Fitness Motivation: Three Tips to Help You Stay Active

Walking can improve your wellbeing.

The more sedentary you become the harder it is to get yourself moving. Try these exercises to get you back in the fitness groove.

Many people find it difficult to get and stay motivated with their exercise and healthy active lifestyle plans. The reasons for this lack of motivation are vast, but two very common ones are: today’s modern sedentary lifestyle and the natural aging process.The more sedentary you become the harder it feels to get yourself moving. Sitting around all day decreases your energy levels and can have a negative impact on your body weight, which in turn makes movement less comfortable. This combination of lack of energy and not feeling good only compounds the desire to remain sedentary. Breaking this vicious cycle is essential if you want to get and stay motivated toward reaching your personal wellness goals.

The natural effects of aging can also make it difficult to maintain your exercise motivation, and although we can’t prevent the aging process, there are some great ways that we can counteract Mother Nature’s aging effects, and keep you motivated and exercising on a consistent basis.

Here are three tips to help you fight towards staying active and motivated.

Meet your minimum exercise minutes each day: Getting your body moving on a regular basis is not only great for helping you to reach your body composition goals, but it also gives you a natural energy boost, promotes increased circulation, and improves your overall sense of wellbeing. When you keep your joints moving with regular activity, you are less likely to experience loss of mobility and joint soreness that are commonly caused by inactivity. It is recommended that in order to experience the health benefits associated with daily activity, you need to exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, five days a week. The first step is often the most difficult, but once you get active, the feel-good benefits make it easier to continue. Even if you can’t commit to 30 full minutes to start with, know that a little bit of exercise is always better than doing none at all.

Mix up your impact: It’s important to strive to maintain healthy bone density as we age, and regain it after spending prolonged periods of being sedentary. Performing exercises that are high impact in nature, such as walking, running or jumping can help you maintain healthy bones. Alternating between low impact activities, such as swimming and cycling, and high impact activities, such as running and jumping, is a perfect way to ensure you are maximizing the bone health benefits of your exercise routine, at the same time as ensuring that you are not putting too much stress on your joints. Mixing up your routine will help you avoid excessive post-exercise joint soreness and prevent you from getting bored.

Focus on your muscles: A common age related issue that can be helped with exercise is the natural loss of muscle mass known as sarcopenia. Muscle loss or body composition imbalance is not always due to the aging process, spending a long time being inactive or being underweight can also reduce your lean muscle mass.

Lifting weights or performing body weight exercises in combination with consuming a protein-rich diet will ensure that you build lean muscle mass and retain your strength. Maintaining your muscle mass is great for your metabolism and for helping you look and feel your best. Try to perform muscle-building exercises at least three days a week.

Whether you are working towards achieving a specific goal, or simply want to feel young and energized, a daily focus on being active will help you get and stay motivated.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Four Ways to Declutter Your Diet

Get rid of the calorie clutter in your beverages.

Clean eating is trendy, but maybe you just need to declutter instead.

The phrase “clean eating” is pretty popular these days, but the concept isn’t really new.  In general, clean eating means eating foods that are fairly close to their natural state – that is, minimally processed – and getting rid of the excess ‘clutter’ in the form of a lot of added fats, sugars, salt and unnecessary additives.  Cooking foods at home and sourcing fresh, local ingredients is often part of the mix, too.  Overall, clean eating is meant to call more awareness to what we’re putting in our bodies.

It’s a great concept, but let’s not get carried away.  First of all, no one would argue that whole, unprocessed foods without packaging or labels are anything but good choices.  But creating a daily diet made up of only those foods might be intimidating to those who simply need to get a meal on the table at the end of a busy day.  Besides, there are plenty of healthy, wholesome – and yes, even ‘clean’ – foods that come in packages;  frozen loose pack veggies and fruits, canned tuna, salmon or beans, brown rice or whole grain pasta, just to name a few.

Some people take the concept of clean eating a little further, and decide to jump-start their regimen with a short fast.  Some say it feels like they’re giving their system a fresh start – kind of like cleaning out your closets or changing the oil in your car.  Fasting for a couple of days probably won’t do you any harm as long as you’re healthy and you keep yourself well-hydrated..

But keep in mind that our bodies naturally clean and detoxify every day.  We eliminate and neutralize not only via the digestive tract, but the liver, kidneys, lungs and skin get into the act, too.  As long as you take good care of your body and provide it with plenty of nourishing foods, it will take care of you.

So if you’re already eating plenty of fruits and veggies (even if they’ve been frozen), whole  grains (yep, even those that come packaged in a plastic bag) and lean proteins (even those that come from a can), your diet might be pretty clean already.  And even if you’re not eating this way, maybe you don’t need to do a “clean sweep” – perhaps a little “decluttering” is all it takes.

How to Declutter Your Diet

  • Read food labels to help you ditch extra sugar, salt and fat. You’ve heard it before, but it’s generally true – shorter ingredients lists usually mean fewer unwanted additives and more wholesome products.  Check labels for added fats, salt and sugar, and do your best to choose items that have minimal amounts added.  For example, choose plain yogurt rather than pre-sweetened, choose plain frozen vegetables rather than those with sauces added, look for whole grain breads or cereals with little to no added sugar.
  • Lose the refined starches and up your fruit and veggie intake. This sounds so simple, but it’s one of the best things you can do to improve the overall quality of your diet. When you make a point to include a fruit or vegetable at every meal, it “squeezes out” many of the unwanted foods and ingredients you might otherwise eat.  Swap sugary, fatty ice cream for a delicious bowl of berries, have a side salad with your sandwich instead of fries, or try snacking on baby carrots and hummus instead of chips.
  • Get rid of the calorie clutter in your beverages. When it comes to added calories, beverages are – for many people – their undoing.  Between sugary sodas, fruit juices (yes, even 100%, fresh-pressed, all-organic!), alcoholic beverages and fancy coffee drinks, it’s not hard to take in hundreds of calories a day from beverages alone.  Plain tea is a great alternative because it can be drunk hot or cold, it has no calories, and has naturally-occurring compounds that may offer some health benefits, too.
  • Clear the clutter from your fridge, freezer and pantry. A little kitchen ‘spring cleaning’ can really help you declutter your diet.  Fill your pantry with high-fiber whole grains (like 100% whole wheat pasta, bread, cereals and flour, as well as foods like quinoa, millet and brown rice) instead of the refined stuff. Stock up on beans and canned tomatoes instead of prepared spaghetti sauces or soups that are high in salt. Stock your refrigerator and freezer with plain fruits and veggies, rather than those with sugary syrups or salty, fatty sauces. And keep some canned tuna or salmon on hand in the pantry, or frozen fish filets or chicken breasts in the freezer for quick, healthy (clean!) meals, rather than frozen chicken nuggets or breaded fish sticks.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Five-Minute Workouts to Keep Your Fitness on Track

Start your day with a core workout.

Some exercise is always better than doing none at all. Commit to doing quick five-minute workouts any week you feel too busy to hit the gym.

The great thing about Halloween, if you have kids, is the extra walking minutes you can accumulate for the entire family as you go trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. The week leading up to Halloween, however, can be hectic and interfere with your usual workout routine. The extra treats consumed can mess with your waistline too, so here are some fast and effective workouts you can squeeze into your day to keep your results on track.

We all know that busy days are a part of life, and as a busy working mom myself, I know all too well that some days getting in a workout seems almost impossible. But with a no excuses attitude, I also know that you don’t have to let your hectic schedule interfere with getting in a quick burst of exercise. If getting in your daily 30 minutes is challenging this week, commit to five-minute bouts of exercise to ensure that you stay on track with your personal body composition goals.

Here are five quick at-home routines that you can add to your day.

Morning start: Jump out of bed and do this fat burning routine in your p.j.’s. It’s not as intense as a HIIT workout, but it will help get your blood flowing and promote the release of your natural feel-good endorphins to help you start your day feeling good.

Mid-day blast: This workout will get your heart rate up and challenge your body. It has lots of my favorite athletic style moves that promote muscle strengthening and, because it’s high in intensity, you will burn calories for a while afterwards as your body recovers.

Lower-body Fix: Working the muscles of the posterior chain – a.k.a. the booty and legs – is great because this major muscle group burns calories faster than working smaller muscles, making a lower-body routine a perfect choice when you are short on time.

Upper-body focus: This quick upper-body workout is great for toning the chest and arms.

All about the abs: This core focused abdominal workout is sure to make you feel great. If you have little ones at home, this routine is great for when they are taking a nap.

Stress relief before bed: If you are wound up at the end of the day, consider spending some time before bed doing this stretching routine. It will help you connect your mind, body and breath. Stretching at the end of the day may help clear your mind and slow your energy down to help you get a good night’s sleep. It’s not a big calorie burner, but the relaxation and muscle stretching benefits feel great.

Short workouts are a perfect option for days when you know you are busy. If you perform all six workouts, that’s your 30-minute health benefits of exercise met for the day. If you only have time to do one or two routines, get in the rest of your exercise minutes with walking and staying generally active.

An at-home workout can be highly effective. Even if you only have time to squeeze in a few minutes of exercise, it can make a big difference with how you feel. Getting your body moving each day can build your self-confidence and your muscles too. Make this Halloween a healthy and fit one.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Fast-Track Your Fitness Results with a Balanced Exercise Plan

Stretch for body confidence.

Get better and faster results by customizing your workouts – discover what’s missing from your current routine.

 

Taking a balanced approach, in my opinion, is the best approach to living a healthy, active lifestyle. Training in a balanced and structured way will help you to more accurately progress your workouts, may help you to avoid unnecessary injuries, and following a balanced routine may enhance your overall training results, helping you reach your goals faster.

We all have our individual likes and dislikes when it comes to exercising, so customizing your routine based on what you love is the best way to ensure you stay motivated and dedicated towards achieving your goal.

Here are four elements of exercise that every good plan should include.

Stretching: Stretching on a regular basis can help you gain body confidence and make you become more conscious of your posture. Stretching is also great for improving joint stability, muscular flexibility and alleviating muscular tension.

Dynamic warm-up stretches and static post-exercise stretching can take as little as 10 minutes of your time, yet can make a dramatic difference in how you feel. Ensure that every workout starts with a warm-up and ends with a cool-down.

Cardio: Engaging in cardiovascular activity is good for your heart and great for burning excess calories. Your heart is a muscle, and pushing it to work hard a few days each week may help improve your cardiac output. If you engage in cardiovascular activity on a regular basis, you may lower your overall resting heart rate, which is good for your long-term health. There are so many activities you can choose from; walking, running, cycling, dancing and swimming are all very popular, but any exercise that gets your heart rate up will work.

Performing moderately intense cardio based activities for at least 150 minutes per week or 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity – or a combination of the two – is a good amount to aim for to reap the health benefits associated with exercising.

Strength: When you add resistance based training to your routine, you will start to notice changes in how you look and feel. You may loose excess body fat and gain lean muscle mass, which is not only great for your appearance, but it also helps your body become more efficient at burning calories. A body with a high percentage of lean muscle mass requires more calories just to sustain itself than a person of the same weight who has a higher percentage of body fat.

You can stimulate muscle tissue to grow by exercising, using your body weight as resistance or by lifting weights on a regular basis. Performing resistance based activities three to four times per week, combined with consuming a protein-rich diet can help you achieve great results.

Endurance: Engaging in regular, prolonged physical activity can improve your muscular strength and boost your overall endurance level. When you exercise, your body must deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues in order to help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.

When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily tasks. You can improve cardiovascular endurance by extending the duration of your workouts, and muscular endurance can be achieved by increasing your weight and reps at the gym.

Spend at least one session per week focusing on your endurance based fitness level.

We all have different goals for our bodies, so taking a personalized approach to your plan is the best way to ensure that you are striving toward becoming your best self. You get to decide how much of each mode of training you incorporate into your week to feel at your best. Keep an exercise journal as you experiment with your plan, so that when you do find the perfect exercise combination for your body, you will have it written down for future reference.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Tune Up Your Immune System With Healthy Nutrition

Fruits and veggies promote a strong immune system.

When my kids were little, I always braced myself for the ‘back-to-school cold’ that swept through the house during their first week back in the classroom. With the new school year upon us, kids are going to be bringing home more than just homework and new friends.
They’re sure to bring home plenty of germs, too. Even if you don’t have kids at home, you’re still more likely to get sick as the weather turns colder. So, now is a good time to look at all you can do nutritionally to help keep your immune system running in tip-top shape.

Despite what your parents or grandparents might have told you, you don’t catch cold from being out in the cold air (or, as my mother always insisted, from going outdoors with wet hair). But when the weather turns chilly, we spend more time indoors. That means we’re in closer contact with more people and there’s less air circulating, so we’ve got more exposure to the germs that can make us sick. 

Your body has a built-in defense, of course—your immune system. It’s your own personal army of ‘soldiers’ that protects your body by identifying anything foreign—from a virus to a bacteria to a parasite—and then seeking it out and destroying it. Your body does rely on good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to keep your defenses up. For one thing, if you eat a healthy diet and take care of yourself, you’re more likely to maintain your good health.

Fruits and vegetables are key players because they provide an abundance of phytonutrients—natural compounds found in all plant foods that help to promote health by serving as antioxidants. You need antioxidants to balance out the processes in your body that cause oxidation. Oxidative processes are a normal part of metabolism, but oxidation can run rampant in cells if it’s not kept in check. And that can weaken the body’s ability to fight illness. So, your body relies on a steady source of antioxidants from fruits and veggies to reduce this oxidant stress and, in turn, help to support immune function.

Your immune system also has some ‘special forces’ in the form of white blood cells. These cells produce specialized proteins called antibodies that seek out and destroy invading viruses and bacteria. Since antibodies are proteins, you need adequate protein in the diet to ensure you’ll be able to manufacture the antibodies your body needs. Healthy protein foods—like fish, poultry, lean meats, soy foods and low-fat dairy products—provide the building blocks that your body needs to make these specialized proteins.

Keeping your digestive system healthy is also important in supporting immune function. Your digestive tract is home to trillions of bacteria that have numerous functions in promoting health. Some strains of bacteria help you digest the fiber in your foods, others consume intestinal gas, while others produce vitamins, like vitamin K and vitamin B12. When your system is populated with these ‘good’ bacteria, they also serve to ‘crowd out’ the potentially harmful bacteria that might enter your digestive tract. Some of the best sources of these friendly bacteria are cultured dairy products, like yogurt and kefir.

Eating well really does pave the road to good health. To help your body in the fight against foreign invaders, your internal ‘army’ needs the best nutrition possible. So, call in the troops—and dry your hair.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

How Good Nutrition Supports Your Immune System

A strong immune system relies on a healthy diet for support. Here are some nutrition tips to help you keep your immune system in tip-top shape.

When you stop to think about how hard your immune system works for you, it’s nothing short of amazing. It’s an incredibly complex system that works nonstop to protect and defend you. And it’s a system that depends on good nutrition in order to function properly.

We tend to focus on immunity more in the colder months. It seems that colder weather and illness go hand-in-hand. Part of the reason is that when the weather turns chilly, we spend more time indoors. That means we’re in closer contact with more people, and there’s less air circulating so we’ve got more exposure to the germs that can make us sick.

But that doesn’t mean our immune system isn’t on alert the rest of the year. Your built-in defense system works 24/7. In essence, your immune system is your own personal army of ‘soldiers.’ They protect your body by identifying anything foreign, from a virus to a bacteria to a parasite, and then seeking it out and destroying it.

And your body depends on the proper nutrients and a healthy lifestyle to keep your defenses up.

Good Nutrition and Your Immune System
Your immune system has some ‘special forces’ in the form of white blood cells. These cells produce specialized proteins called antibodies that seek out and destroy invading viruses and bacteria. Since antibodies are proteins, you need adequate protein in the diet to ensure you’ll be able to manufacture the antibodies your body needs. Healthy protein foods, like fish, poultry, lean meats, soy foods and low-fat dairy products, provide the building blocks that your body needs to make these specialized proteins.

Fruits and vegetables are key players in immune system health, because they’re great sources of vitamins A and C, as well as phytonutrients. Vitamin C encourages your body to produce antibodies, and vitamin A supports the health of your skin and tissues of your digestive tract and respiratory system. All of these act as first lines of defense against foreign invaders. Many of the phytonutrients found in fruits and veggies act as antioxidants, which can help to reduce oxidative stress on the body that may weaken your body’s ability to fight of illness.

Keeping your digestive system healthy is also important in supporting immune function. Your digestive tract is home to trillions of bacteria that have numerous functions in promoting health. Some strains of bacteria help you digest the fiber in your foods, others consume intestinal gas, while others produce vitamins like vitamin K and vitamin B12.

When your system is populated with these “good” bacteria, they also serve to crowd out the potentially harmful bacteria that might enter your digestive tract. Some of the best sources of these friendly bacteria are cultured dairy products, like yogurt and kefir. As you know, whenever you’re trying something new, make sure to check with your doctor or other professional about the amount to take that’s right for you.

Some people suffer medical conditions that affect the operation of their immune systems. Diet alone won’t improve the function of a compromised immune system. But for healthy people, eating well can help keep your immune system healthy and strong. To help your body in the fight against foreign invaders, your internal ‘army’ needs the best nutrition possible. So call in the troops!

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

5 Ways to Ramp Up Your Excercise Routine

Train with a friend for better results.

 

Do you find yourself getting sad as the colder days and early dark nights of the fall months start to settle in? If that sounds like you, beat the post summer blues by increasing your commitment to living a more active lifestyle.

Performing structured daily exercises can help you perform at your best in both physical and non-physical tasks, because the benefits of exercising go far beyond the physical. Physical activity promotes the release of endorphins, such as dopamine and serotonin in the brain. These hormones are your body’s natural happy hormones, so their increased release can give you an emotional boost and makes you feel happier and more productive. As the summer ends and the winter approaches, it’s important to find ways to enhance you mood, and I believe there is no better answer than ramping up your physical activity routine.

Exercising regularly can greatly enhance your emotional sense of wellbeing and positively impact your overall mental health. The number of brain related benefits associated with exercising regularly are vast and include improved brain structure, improved brain function, improved cognition, enhanced memory, and an improved ability to cope with stress.

“Right now is a perfect time to get more active”

The fall months signal the upcoming stress of the holidays, and quite often the holiday season includes a lot of unhealthy eating. This increased stress, in combination with access to more unhealthy foods, can lead to weight gain and make losing weight more difficult. Finding time for activity is especially important during this time of year. Ramping up your exercise routine during periods of stress will allow you to regroup, focus on yourself and kick-start your results.

Here are five ways you can ramp up your exercise routine.

Increase your exercise time: Spend an extra few minutes at the gym to ensure you are doing a complete and challenging routine. Allowing yourself an extra 10-20 minutes for your workout will make you feel less rushed and give you the opportunity to complete a more thorough and balanced workout.  Making time to complete a session that has a suitable dynamic warm-up and a post-workout stretch is a great way to perfect your personal routine.

Train with a friend: Make your gym time a little more fun and social for a few weeks and train with a friend or join a group. It’s easier to stay motivated when you have a friend by your side to push you through.

Get outside: The temperatures at this time of year may be dropping, but if you dress appropriately you can enjoy the crisp, cool air, and a change of scenery may boost your mood.

Mix up your routine: Try a new mode of exercise to give yourself a challenge, taking a class or following an online routine is a great way to infuse some energy into your workout.

Up the intensity level: If you feel capable, push yourself a little harder in your workout, increase your weights or add a few extra reps. Trying a HIIT style session will decrease your time spent at the gym without negatively impacting your results. In fact, HIIT style training can boost your fitness level.

Make your personal mental and emotional health a priority and stay committed to living a healthy and active lifestyle regardless of the season.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

How To Avoid Restaurant Diet Traps

Don’t fall in the supersize trap.

I’ve had patients tell me that when they’re trying to watch what they eat, they’ll sometimes just stop eating in a restaurant altogether. Between the tempting menu descriptions, the huge portions and no way of knowing how many calories they’re eating, they often feel like they’re simply better off just staying home.

Since going out to eat is a pleasure you probably don’t want to give up forever, I think that learning your way around a menu and figuring out how to ‘dine responsibly’ are skills worth mastering.

If you only eat out a few times a year, I’d probably just tell you to go out and enjoy yourself. On average, we eat about a third of our meals away from home, so it’s worth paying attention to some of these common restaurant diet traps.

Don’t get derailed from your usual meal plan. You should have a general plan in mind for what you usually eat for your meals, and you should stick to it. If you normally eat some combination of protein, veggies and salad for lunch, then look for something similar on the menu. And don’t let your eyes wander towards a sandwich or a pasta dish.

Watch out for foods that sound healthier than they are. Sandwiches can be healthy if they’re made with lean meats, veggies and whole grain breads. But the calories can add up fast if you add cheese or mayonnaise, or if the sandwich is a foot long. Watch those healthy-sounding salads, too. A Chinese chicken salad can rack up more than 1000 calories, thanks to the crunchy fried noodles and heavy dressing.

Beware of the daily specials. Your server might come by with a mouth-watering description of the daily special, so watch out. A lot of times specials can’t be modified, meaning that you might not be able to skip the sauce or gravy, or have the fish grilled rather than pan-fried. If the special fits the bill, great—but decide on something from the regular menu ahead of time. That way, you’ll have a backup.

Don’t fall in the supersize trap. You really need to stand firm when you’re offered more food than you want, even if it sounds like a good value. When your server says, “For just a dollar more, you can have a side of fries with that,” think to yourself: “For just a dollar more, I’ll be getting 600 more calories and an extra 40 grams of fat.”

Read calorie counts on menus carefully. A recent study showed that the calories you eat might be nearly 20% higher than what the menu says. Also, the calorie counts usually list the items separately, not the calorie count for the whole meal as it’s served. So, while you’re noting the calories for the entrée, don’t forget to add in the calories for the sides.

Finally, restaurant portions can be huge. Split an entrée with your dining partner and order an extra side of veggies, or have your leftovers packed up as soon as you’ve eaten your portion. When it comes to supersizing, restaurants may be able to afford to pile it on—but you can’t.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

A Roast with the Most: Fall Harvest Veggies

Roasting veggies brings out their sweetness.

The change of seasons brings with it a new group of fruits and vegetables. Apples, root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes and all the cabbage family foods, like broccoli and cauliflower, are at their peak now. And many are great for roasting—one of my favorite fall cooking methods.

With the grilling season over, I start giving a lot more foods the roasting treatment. The oven’s dry heat will caramelize the natural sugars in foods and brings a depth of flavor to fruits and vegetables that summer grilling can’t touch.

Root Veggie Roast

If you’ve never roasted root vegetables, you should give it a try. Roasted carrots are particularly delicious. Toss them with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then spread out on a cookie sheet and roast at 425 degrees for about a half hour until they’re tender. The vinegar turns into a sticky, syrupy glaze that coats them irresistibly. You can give the same treatment to sweet potatoes or beets—tossing them with something tart before roasting, like lemon or lime juice, vinegar, or even pomegranate juice to contrast with their natural sweetness.

Roasted veggies make a great side dish, but on the off chance there are any leftovers, they’re great added to soups and stews. Or you can slice them up cold and dress with vinaigrette, or add to mixed greens to give some fall flavor to your tossed salad.

Cauliflower Power

I was never much of a cauliflower lover until I started roasting it; now it’s become a fall staple at my house. Roasting softens the strong flavor. The cauliflower gets sweeter, and the texture becomes almost meaty. I coat the florets and a sliced onion with a dash of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and curry powder and then roast. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts—other veggies that are often a hard sell—are also delicious roasted with some oil and garlic.

You can roast fruits, too. Fall apples are fantastic when they’re prepared this way. Pretty much any variety will do, and you don’t need to peel them. Just cut in halves or quarters, remove the core and spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, sprayed with nonstick spray and roast like you would the veggies. You can toss them with a little lemon juice, apple juice or, if you want, spices first. But if you start with tasty fresh apples, they’re really good on their own.

Here’s another fall favorite recipe:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Parmesan

Even those who think they don’t like Brussels sprouts will admit that these are delicious. Roasting quickly with high heat mellows the flavor, and the Brussels sprouts end up tender and sweet. Tossed with a little fresh garlic and parmesan cheese, they make a fantastic side dish. If you have any left over, refrigerate and add to a tossed green salad the next day.

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet (large enough to hold sprouts in a single layer) with foil, and drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Place baking sheet in the oven while you prepare the Brussels sprouts. Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and cut in half. Place in a medium bowl and add 2 Tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat with olive oil mixture. When oven is hot, toss sprouts onto prepared baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes or so, shaking the pan every 5 minutes until some of the outer leaves are nicely browned and crispy and sprouts are tender. Transfer Brussels sprouts to a serving bowl, add garlic and parmesan cheese and toss to coat.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Four Tips for Eating Mindfully

Be mindful of how much you eat.

Mindless eating can lead to overeating and digestive woes. But when you eat mindfully, you tend to slow down and eat less – just enough so that you’re comfortable, not stuffed.

Even if you’ve never heard the term “mindless eating”, chances are good that you’ve experienced it. Can’t remember what you ate for dinner because you were so focused on the television show you were watching? That’s mindless eating. Ever finish an entire bucket of popcorn at the movies and ask yourself, “did I really eat all that?” That’s mindless eating, too.

What Happens When You Eat Mindlessly?

Mindless eating is what happens when you eat – and overeat – without really thinking about it. When you eat mindlessly, you don’t ask yourself if you’re truly hungry, or question whether your portion is too large, or if the food even tastes good to you. You just eat it. And that’s because you’re not paying attention to your body’s internal signals – like the ones that tell you that you’re hungry, or when you’re comfortably full. Instead, you’re responding other cues push you to eat and overeat. Maybe you’re stressed or anxious or bored, or you eat something that’s offered to you – even though you’re not hungry at all.

Mindless eating often leads you to take in a lot more calories than you should – and you may eat much too quickly, too. You may not chew your food thoroughly, which means you’re probably swallowing a lot of air while you’re gulping it down. And, during an episode of rapid-fire overeating, you may not immediately realize how full you are. That’s because it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to let your brain know that you’re full – and by that time you’ve already overdone it. So it’s no wonder that discomfort – in the form of indigestion or bloating – can set in.

So what would happen if you turned “mindless eating” around, and practiced more “mindful eating” instead?

What is Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating is just what it sounds like. When you eat mindfully, you try to become more aware of your internal signals of hunger and fullness – which means really listening to your body. You become more in touch with the eating experience – which means you’re likely to enjoy it more while eating less.

Mindful eating means slowing yourself down and taking the time to appreciate how the food looks on the plate, how it smells, and how it tastes. If you’re with others, you take pleasure in their company – and if you’re eating alone, you take pleasure in being able to focus on your meal and enjoy it without distraction. The other benefit? By slowing down, you’ll learn to be satisfied with appropriate portions – which will help curb the tendency to overeat – and your digestive system won’t be overburdened. Not only will this help keep your calories in check, but it gives your system time to properly digest your meal, too.

How to Eat More Mindfully

  • Be mindful of why you eat. One of the first steps in eating mindfully is to become more aware of what triggers you to eat in the first place. Are you hungry? Tired? Anxious? Bored? While you’re noting that, also, rate how hungry you are on a scale of 1 to 5 – where 1 means “not hungry at all” and 5 means “I’m starving”. After a week or so, examine your patterns. If you often eat because you’re stressed – even though your hunger level is a “1” – you’ll want to find alternatives to eating to relieve your stress – like taking a walk, or calling a friend, or maybe practicing some deep breathing.
  • Be mindful of how much you eat. While you’re making note of why you eat, also make a note of how full you are after you’ve finished. Practicing portion control helps you to learn how much food it takes to satisfy your hunger – which might be a lot less than the amount you want to eat. Since we tend to eat whatever amount we’re served, start by serving yourself smaller portions than you usually do. And, learn to stop eating when you’re comfortably full – even if it means leaving some food on your plate.
  • Be mindful of how quickly you eat. Mindless eaters tend to eat quickly, so also make note of how long it takes you to eat a meal. If it takes you less than 10 minutes, make an effort to stretch it out to 20 minutes. Try putting your utensils down between bites, and practice chewing and swallowing each bite of food before loading up your fork with another bite.
  • Be mindful of how you eat. Are you eating on the go, or at your desk while you work, or while you’re watching television? If you are, it’s unlikely that you’re paying much attention to your meal, and more likely that you’re just gobbling it down. Instead, try to be mindful of how you eat, and take the time to sit down and enjoy your food. Put down a placemat, turn on some music, maybe even dim the lights. Relax and take your time – your digestive system will thank you.

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