contains a variety of antioxidants. It is beneficial to those suffering from arthritis and gout, as it helps to reduce swelling and pain around the joints.
  • Helps Reduce Bloating and Aids in Digestion:
    Celery helps to reduce bloating and aids in the digestion process, which is great for many people that suffer with digestive issues. Celery has a natural diuretic effect that helps the body detox. That’s because it is rich in both potassium and sodium, which helps to regulate fluid in the body. Make sure you snack on celery if you want a natural digestive aid.
  • May Help with weight loss:
    Celery may help aid with weight loss, as a very low caloric food. It is also loaded with fiber, which helps you feel full and can help satisfy your satiety. It’s diuretic properties also can help beat the bloat, which many people often feel.
  • Helps prevent high blood pressure:
    Celery is also beneficial to those with high blood pressure. Celery seeds, especially may help control elevated blood pressure. You can add celery seed to soups, stir-fry and more.

Celery can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. I like to add celery to my green juice or smoothies, as it helps to get rid of that bloated feeling and gives me a little extra fiber to start my day.

green juice
green juice

Celery can also be added to salads for an extra crunch and to boost your nutrient intake.

salad with celery
salad with celery

Many people like to add celery to soup, as it gives it some added flavor, as well as adds to the nutritional properties.

celery in soup
celery in soup

If you are looking for a quick, easy snack, you can try fresh celery stalks. Why not add a little peanut butter and raisins for some extra protein and iron. This is a favorite for many kids, as well as adults.

celery with peanut butter
celery with peanut butter and raisins

If you haven’t been adding this vegetable to your diet, you might want to give it a try. It can be part of a healthy diet. If you want to learn more about about eating healthy and living a healthy life-style, feel free to check out my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, available on Amazon.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹”15 Incredible Celery Benefits.” Organic Facts. N.p., 01 June 2017. Web. 05 June 2017.

²”10 Benefits of Celery + Nutrition Facts and Recipes.” Dr. Axe. N.p., 28 Mar. 2017. Web. 05 June 2017.

Live For Today, Take Strides For Tomorrow…

Happy February!

It is hard to believe that we are already into the second month of the new year. How are you doing with those new year’s resolutions? I know not everyone makes resolutions, but many people like to set goals for themselves to keep on track especially for a new year, month, or week. While goal  setting is  a common practice, I recently read an article that gave an interesting spin on the topic.

In “Forget Setting Goals. Focus On This Instead, James Clear, Writer, Entrepreneur and Behavior Science Expert, talks about focusing on systems instead of goals, which I found interesting. He states that “we should commit to a process, not a goal. When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time.”¹ For example, let’s say you are interested in losing 20 pounds. If you focus on the goal of losing weight, you can easily get off track and stress yourself out. If you focus instead, on the process of incorporating more healthy food in your diet, such as vegetables, fruit and whole grains each day, it is much less stressful and easier to achieve.

In business, sales people often have a monthly goal to achieve. If they focus on the number, again they may easily stress themselves out. If instead however, they focus on the process of making sales calls and stick to it, they will have taken the rights steps towards achieving making sales and signed agreements will follow.

Although I think it is good to have goals, I do agree that it is better to focus on the process, no matter what that may be. We must all remember the saying, “A Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,” and make sure we take it.

Following are 3 reasons why we should focus on systems instead of goals from the article:

  1. Goals reduce your current happiness. When working towards a goal, we often say we are not good enough yet, but will be when we reach the goal. In doing this, we are postponing our happiness. Again—We need to commit to a process, not a goal.
  2. Goals are strangely at odds with long-term progress. (e.g. Someone who is training for a marathon, may be committed for months, but when it is over, often times they stop. This is also true with many fad-diets. While some people may lose some weight while on a diet, when they go off, there is often times a “yo-yo effect,” as people tend to go back to their old way of eating, instead of choosing healthy foods. It is better to eat healthy and not be concerned about immediate results. Results will come with a life-style change of eating.
  3. Goals suggest that you can control things that you have no control over. We can’t predict the future, nor is it guaranteed. We often try to plan out where we will be and when we will get there, but have no idea what circumstances will rise in the mean time. It is better to build feedback loops. Feedback loops help build good systems. They allow us to track certain variables that show where we are at a certain points in time. (e.g. Food journals, Website stats, etc.)²

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹Clear, James. “Forget Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.” Entrepreneur. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230333

²Clear, James. “Forget Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.” Entrepreneur. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230333

Finally—A Movement In Our Country To Be Proud Of!

While I am not really a football fan, I did watch a little of last nights Super Bowl in between making food in the kitchen.

I  caught the half time show and some of the commercials, as well. I have to say, I was impressed. Not so much with the game or the show, but with some of the content of commercials. I don’t ever remember seeing a Super Bowl commercial for avocados, pistachios and water.

Super Bowl ads typically run the gamut for promoting junk food, fast food, soda pop and more.

Thankfully times are changing and I am happy to be part of the food movement.

Health coaches work hard to promote healthy eating and well-being and are helping drive consumers to make better food choices. In fact, it is part of the mission of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition® (IIN) to create a ripple effect of health to transform the world. There’s an obesity epidemic in this country and countless people that have health issues related to their diets, so seeing commercials for healthy food at one of the largest television venues is a real win.

Let’s take a look at some of the commercials:

Avocados From MexicoThis commercial focused on the point that everyone loves guacamole! I loved that fact that they were promoting a healthy fruit and healthy fat. Avocados are rich in a variety of vitamins, potassium, healthy fat and are loaded with fiber.

Wonderful PistachiosThis commercial focused on the fact that pistachio’s are a good source of protein. Eating a handful  or 2 of nuts is hands-down a better choice over a handful of potato chips.

Fiji WaterThis commercial focused on promoting “life’s gift” and refreshing over the seeing so many ads for soda pop over the years.

BaiThis commercial was promoting a new drink made from the coffee-fruit, which surrounds the coffee bean. It is loaded with Vitamin C and also includes white tea and other polyphenals. The beverage is sweetened with stevia and erythritol. I don’t know much about this drink, since it is new, but is sounds like it has some healthful ingredients and probably worth trying.

Life WaterThis commercial was promoting Pepsi’s new life water. Again—it was refreshing to see water being promoted over sugar-sweetened soda pop or other diet versions that contain chemicals.

Wendy’s This commercial was promoting Wendy’s fresh over frozen beef. I am not promoting fast-food here, but liked the idea of promoting fresh. Fresh, whole food is always better than processed.

There still were a few commercials shown for some junk food, but we are moving in the right direction. Promoting whole foods and fitness on a large scale is good for us all.

Here’s to your health!

Thanks for reading!

Barb

New Year, New Beginnings!

Happy New Year!

Hope you enjoyed your holidays and had some quality time with family and friends. I sure did. It was nice to enjoy the down time and relax and think ahead. Although some people like to reflect and reminisce about the year gone by, others look forward to the new year and new beginnings. The start of a new year is a great time to commit to making changes in your life, whether it eating healthier, exercising more,  changing jobs, joining a church group, or getting involved in a new group to build some new relationships. You have plenty of choices and decisions to make. Why is it with all these good intentions,  so many people fall short, especially over time?

Unfortunately, our society often expects change to happen over night. This however, is not always possible or realistic. Change takes will power, commitment, and the formation of a new habit. In fact, according to the January/February 2016, Experience Life article, Build Better Habits, by Brian Johnson, “Good habits are the key to success, because when you have them in place, you don’t need to negotiate with yourself all day long about whether you’ll work out or eat right. The most successful among us have figured out how to use willpower to create habits that work so well that we practice them without ever having to exert our will.”¹

What new habits would you like to put in place for the new year? Now is the perfect time to commit to them. Make sure you write them down and the benefits you will receive. Keep your list in a place where you will see it often, such as your refrigerator, your desk, or night stand. That way it will remind you of the new habit you are working to establish.

Following are some Key Points to Establishing a New Habit from the article to help you out:

  • Unlock Your Keystone Habit—Identify one habit that will have the greatest impact in your life and master it whether it is exercise, eating more fruits and vegetables, organizing, etc.
  • Know Your Why—Make a list of benefits you will receive from installing your new habit (this is the WHY). If you remember the why, you should be able to endure how to get there.
  • Make a 100% Commitment—When you decide to do something, you need to really commit to it and make it non-negotiable. This way you will stay on track.
  • Practice Daily—You need to practice your new habit daily. Track your progress on a calendar and stick to it. Obviously there will be days when you have to miss. (i.e. If you are sick, or have some special event you have to go to, etc., but just start back in with it the next day to keep on track.)
  • Make it Easy—Start out small and build from there. (i.e. If your goal is to walk every day, start with 1 mile versus 5 miles.)
  • Embrace the Process—It takes 30 days to establish a new habit. At first it might be hard, but as you get further along, the task gets easier and easier. After awhile, you most likely will be looking forward to doing your new habit instead of regretting it.²

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:
¹ Johnson, Brian. “Build Better Habits.” January/February 2015 Experience Life magazine.
² Johnson, Brian. “Build Better Habits.” January/February 2015 Experience Life magazine.

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.