Going Green

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To maintain a steady flow of antioxidants and to help off-load oxidative stress, plants rich in ‘greenness’ and chlorophyll are a good way to go. Brighten up a breakfast smoothie by choosing a protein powder that includes ‘greens’ (I enjoy ‘Vega’ and Vega One’ products), or simply add a scoop of greens like Greens + to your favourite protein powder. Alternatively, build a totally green smoothie from scratch (Vega shares some great recipes). For lunch and dinner, include healthy greens by serving a hefty mixed greens salad with raw green seeds (pumpkin), add rapini or spinach, cilantro, arugula to a stir-fry, or invent a healthy green pesto served over a veggie pasta. Don’t overcook greens with hot meals,  (steam or stir fry lightly). Go ‘raw’ whenever possible for optimum benefits. Seaweed wafers or nori can add zip to your greens intake (choose a low salt variety seaweed cracker) and don’t overdo it. Less is more. Granny Smith apples are an excellent green fruit choice. Supplement your greens intake with high quality antioxidants as an extra bonus to healthy living. Go green and always love what you eat!

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It Takes Time…

 

hey, whatever happened to that old time virtue called ‘patience’?  It seems to be a rare, outdated commodity.  I was thinking ‘patience’ as I’ve been working on building a new fitness/healthier living regimen recently. Things seemed to be going way too slow. We happen to live in an era where life often feels ‘driven’ by a ‘need’ to get what we want now. Problem is that can add to stress levels and quickly sabotage success or progress. For example, you may not have been active for some time, and end up ‘overdoing’ at the gym, leading to injury.  Wellness note to ‘self’: worthwhile achievement — takes time.  Do yourself a favour and dump the treadmill mentality.  Ease up by being kinder to yourself. If you’re getting into a new regimen, start slow. Three days a week at the gym, and alternating with fresh air walks and cardio and resistance training is great. Up your schedule to 5 days a week as your fitness improves and it feels right. Invest in massage therapy or deep breathing routines with a Pilates or yoga class. Please don’t make fitness or wellness a competition — be in this for you, and always work healthy and happy at your own pace. Find your rhythm. Work out in a way that really works for you. (Example: I like having 15 minutes massage before cardio/stretching, and 15 minutes after. My body thanks me for it) Enjoy life and each day...one minute at a time…

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Strrrrre—-tch!

Ahh—the joy of a simple stretch. A long ago episode of the Flintstones still makes me laugh. Fred was taking ballet lessons and an emphatic dance instructor bellowed out as he danced around on his toes, “Stretch, Mr. Flintsone! — sttrrrrretch!! Sometimes we need a ‘stretch’ reminder. Stretching is essential for overall body wellness and fluidity. It is beneficial for anyone with osteoarthritis. Before stretching, a short cardio warm up of 5-10 minutes is a good way to start out. It’s important to stretch both before and after workouts, for injury-free fitness. Whatever your activity, or if you do a lot of stairs daily as I do, make an effort not to neglect stretching. We can all take a tip from our feline friends. Cats love to stretch and ‘hold’ that stretch. Stretching and holding a stretch for up to 30 seconds helps avoid strain, overuse and unnecessary wear and tear. Tip: If you work at a desk all day, get up! Stand up. Take a stretch break. Drink plenty of water to keep muscles hydrated. Regular massage therapy, pilates and yoga are more great ways to give your muscles a friendly treat. Do yourself a favour everyday — strrrrre—tch.

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Cut the BHT…eat smarter

live wellYou know what I mean. If you can’t spell it, don’t eat it. I doubt you’ve ever asked yourself, “…did I eat my butyl today…? i.e. Butylhydroxytoluene. (BHT) is just one of several common food additives often found in breakfast cereals. Smart and healthy food choices means avoiding chemical additives, even if we’re told they’re ok in small amounts’. Problem. Our bodies aren’t designed to deal with additives. Some of these affect and disrupt natural hormones. BHT is just one of a long line of additive culprits you don’t want in your life or diet. Learn how BHT can cause you to pack on unwanted pounds, (in an article from Livestrong.com). In Canada, the Yummy Mummy Club had helpful info on BHT, BHA, etc., and the impacts they have on our health.

Eating smart means not skipping meals and eating a balanced breakfast. Healthy grains, fat, fruit, veggies, moderate protein. You can start right by toasting a slice of organic sprouted grain bread with a non-dairy healthy fat ‘butter’, (I use Melt for healthy fat and Silver Hills – a superb line of sprouted grain breads). Add a poached free run egg or scrambled egg whites and herbs, a few cucumber slices, and a (pesticide-free!) orange. Another great energizer —old-fashioned steel cut oats. Cook it ahead, store in 1/2 c. baggies, freeze, and have it ready to go. Heat it up and add slivered almonds, coconut, fresh berries or fruit, a dash of Ceylon cinnamon, and plain yogurt, or dairy-free milk.

For people on the go, a protein smoothie is ideal. Start your day with a smoothie protein base that gives you at least 18g of protein per serving.  Add frozen or fresh fruit, 1.5 c. water, ice, non-dairy milk, some greens, blend it up and keep inventing new recipes. For a delicious plant-based smoothie, try VegaOne (awesome flavour and blendability (is that a word?), or go for Usana’s ‘MySmartFoods‘ macronutrient line. Give your body a break from anything that smacks of ‘preservatives’, and keep sharing all that good energy!

image: pinterest.com

Healthy weight – ‘balance’

 

This week found me refocused on healthy weight management and getting back to basics. For all of us stress and multiple life factors impact on a daily basis and can affect our self-care. Bottom line  – our bodies are amazing and are designed for us to take care of by eating wholesome foods, drinking plenty of water, getting regular exercise, and taking time to play, work, relax, enjoy friendships and creative and spiritual oases, and of course — to get a good night’s sleep. The key is ‘balance‘.  If you’re looking to get back on track with weight management or overall wellness, I recommend exploring three of my favorite wellness sites/experts: Berkeley Wellness and Dr. Andrew Weil.  Sign up for daily /wellness tips or apps. I also strongly recommend using high science supplements, for optimum wellness support. Find out what works best for you. Warning: in a ‘thin’-obsessed culture, beware of anything or anyone offering a ‘silver bullet’ for weight management. Don’t strive for perfection. Avoid restrictive diets.  Love 💕💖💝 who you are. Stay positive, balanced, eat, sleep, exercise, laugh and…always…find joy in the journey…🙂

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