5 Superfoods for Weight Loss

Eat More to Lose More!

Dieters will like the sound of that! Instead of starving yourself to lose weight, science shows you need to EAT MORE … of the right foods.

5 Superfoods For Weight Loss | thewellnessscientist.com

These 5 superfoods will up your calorie-burn and help you lose weight!

Quinoa

Instead of rice, try quinoa!

quinoa-porridge

Quinoa has 8g of protein and 5g of fiber per serving, which will keep you feeling fuller longer.Check out my blog post, Quinoa Two Ways for both a dinner & a breakfast idea (hint: quinoa is a great substitute for your morning oatmeal, too!)

Avocado

Somewhere along the way, we were convinced that a low-fat or NO fat diet was the only way to lose weight.

Boy, was that wrong! The secret is choosing right kinds of fats, like nutrient-rich avocado. Avocados are rich in oleic acid, which may trigger your body to keep hunger pangs at bay. Stick to half of an avocado per serving.

Try this amazing Easy Guacamole Recipe

Photo courtesy of Real Simple realsimple.com

Photo courtesy of Real Simple
realsimple.com

Avocados are creamy enough on their own, so no sour cream required!

Kale

Kale has two of the most powerful antioxidants: carotenoinds and flavonoids. These help expel free radicals and protect against cancer. One raw cup contains 34 calories and about 1.3g of fiber. Not a huge fan? Try throwing raw kale into soups like this Creamy Mushroom Soup with Greens and Ginger

Goji berries

Goji berries are becoming more well-known here in the US, but this popular Asian superfood has been around for much longer.

Photo courtesy of 52kitchenadventures.com

Photo courtesy of 52kitchenadventures.com

 

These tart berries are a protein source, with 18 amino acids. How many fruits can say that?

Chili peppers

Spicy foods crank up your metabolism, so it’s no surprise that chili peppers can help you lose weight. In a study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that consuming a combination of capsaicin and green tea led subjects to feel less hungry and eat fewer calories. Throw a little diced chili pepper into homemade marinara sauce for an extra kick!

Car Yoga – Three Simple Stretches to Try on the Road

Road trips are supposed to be fun, but more than a couple of hours in the car can be a real pain!

Passengers can do these simple stretches at any time.  For drivers, it’s a good rule of thumb to stop ever two hours (or 100 miles) for a stretch break.  The following seated stretches are taken from the book Yoga to Go by Paula Carino.

yoga-to-go

Seated Twist

Place feet on the floor and bring your left hand to the outside of your right knee.  Twist gently to the right.  Hold for a couple of breaths, then reverse the twist with your right hand on your left knee.

Forward Neck Stretch

1.  Interlace your fingers and clasp them behind your head at the base of your skull.  Allow your chin to drop down near your chest.

2.  Let gravity and the weight of your hands stretch the back of your neck.  Hold for three to five deep breaths.

Side Neck Stretch

1.  Sit forward on the seat with your feet planted squarely and firmly on the floor.  Reach your right hand back and grasp the right side of your seat.  Lengthen your spine;  tuck your chin to your chest.

2.  Pull your body to the left and place your left hand on the right side of your head.  Carefully pull your head towards the left.  Hold for a couple of breaths & switch sides.

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The Health Benefits of Tea

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve no doubt seen lots of tea photos lately.  Yep, I’m on a bit of a tea kick since fighting a nasty cold for the past two weeks.

Tea is so comforting when you are sick!  It’s like a little cup of wellness 🙂  I also love all of the little “tea fortunes” I’m seeing on my teabags, too.  It’s like a fortune cookie (well, without the cookie) in every cup!

Feeling much better today (thank goodness!), so I wanted to share some of the Health Benefits of Tea.  Here’s what some studies have found about the potential health benefits of tea (the following if from WebMD):

Green tea: Made with steamed tea leaves, it has a high concentration of EGCG and has been widely studied. Green tea’s antioxidants may interfere with the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers; prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain, reduce risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, reduce risk of stroke, and improve cholesterol levels.
Black tea: Made with fermented tea leaves, black tea has the highest caffeine content and forms the basis for flavored teas like chai, along with some instant teas. Studies have shown that black tea may protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. It also may reduce the risk of stroke.
White tea: Uncured and unfermented. One study showed that white tea has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas.
Oolong tea: In an animal study, those given antioxidants from oolong tea were found to have lower bad cholesterol levels. One variety of oolong, Wuyi, is heavily marketed as a weight loss supplement, but science hasn’t backed the claims.
Pu-erh tea: Made from fermented and aged leaves. Considered a black tea, its leaves are pressed into cakes. One animal study showed that animals given pu-erh had less weight gain and reduced LDL cholesterol.  

What’s your favorite kind of tea?  Share under this post!

Baby, It’s Cold Outside! My Favorite Winter Dry Skin Fixes

No matter where you live, winter weather can be very drying.  Over the years, I’ve tried countless products to keep my skin from getting too dry.  Some work, others not so much.  Here are a few of my favorites that I think you’ll like too.  Your skin (and lips!) will thank you for it! 🙂

For hands:

I’ve been looking for a hand lotion that was “the one” for years.  Last year, I finally found it – Deborah Lippmann Rich Girl.  I’m telling you… this stuff is the business!  It’s touted as an anti-aging hand and cuticle cream, has an SPF of 25, and it smells amazing.  I wish I could insert a scratch and sniff sticker here, really!!!  It is a bit pricey, but if you are looking for a great hand lotion to keep your hands soft and young-looking then look no further – this is it!

For body:

I also discovered my new favorite body lotion last year, Epicuren Lemongrass After Bath Moisturizer.  Until then I had always bought lotions, used a third to a half of the bottle and gotten sick of it.  This was recommended to me after I had laser hair removal on my legs.  I’m telling you, this is the first time in my life that I remember using an entire bottle of lotion (and I bought the BIG bottle)  Can’t rave about it enough!

 For face:

People are always telling me that I don’t look my age (keep those comments coming, people!).  While I know genes account for some of it, I also believe in my skincare regimen.  I use La Prairie Anti-Aging Day and Night Creams.  The day cream has SPF 30.  Both smell nice and are not too overpowering fragrance-wise.  I swear by these products.  Add a little vitamin C-based serum underneath during the winter months for extra moisture.

For lips:

I find lipstick and lip pencils very drying this time of year. I found a perfect solution to keep a little color on my lips while keeping them from getting all dry and cracked – Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balms (my favorite shade is Red Dahlia).

Those are my favorite products to beat dry skin.  What are your favorites?  Tell me about them at the bottom of this post.

 

Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad For You?

Ditch the fake stuff

A few years ago, I was drinking about 4-6 cans of diet soda on a daily basis.  That was after I’d finished my 2-3 cups of fake sweetener-laden coffee in the morning.  I actually thought it was helping keep my weight in check, but the extra pounds only started coming off AFTER I ditched the diet soda & the fake stuff in my coffee.

I totally went cold turkey on the diet soda.  I was away at a spa for the week, and there was none to be found.  I was surprised that I didn’t miss it, and I truly had no desire to start drinking it again once access was restored.

Avoid artificial sweeteners.  They make you crave more sweets!  It took a little longer to stop artificially sweetening my coffee.  It wasn’t until after I read about how fake sweeteners can actually make you crave other sweets MORE that I decided to ditch them all together.  Yep… that’s right… artificial sweeteners can actually increase your desire to eat more cakes, cookies, and candies.  Totally defeats your plan to slim down if you literally can’t keep your hand out of the cookie jar!

Go natural.  I was able to start drinking my coffee with a little milk or half-n-half & no sweetener at all.  Most people I tell this shudder at the thought of coffee without sweetener.  I won’t lie to you.  The first day or two, I did NOT like it!  Around day three, it wasn’t that bad and by the end of the week, I was back to enjoying my coffee just as I had when I use to load it up with sweetener.  If you can’t stand the idea, try natural sweeteners, like agave nectar.  Agave is SUPER sweet, so you only need a little bit.  I’ll also use a little bit of raw sugar from time to time if I’m out meeting someone for tea or coffee.

Sugar vs. the fake stuff.  If you in a position where you have to choose between ordinary refined white sugar & a pink/blue/yellow packet, I say go for the real sugar.  It is a way better choice than choosing something artificial (read chemical-based sweetener)You are looking at about 50 calories per tablespoon of sugar, so go easy!

Check out these posts too:

What’s Past the Comfort Zone?

How To Be Happy

How Do You Know If You Need a Life Coach?

How To Get Through The Holidays Without Derailing Your Diet

We eat, on average, an additional 600 calories per day between Thanksgiving & New Years.  That translates to roughly six pounds of extra weight before the end of the year. And if your workplace has had mini KitKats and Twix bars lying around since the beginning of October … well … you get where I’m going!

You can still enjoy yourself during the holidays without totally blowing it.  Here are a few tips on How To Get Through The Holidays Without Derailing Your Diet.

#1  MEAL SKIPPING IS A NO-NO

You think you are planning ahead by skipping breakfast and/or lunch the day of a big holiday party so you can indulge that night without the guilt.  Chances are, what sounds like a good plan could actually backfire since you’ll be so hungry & angry that you’ll be knocking people over to get to the buffet line.  And you’ll probably eat way more than you would have if you had just eaten normally throughout the day.  So if you are thinking of skipping meals, just don’t do it!

#2  DRINK PLENTY OF WATER

Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and in the evening before you become a frequent flyer at the open bar!  Avoid mixed drinks, which can be loaded with extra sugar.  Go for a festive glass of champagne instead, which has only 87 calories per glass compared to 200 calories in a Cosmopolitan.

#3 DON’T STOP EXERCISING

You’ve got a ton of work to get done before the end of the year, gifts to buy & wrap, parties to attend, and everything thing else that keeps you occupied during the rest of the year.  People who stop their exercise routine cold turkey are likely not to pick it up again.  This is a time when you need exercise the most … to keep your energy levels up, reduce stress, and to avoid those yummy holidays treats from lingering on the hips for months to come.  If you have to cut your exercise time in half — don’t despair!  It is still beneficial to being doing some exercise than none at all, and you’ll be sticking with a good habit.

The holidays are a challenge.  If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up, and don’t GIVE up! Better to have one or two bad days than eat an entire cake for lunch just because you had two donut holes at breakfast!  Instead, forgive yourself and make sure your next snack or meal is a healthy one!

Need a motivation buddy?  I’d love to work with you!  Check out my personalized wellness plans and testimonials here!

Check out this FREE instructional video for easy exercises to ease pain in the arms and shoulders!


 

 

Meatless Monday Recipe: Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Bananas

We were looking to add a little kick to our classic sweet potato side dish a few Thanksgivings ago, and this new favorite was born!

Aside from being delicious, sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene, which is known for all of the following:

  • Prevention against cancer and heart disease
  • To slow the progression of cataracts
  • To prevent macular degeneration
  • To boost immunity
  • To protect the skin against sunburn
  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Infertility
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Psoriasis

Try this take on sweet potato casserole if you like them a little bit sweeter.  This has gotten rave reviews from everyone I’ve ever served.

Ingredients 

  • 6 sweet potatoes
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 6  tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Directions

  1. Peel sweet potatoes & cut into 2-inch segments.  Boil until you can pierce with a fork or until tender enough to mash (but don’t overcook).
  2. Drain and add to a large pot over low heat for mashing.  Begin to mash with a potato masher while slowly adding the cream & butter.  Mash until  lumps have disappeared.  After the cream & butter are incorporated, add the bananas, cinnamon, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.  Mash until smooth.  Season to taste with additional salt & pepper.

Other recipes you might like:

Butternut Squash with Roasted Garlic Soup

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Read more about Meatless Monday!

 

How To Be Happy

Ah, happiness … why does it elude us sometimes?  We work hard, we’ve done everything we are supposed to do, but that happiness fix seems just out of our grasp.

When I googled “How To Be Happy” before writing this post, there were more than 2.5 billion search results returned.  Seems like we are all on the same quest.

One of Audrey Hepburn’s famous quotes – “The most important thing is to enjoy your life — to be happy — it’s all that matters.”

But how do we do it?  Most of us don’t think of happiness as a kind of good health.  Getting happy and staying happy involves just as much self-care as scheduling regular visits with our doctors, therapists, and personal trainers.

Part of being a good health coach or wellness coach is the ability to dig deep & figure out what is eating away at us that causes us to overeat or have unsatisfying relationships.

People often ask me, “Why Do I Need Wellness Coaching?”  We are all unique individuals, so the solution to health & happiness is unique for each and every one of us.  In fact, I’d bet if MORE people had personalized wellness plans developed for them, they wouldn’t need a therapist AND a personal trainer — they’d be setting and achieving goals that broke through both their physical and mental health barriers.

Here are some things you can start doing immediately to Get Happy:

1. Practice gratitude.

Once a week, think of just one thing you are grateful for and write it down. The more specific you are about why you are grateful, the more successful this is. Remember not compare yourself to others. When you do this, negative thoughts creep in. Focus on YOUR life!

2. Experience life.

You don’t have to go far — just get out of the house!  Sitting on the couch watching TV isn’t getting you anywhere – literally! – and it’s could be making you depressed.  Even if you don’t want to, take a walk and be grateful for the beautiful scenery around you. Or, get up early one morning and go to a place where you can watch the sunrise. It is a beautiful thing to witness, and you have an opportunity to do it every day.

3. Commit to an attitude of gratitude.
Start each day by saying “I am grateful.” My friend has a small bell hanging in one corner of her office at work. Every once in awhile, someone will brush past it as they enter her office, and the bell softly jingles. This is her private reminder to herself to count her blessings. Find something that works for you.

Other articles you may enjoy:

The Science of Gratitude

What Makes You Smile?

5 Things You Can Do to Feel Better Instantly

 

 

A Sure Way to Stress Less? Aim for Happiness

Studies show that on average, Americans spend 75-80 percent of their waking time complaining.  When you complain, your body interprets that as a stressful situation & releases adrenaline.

 

Dr. Frederic Luskin, a consultant in Health Promotion at Stanford University, says “Stress is a perception that I do not have what I need to satisfactorily handle my life,” “Stress is wanting what you do not have, and happiness is wanting what you already have.”

Happiness is Wanting What You Already Have| thewellnessscientist.com

Seems simple enough, right?

As I shared in my previous post, Should I Stay or Should I Go?, today’s emotional stressors trigger the same “fight or flight” response that our long ago ancestors used to feel when running away from wild animals that wanted to make them dinner!

When that happens, stress hormones are released causing your heart to beat faster and your blood pressure to rise (among other harmful things).

We need to learn to slow down a little, practice mindfulness, and taking note of what causes us to feel stressed out.

One way to stress less is to make happiness a goal.  Cultivating happiness means nurturing personal relationships, practicing gratitude, helping others, and shooting for your dreams.

Other posts you might like:

Why Boundaries are Important to Your Health

How to Get Your Happy Fix

Being Inspired by the Ordinary

Multitasking vs. Mindfulness: The Science of Stress

 

 

 

 

The Ultimate Anti-Aging Fix

Why is it that when we talk about aging we tend to focus mainly on our skin?  Is it because that is what is visible to us or the only thing we perceive we can control?

When I talk about prevention as the key to healthy aging, I’m not just talking about wearing sunscreen or having the best anti-aging lotions & potions.

In my post, The Science of Prevention, I talked about the basic preventive measures that are important for a healthy lifestyle:

  •   Not smoking
  •   Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight
  •   Being physically active
  •   Consuming a healthy diet
  •   Not drinking excessively

If you are a regular reader of my blog or newsletter, you will have heard me say this before… genetics only accounts for about 50% of the state of your health.
The other 50% depends on your lifestyle and environmental factors.

What are YOU doing to influence the 50% that you can control?

Even if every woman in your family struggles with being overweight or all of your siblings have high cholesterol, it doesn’t mean that YOU have to!

If you take one thing away from this post, let it be this:

Prevention is the key to good health.

Sometimes the only difference in success and failure is getting the help you need.  To read more about working 1:1 with me and your very own one-of-a-kind Personalized Wellness Plan, click here.