Snacking will help your body stay fuelled and energized. In order to reap its healthful benefits, what you consume and level of activity are important factors into how snacking can support or impede your fitness goals. If you’re sedentary person, sticking to one or no snacks could be the best course of action. Alternatively, if you’re a person who’s active and on-the-go, 2-3 snacks/day may suffice for your lifestyle.
Below are the TOP 4 reasons why snacking can be advantageous to your health and wellness:
- Boosts your metabolism – if you’re eating clean meals every few hours, your body is in a state of burning food for fuel. Thus, amping your metabolism and turning it into a calorie-burning machine.
- Weight loss & satisfaction – when your body and mind are properly fuelled, there is less chance of overeating and/or reaching for indulgent treats to satisfy your sweet/savoury tooth.
- Stabilizes blood sugar – a regular supply of nutrients from food helps to keep sugar levels maintained and avoids mood/energy swings.
- Regulates your appetite – if you’re following a wholesome diet with the addition of snacks, the body will climatize to your healthy-eating regimen like clockwork. Thus, allowing you to understand when and how your body needs to be appropriately fed.
Keep these TIPS top of mind when reaching for your next snack:
- Consume protein-rich, fibrous carbs and healthy-fat snacks to fuel your body + keep you full until your next meal
- Avoid empty calories, high-sugar, processed foods, i.e.. cookies, candy cakes, soda
- Snacks should be about 200-300 calories, 10-20 grams of protein, depending on activity level
- Portion control is key. A snack is a snack, not a meal – think single-serving packs and/or snack bags
- Meal prep – try to pack snacks ahead of time, especially if out and about. If hunger strikes, you can strike back with healthy foods to feed the monster.
- Be mindful – be aware of hunger cues and mindless snacking, i.e. in front of TV
Are you looking to get your diet back on track with a nutrition/fitness coach that’ll steer you in the right direction? Take a look at my nutrition/fitness programs and let’s get to work customizing a meal plan that will achieve, sustain your health goals!
Are you doing TOO MUCH CARDIO?
While cardio can contribute to many amazing health benefits such as:
- Improving blood circulation
- Promoting elimination of waste
- Boosting metabolism
- Workout recovery
Is doing too much of it, adversely affecting your health goals? The answer…YES.
Cardio in excess can actually be your foe not your friend, when trying to build a toned, healthy physique. Especially if you’re limiting calorie intake plus partaking in excessive, LONG cardio sessions, could be detrimental to your fitness objectives, as it may cause muscle loss instead of fat loss.
Additionally, it could put your body in a catabolic state, thus, burning the hard-earned muscle that sculpts your body. As a result, the loss of muscle mass will reduce strength and eventually slow your metabolism. Lastly, extreme aerobic exercise can promote the production of cortisol, the stress hormone that weakens the immune system. If chronic levels ensue, it can induce feelings of fatigue, difficulty concentrating, sleeping as well as lowers bone density.
So, what are some indicators of TOO much Cardio?
- Your body remains “soft”, regardless your hard work
- Your joints (ankles, knees, hips and lower back ) are chronically achy
- You’re not sleeping well
- You’re getting sick more often
- You’re always feeling drained and fatigued
- You’re tired of always “working out”
What are the KEYS to cardio success?
Keep your heart pumping sessions within a shorter duration to preserve your muscularity. Try interval training which will keep your sessions short and intense. If you’re a distance runner or partaking in cardio over 60-70 minutes, ensure you’re consuming enough to support your calorie expenditure. In order to build and sustain a healthy, toned body you NEED to eat enough food!
Cardio is absolutely a fundamental component to include in your fitness regimen. However, too much of a good thing may negatively impact your desired results, if you don’t take a holistic fitness approach in your fitness objectives.
KEY TAKEAWAYS – Diet and exercise go hand-in-hand; caloric expenditure should align with caloric intake. Excessive cardio will burn muscle not fat; keep cardio within a shorter duration.
We all need a little revitalization every now and again to simulate our senses, energize our spirit and put a spring in our step. Below are ten great ways to recharge, refocus and steer you in the right direction to a healthier, happier you.
1. Slay The Sweets – Although decadent treats can be oh-so yummy, overindulgence may negatively impact your health. Along with spiking blood sugar levels, it can contribute to weight gain, which may lead to other health ailments. And, don’t be fooled by “sweeteners”, as sucralose has been shown to adversely alter the good bacteria in the gut, and aspartame can contribute to chronic illness. Yikes! Cut it out of your diet. Look for substitutes to your favorite sugary treats or drinks. Enjoy whole fruits, sparkling water flavored with orange/lemon and a squirt of Stevia or dehydrate fruit and make your own fruit rollups.
2. Popeye Power – Add greens to your diet. Spinach (Popeye’s favorite), kale, collards, broccoli, dandelion, whatever dark green veggies you desire. Chock-full of wholesome nutrients, vitamins and minerals, consuming greens as part of your healthy eating regimen will help to protect against heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. It’s no wonder they’re considered a nutritional powerhouse.
3. Even More Green – Drink up some green tea. Its nutritional antioxidant properties fight off free radicals in the body, improves brain function and may assist in your fat loss goals. Similarly, it can assist in the prevention of inflammation and keeps that nasty plaque-clogging cholesterol under control.
4. Fall in Love With Your Heart – Do some cardio, as it great for your ticker. It opens the arteries, gets the blood flowing and heart pumping. And shhh… interval training will give your body an after-burn for up to 8 hours. That means following a heart thumping session, you’re still burning calories, just by going about your day.
5. Pump Some Iron – Implement resistance training into your daily regimen as it’s beneficial for bone and joint health, building strength and burning fat. One pound of muscle burns 50 calories, and that’s just at rest. And ladies, contrary to popular misconception, lifting weights will not make you big and bulky. It would take years with lots of training, supplementation and a strict diet to make you huge like Hercules. So, get to pumping those weights!
6. Stretch – Ahhh, your body will love you for it. Sitting behind a desk all day or doing repetitive movements on the job, can tighten and strain the tendons and muscles. Stretch them out. There are many benefits such as increasing flexibility, mobility and blood circulation. Get yourself in the downward dog position and STRRRETCH, stretch those muscles.
7. A Little R & R – Rest and relaxation is revitalizing for the mind and body. Whether you decide to be in your PJ’s all day, sleep, watch movies or lounge at the spa, you need this time to rejuvenate.Sleep in particular, contributes to better moods, memory and mental alertness, negates many diseases and health problems. So, pull down the blinds or have a cat nap on the massage table, it’s great for your overall health.
8. Purge – Get rid of old clothes and shoes that have been collecting dust and taking space. Yes, even those you’re keeping “just in case”. If you haven’t used them in couple years, chuck it in the garbage or donation bin – YOU WILL NOT USE IT. Out with the old, in with the new. It’s amazing how good it feels to purge and purchase some new digs for your wardrobe. Now, go out and get that new knock out dress and strut your stuff!
9. Be a Good Person – Spread a little love. Be nice and compassionate to others. Encourage, compliment, motivate and boost somebody up – it will have an invigorating effect on the soul. There may be times when someone needs a shoulder to cry on or a little kick in the pants; be that person with good intentions and empathy to share some love and positive vibes.
10. Live A Little – Dust off the bucket list and start putting them into action. Whether it’s skydiving, traveling to a foreign country, learning another language or perfecting the art of making a soufflé, embrace the opportunities that are completely open to you. After all, life is an open door. Go through it, look around and experience what it has to offer!
EIGHT ways to steer you into your Happy Place:
Have an Optimistic Perspective– you can choose to view anything in a positive light; it’s up to you to decide how to perceive any situation or circumstance. There is always opportunity in every problem or challenge, yet it’s all in your authoritative mindset.
Your Inner Circle– relationships, whether through family or friends, can have a significant impact on your spirit. Embrace and cherish relationships that make you laugh till you cry or simply lend a shoulder to lean on. These comforting connections can do wonders for your soul.
You’re a Natural – the special talent or ability you have, that one thing that makes you feel joy and excitement inside, do it more often and take pleasure in it. Hone in on it, make time for it, perfect it and don’t give up on it.
Celebrate Your Accomplishments– be proud of those things you worked hard for and achieved. Pull out memorabilia, letters of references, pictures, awards and reminisce on those pillars in your life and bask in all its glory once again.
Gratitude is Latitude– be content. Be happy about the fact that you have a job, car, home, family, friends, a bed to sleep on! Being appreciative of things and people in your life can have an astonishing effect on the mind and spirit.
Savour in Nature– take a walk in the forest, swim in a lake or ocean, bask in the sun! Take in the wonderfulness of mother nature, breathe in the freshness of the crisp air – it will revitalize your soul.
Laugher is the Best Medicine– a good laugh fest will stir up endorphins and elevate your mind. Have a sense of humor and try to see the lighter side of things. Life’s too short; LAUGH, it’s a natural tranquilizer!
“Because I’m happy…”– tune into music that makes you want to bust a move. Whether a good ol’ country song to a catchy ear worm like “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, music feeds the soul. Dial in, crank it up, get singing and dancing!
Giant, Transmogrify, Bridge, Shine, Song
The city that never sleeps.
The city of bright lights and sounds.
The city known as the concrete jungle.
MANHATTAN. A vibrant, cosmopolitan city lined with restaurants, cafes, museums and Broadway shows, hundreds of tourist attractions from the Empire State building to Central Park, on over to Fifth Avenue and samples sales, phew, only to name a few… There is no better place in the world to explore, feel energized, inspired, full of life and NOT feel alone! But, did you know that NYC is in fact a City of SECRETS? Shhhh…
Here are some random, tidbits of information that could make your skin crawl or make you go hmmmm…
- Manhattan means “the island of many hills”.
- The term “Big Apple” refers to horse racing; it was used to describe a big money prize.
- Albert Einstein’s eyes remain in a safe deposit box in New York – located undisclosed!
- The Statue of Liberty was delivered in 350 pieces.
- There are 20,000 bodies buried in Washington Square Park (creeeepy!)
- It’s not illegal to go topless in NYC, as long as it’s not for business.
- The Empire State Building has its own zip code.
- Train tracks are set on fire to keep ice from forming.
- New York City will pay a one-way flight for a homeless person, if they have a guaranteed place to stay.
- Times Square is named after the New York Times; it was originally called Longacre Square.
- It can cost over $250,000/year for a hot dog stand permit in Central Park.
- New Yorkers speak approximately 800 languages.
- There is a secret train platform in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
- It would take approximately 24 hours to navigate the entire subway system.
With warm weather comes swimsuits and tank tops, beaches and outdoor adventures. Excitement and happiness fills the air as the hot summer sun stimulates pent up endorphins, hidden away from cold winter months. However, it’s important to acknowledge the do’s and don’ts of playing safely under the sun’s blazing rays.
Let’s delve into how these little rays of sunshine can impact your health.
What better way to get your direct source of Vitamin D then from our planet’s brightest star – the SUN. Otherwise known as the “Sunshine Vitamin”, Vitamin D is produced naturally in your skin in response to sunlight. Expose your bare skin to some sunshiny rays everyday, to achieve your daily requirement. A supplement, as well as consuming Vitamin D enriched foods like salmon, is beneficial to include in your diet if you’re not getting enough daylight hours.
Vitamin D serves many important physiological functions such as normal development of bones/teeth and facilitating proper immune function, hence, fighting certain diseases. Additionally, it’s been shown to regulate mood and ward off depression – working hand in hand with serotonin, a mood-boosting hormone that is released in the brain when exposed to sunlight.
Whether you’re hiking, biking, swimming or just lounging in your backyard, you need to protect your skin from the ultraviolet radiation in the sun’s rays, as it can pose health risks such as the development of skin cancer, sunburn and sunstroke. Sunscreen is KEY! An SPF of 30 to 60 is best. Ensure that you apply a generous amount onto your skin and re-apply every two hours for optimal protection, as it can wear off from activities throughout the day. For even more protection, stock up on additional SPF products such as lipsticks, daily lotions and other cosmetic products, as well wearing sunglasses with a UV rating to protect your precious peepers.
A little sun-kissed glow is all the rage in the summer months. However, tanning overkill is definitely not worth the negative after effects – skin damage. Whether you’re bronzed like a goddess or burnt like a tomato; neither is favourable for the largest organ in your body. Over exposure may cause premature aging (a.k.a. wrinkles and age spots!) and a higher risk of precancerous growths and skin cancer. Protect your delicate epidermis by staying out of direct sun (for long periods of time) during peak hours between 10:00am to 2:00pm; this is when UV rays are the strongest. Be mindful when enjoying outdoors activities – seek shade where you can and wear thin, light colored garments that cover most of your skin for the best defense against harmful UV radiation.
TIP: Check your skin regularly for moles and marks that could be suggestive of skin cancer; be cognizant of any new and/or changes in skin pigmentation. Keep your doctor apprised of any concerns.
Drinking fluids, ideally Mother Nature’s purest source WATER, is the best bet to replenishing your skin – inside, out. Aim to drink your daily requirements of 6-8 cups a day – more, if you’re active. The hotter the weather, the more dehydrated you may become. Be mindful of your body’s needs and how much activity you’re participating in throughout the day. If you’re feeling thirsty, tired, irritable, experiencing headaches, dizziness, fainting, flushed skin, dry lips and/or mouth – you’re DEHYDRATED. Drink up, as much as you can, so you can actively enjoy the hot, summer sun with family and friends!
With a few of these healthful tidbits of information to shine a light on how to get the most out of the sun’s rays, its also important to recognize and appreciate Mother Nature is always boss.
Get your daily sunshine fix – guard your skin, top up your fluids and SOAK UP THE SUN!