Archive for the ‘Health and Beauty’ Category
Tips for maintaining healthy habits during the holiday season, courtesy of Hannah El-Amin, RD, a registered dietitian at Northwestern Integrative Medicine.
The Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year Holiday Season is a great time for celebrations, family gatherings, shopping and entertaining that are often accompanied with temptations that can lead to weight gain.
Fortunately there are strategies to help you stay on track and enjoy the season without unhealthy excesses. “Between busy schedules and a plethora of snacks and treats, it’s difficult to stay motivated,” said Hannah El-Amin, RD, a registered dietitian at Northwestern Integrative Medicine. “It is possible however to indulge a little without gaining a lot.”
The following tips can assist with focusing on healthy eating habits and maintaining a healthy body during these festive times:-
• Plan ahead – Eat a healthy snack before attending holiday parties. A large apple, reduced fat flavored yogurt, or vegetables with hummus, are low calorie snacks that are filling. These will take the edge off the hunger before you arrive and, therefore, help with portion control. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to help curtail your appetite and prevent overindulging.
• Don’t miss a meal – “A common misconception is that skipping meals will save room for large amounts of food later in the day,” said El-Amin. “Instead, this sets your hunger into overdrive and by the time you finally eat, excess hunger will make you more likely to choose food impulsively and overeat.”
• Control your portions – Avoid the clean plate club by eating until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Take time to pause during the meal to check your level of fullness. When you feel satisfied, reinforce your decision to stop eating by leaving the table, washing your plate and going to watch football. Choosing smaller portions from a variety of foods, including plenty of fruits and vegetables, will allow you to still enjoy your favorite holiday treats while eating less.
• Swap this for that – Offer to make a dish to share that uses fresh, healthy ingredients or makes substitutions to lower fat and sugar. At the holiday gathering, balance out your meal by swapping fattening ingredients with lower-calorie options. This includes liquid calories; drinking high-calorie beverages like soda, juice or alcohol can easily add another 500 calories to a holiday meal. Instead, opt for sparkling water or low-calorie beverages.
• Keep moving – Don’t park in front of the buffet at a party. Research shows that having food in front of you prompts you to eat more, even if you’re not hungry. Add fitness into your holiday celebration with exercise that is fun for the whole family. Take a walk after a large meal or head out to play ballgames with the kids.
“The key to enjoying a healthy holiday season is moderation,” said El-Amin. “Allow yourself to enjoy a little while still striving to make nutritious choices.”
Source: Northwestern Memorial Hospital, ‘Stay Healthy Through the Holidays’, 20th November 2012, http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/stay-healthy-through-the-holidays-180166281.html
Daniele Boido, spiritual teacher and author of The Human Being Of The Future, has suggested ten simple steps that could lead you to a happier lifestyle. As reported by the Daily Express, Daniel said purging negative emotions and improving relationships could helps us create a better and happier life.
Here are Daniele’s top tips on how to feel upbeat and fulfilled.
1. Understand spirituality
To enhance your spirituality make sure that whenever you come across someone with less understanding and awareness of particular situations you do everything in your power to help them, Daniele said.
“Show compassion, patience and unconditional love. Don’t judge and instead share your knowledge and insights to try to support and encourage them to follow their own path,” advises Daniele.
“Work on becoming more aware and in tune with your thoughts and actions. This could be through meditation, exercise or a healthy lifestyle as these will help you to achieve inner strength and a connection to others,” he added.
2. Learn to forgive
He said holding on to past hurts only leads to a destructive state of mind.
“If someone has hurt you then you need to let go of your bitterness and resentment in order to move on,” said Daniele.
“For a few moments repeat in your mind or out loud, ‘I truly and freely forgive and let go of any negative event and person from my past and anyone who needs to forgive me now does’,” he said.
3. Take care of your body
Daniele recommends eating plenty of fresh foods including fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, pulses and wholegrains, suggesting “These will nourish your body with vibrant, healthy energy.”
He also advocates taking up a mind and body exercise such as yoga, Pilates or tai chi.
4. Release negative emotions
To let go of negative emotions Daniele suggested a simple exercise.
He said, “Sitting comfortably, begin to inhale and exhale taking long, slow, deep breaths.
“As you exhale imagine releasing all negative emotions such as anger, revenge or jealousy. As you inhale imagine breathing in the positive qualities you need in your life such as calmness, courage and willpower.
“Continue this for a few minutes. With practice you will find it easier to let go of negative feelings,” he added.
5. Share unconditional love
Daniele said feeling unconditional love towards yourself and others creates harmony.
“The more you can open yourself up to this feeling the more peaceful and tranquil you will feel,” he stated.
6. Find your inner boss
If one moment you feel calm and in control yet the next stressed out and compelled to binge on chocolate you might need to summon your inner boss.
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“If you want to feel more in control a simple tactic is to imagine that you have an inner chairman,” said Daniele.
7. Learn from others
Daniele says we can learn a lot from people we fall in love with.
8. Be aware
When you’re caught up with work, looking after family or just trying to get through the day it’s easy to slip into an automatic, zombie-like state.
To come out of this Daniele said, “Find a quiet place. Relax and starting with your right thumb mentally isolate and focus on every single body part.”
“Notice how they feel and work on being aware of how you are mentally and physically,” he suggested.
9. Create positive vibes
“You must develop the ability to focus,” said Daniele.
He suggests practising this exercise: “Draw a large circle. Fill it with black pen. Place it at eye level, breathing slowly and deeply. Focus on it for three minutes. Use these focusing skills when summoning positive thoughts.”
10. Try to connect with nature
“In the morning spend two to three minutes focusing on things such as water (rain), trees, flowers, grass or fruits. In the evening focus on inner qualities including love, peace, kindness and harmony. This will help you to create a stronger connection to these natural qualities and feel more in tune with nature,” Daniele said.