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Tip # 9 – Have More Positive Thoughts

It sounds very cliche, and we have all had someone tell us to be positive and think positive. But what does that really mean?

If you have not done so already, please read the book called, “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. The book outlines the principles of positive thinking from a anecdotal and scientific approach. The law of attraction is “The Secret”. It states that “like attracts like”

Our positive thoughts and visions will attract these things to us. We are what we want to be and everything that happens in our lives is a result of the energy we send out to the world.

Reading this book made me realize that I have a lot to be grateful for. Sometimes we take our accomplishments for granted and focus on the negative aspects of our lives. I challenge you all to be grateful for everything you have and focus on the positive things in your life. Envision your goals and show gratitude to yourself and those around you.  Make a gratitude list on a small cue card and keep it somewhere so that you can see it daily.  I also like to follow this blog for inspiration, motivation and positive affirmations. http://www.marcandangel.com

In the meantime, read the book and as always…stay healthy!

We all know exercise is good for our health.  But how much do we really need to receive a benefit?  Take a look at this amazing video and you will find the answer!

The key is to keep it simple and consistent.  Do what works for you and stick to it.  The following movements are examples of things that you can do to improve your health.

  • Walking for 10-30 minutes (ideally outside with a friend)
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Jogging/running (1-2 miles without stopping)
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Tai Chi
  • Non-contact sports
  • Playing with children
  • Weight lifting
  • 50 body weight squats
  • Chin ups/pull ups – 3 sets to failure
  • Push ups – 3 sets to failure
  • Taking the stairs (if not up, then at least down)
  • Parking your car as far as possible

Tip # 7 – Eat More Healthy Snacks

By far the most common excuse I get for not eating healthy is a lack of preparation and time. I have come up with a list of real simple and easy to store snack ideas for your desk at work or in your car. By changing your environment to a healthier one, you can count on being successful at any goal you have in mind. Whether you want to lose weight, feel more energized, improve digestion or maintain your health, these snacks are a great for you. The following items can be stored at your desk or in the car. 

Simple Snack Ideas:

Lara bars – these are raw, whole food bars (our favorite is Cashew Cookie)

Ultra Meal – Meal replacement bars – Available @ The Living Proof Institute

Trail Mix – any variety

Ultra Meal – Meal Replacement Powder – Available @ The Living Proof Institute

Nuts – cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts

Fruit/veggie basket (on your desk) – serves as a constant reminder to eat them.

Nut bars – there are many to choose from

Dehydrated Fruit – can be high in sugar, but better than a candy bar

Sea Weed – This is an awesome snack

Seeds – sunflower, pumpkin

Nut and Seed Butters – cashew, almond, peanut, sunflower (you can just eat a tablespoon on its on)

Rice Crackers with hummus

Click below to view PDF of the menu and shopping list in a printable version

Shopping List and Menu Jan.16 – Jan.20

Tip # 6 – Replace Coffee with Green Tea

Why drink green tea?

There are numerous health benefits to drinking green tea.  Research has shown that green tea helps to boost the immune system, regulate cholesterol levels, decrease build-up of plaque in the arteries, interferes with the cancer process in a good way, assist in weight loss, fight harmful bacteria and viruses and protect the body against free radical damage.  Green tea also contains catechins which are very powerful antioxidants and disease fighting compounds.

Green Tea and Diabetes

  • The catechins in green tea increase insulin sensitivity and therefore help the body deliver glucose more efficiently.

Green Tea and Cholesterol

  • Green tea reduces cholesterol by lowering its absorption in the digestive tract and increasing its excretion

Green Tea and Cardiovascular Disease

  • Green tea not only reduces cholesterol, it also decreases blood pressure, decreases the bloods stickiness (decreases clot formation), prevents LDL oxidation (when LDL – bad cholesterol, oxidizes, it causes plaque formation in the arteries)

Green Tea and Weight Loss

  • Green Tea helps to increase the rate of calorie burning, it reduces body fat levels and can prevent excess weight gain

Green Tea and Cancer

  • Green tea can help prevent the growth of tumors in the breast, prostate, lungs and skin.  The catechins in green tea inhibit the cancer process in all its stages and protect the body from free radical damage (therefore acting as an antioxidant).  It also lowers the toxicity of certain carcinogens, inhibits cancer activation, slows tumor growth and spread, inhibits growth of blood vessels to feed the tumor and encourages cancer cells to die.

Green Tea and Cognition

  • Green tea improves memory, cognitive function, and enhances your ability to learn.  It can also prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

How much green tea is needed?

  •  Most experts recommend a daily intake of 3-10 cups which is equivalent to approximately 300-1000 mg of catechins a day to achieve maximum health benefits.  Of course drinking just one cup a day is still beneficial.

How to prepare green tea

Bring water to a full boil, but only for a few seconds.  Measure tea if using loose tea (2-3 g or as per package directions) or use one tea bag per 8 oz cup of water and place in a cup or tea pot.  Pour water over the tea leaves.  For best taste, steep the green tea for just 2-3 minutes.  For highest catechins content steep it for a minimum of 3 minutes – the longer the better.  Although, the longer you steep it, the more bitter your tea will become.  If using loose tea, you will need to strain the tea leaves once steeped.  You can now enjoy your green tea!

Why replace coffee with green tea?

The caffeine in coffee increases cortisol which then increases insulin resistance (when insulin becomes less effective at lowering blood sugars) by up to 30% (this is due to the caffeine content not due to adding sugar).   On the other hand, green tea contains a substance called theanine which causes a calming effect on the nervous system and therefore does not increase cortisol and does not increase insulin resistance despite it’s caffeine content.

If you have an allergy or sensitivity to coffee,  it can produce a wide variety of symptoms such as heartburn, headaches, and migraines to name a few.

There is no comparison between the taste of green tea and coffee.  They taste very different and it may be difficult to replace coffee with a cup of green tea.  So continue to drink both until your taste buds get accustomed to the flavour of green tea.  These days it is easy to please your palate since there are a variety of different green tea flavours.  You can also mix a variety of teas to enhance the flavour of green tea and make it more enjoyable if you find the taste unpleasant.

Image courtesy of www.sensibleweightlossnow.com

Tip # 5 – Eat More Legumes

 
 
What are Legumes? Legumes are lentils, split peas, chickpeas, kidney beans, red, white, black, pinto, and navy beans, adzuki beans, cannellini beans, black-eyed peas, green beans, peanuts, and peas.  They are high in protein, fibre, B vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.
 
They provide an excellend source of gluten-free carbohydrate and vegetarian protein.  They are also high in fibre. For example, one cup of lentils delivers 18 grams of protein (the protein equivalent of three eggs or 2.5 ounces of meat) and 15 grams of fibre (slightly more than ½ cup of bran cereal).
 
Legumes are also an excellent source of folate, a B vitamin linked to a healthy pregnancy and a lower risk of colon cancer. Lentils and beans offer calcium, magnesium and potassium, minerals that help keep blood pressure in check. And they’re a good source of iron for vegetarians.  Studies suggest that eating legumes at least four times a week helps lower the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and prostate cancer.  Legumes are one of the most versatile, nutritious and inexpensive foods around, most of us don’t eat them on a regular basis.
 
Legumes are sold dried or canned. Dried beans need to be soaked to rehydrate before they are cooked. Dried beans have a much better taste and texture than canned beans although, they take longer to prepare.  Canned beans and lentils are incredibly convenient because they’re already cooked. They’re ready to add to salads, soups, pasta sauces, quinoa, etc.  Canned beans need to be drained and rinsed first to remove excess sodium.

The following are a few recipe suggestions to help you incorporate legumes into your diet:

Tacos with black beans
Black Bean Soup
Lentil Chili

Chickpea-herb Burgers
Hummus

Asian Rice Salad
Veggie Chili

Black Bean Quesadillas
Enchiladas
Black Bean Burgers
Collards with Red Lentils
Red Lentil Soup
Homemade Burrito Bowl
Channa Masala (Spicy Chick Peas)
Mung Bean Daal (Green Lentils)
Coconut Lentil Soup
Curried Lentil and Garlic Soup

Lentil Soup

 

image courtesy of http://prudhwija.wordpress.com

Can’t stand broccoli or cabbage?  They may not be the most appealing vegetables, but incorporating these and other cruciferous vegetables into your diet offers many health benefits.

The word cruciferous come from the root word cross-bearing, because the shape of their flower resembles a cross.  Examples of cruciferous vegetables are kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens, bok choy, turnip, radish, broccoli rabe, kohlrabi, horseradish, rutabaga, chinese cabbage, daikon.

These vegetable have excellent cancer preventing properties.  They contain high amounts of phytonutrients which increase the liver’s capacity to detoxify cancer causing compounds before they can cause harm.   Sometimes they have a slighty bitter taste because of these cancer fighting compounds. Other benefits include the high amounts of vitamins A, C and K.  These vegetables contain powerful antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory.  They are also very cheap to purchase and include in your diet.

One thing to keep in mind is that these vegetables are high in cellulose, therefore they are difficult to digest and should be chewed well or blended to aid in digestion.  They can also cause gas if they are not cooked properly or if they are not chewed well.

Individual unique properties:

  • Kale – has beta-carotene which assists in boosting immune system and high in bone-building calcium
  • Broccoli – has cholesterol lowering benefits when steamed
  • Cauliflower – good source of fiber and folate
  • Brussels Sprouts – good source of fiber and also lutein which is a nutrient that is great for the eyes
  • Rutabaga – good source of vitamin C and fiber
  • Cabbage – good source of vitamin C and K and it is easy to store
  • Bok Choy – good souce of folate
  • Turnips – high in vitamins A, C and K, folate and fibres

You should include a minimum of 3 servings (1 serving = 1 cup) per week in your diet, which is not a lot.  You may already be eating this much, which is great!  You can cut up some broccoli and cauliflower and steam it for a few minutes and take it to work to eat at your desk as a snack with hummus.   If you’re not getting 3 servings per week, see the recipe suggestions below to get more of these nutrient packed vegetables into your diet.

  • Recipe suggestions with these vegetables

Sauteed Kale
Sauteed Kale with Garlic
Kale and Sweet Potato Soup
Kale Soup
Kale and Olive Oil Mashed Potato
Avocado and Cabbage Slaw
Asian Quinoa
Asian Salad
Rainbow Kale Salad
Tofu and Broccoli Stir Fry
Asian Rice Noodles with Spicy Almond Sauce
Steamed Brussels Sprouts
Warm and Lively Soup
Kiwi-Berry-Greens Smoothie
Raw Asian Ginger Soup
Red Pepper and Kale Soup
Shitake Mushroom and Baby Bok Choy Stir Fry
Roasted Vegetables
Vegetable Pad Thai
Stir Fry
Asian Sauteed Cauliflower

image courtesy of http://thenaturallyfit.blogspot.com

  • Try to drink 1/2  your body weight in ounces of water per day
  • For example a 150 pound person should drink 75 ounces of water each day or consume that fluid through foods.
  • Fruits and vegetables are very high water content foods as are soups and smoothies. These would count towards this goal.
  • Drinking water can help with appetite control, fatigue, detoxification, better skin, better elimination, reduce the chances of kidney stones and countless other benefits.
  • I recommend that you drink filtered water. Water that has the flouride and chlorine removed is a start. Ideally you should also shower in filtered water. The filter system that we use and recommend is made by Aqausana and can be purchased at www.aquasana.com.  Use this link to get 20% off
  • Water should be consumed from a stainless steel container or glass container since these are re-usable but do not leach unwanted chemicals in to the water.
  • I highly recommend that you drink 20 ounces of water first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything else, this has tremendous cleansing properties especially when combined with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
  • Remember this quote: “The body’s solution to pollution is dilution”

 

Don’t forget to use this link to get 20% off the same filter we use in our home.  Water Filter

 

Click below to view PDF of the menu and shopping list in a printable version

Your Menu and Shopping List for Jan.9 – Jan.13

 

Here is a list of the essential kitchen tools we recommend to make our healthy recipes.  Use what you have to make do.  Invest as you move forward.

1. Vitamix or Blentec Blender

  • Available at Costco in stores from time to time or available on Costco online
  • You can buy a used one if you want to save some money
  • Cost: ~ $400 –  worth every penny!

2. High quality wok

  • We use a hard anodized 12 inch wok from Le Creuset
  • It distributes heat more evenly allowing to cook at lower heat
  • Excellent non-stick surface that is molecular bonded to the metal
  • 10X stronger than teflon
  • Avoid teflon coated pans due to potential cancer causing effects
  • Much lighter than cast iron, although cast iron is still great to cook with, its just very heavy

3. Steamer Pot

  • Steaming is better than boiling
  • Allows food to be cooked at a lower temperature
  • Prevents nutrient loss, compared to boiling
  • 3 quart steamer with a lid from any company is fine

4. High Quality Skillet

  • We use a 12 inch skillet from Le Creuset
  • It distributes heat more evenly allowing to cook at lower heat
  • Excellent non-stick surface that is molecular bonded to the metal
  • 10X stronger than teflon
  • Avoid teflon coated pans due to potential cancer causing effects
  • Much lighter than cast iron, although cast iron is still great to cook with, its just very heavy

5. Garlic Press

  • This will save a lot of time when prepping garlic
  • Will prevent your fingers from smelling like garlic all day!

6. Juicer

  • A good juicer is worth the money you spend
  • I don’t recommend blowing the bank, start off with one that is simple to use and clean
  • I like the Breville juicers since they are not too expensive and easy to clean

7. Salad Spinner

  • A salad spinner will help you remove the excess water from your leafy greens
  • We use one from Oxo

8. Lemon Press

  • This will help you juice a lemon or lime very easily

9. Measuring cups and spoons

10. Good set of knives

  • nothing super fancy, but you want knives that work well
  • we use knives from JA Henkels and Chicago cutlery

11. Large and Medium Stock Pot

  • We use stainless steel stock pots from Calphalon

12. Wooden Chopping Board

13, Wooden Cooking Spoons and Potato Masher

  • Wooden Cooking Spoons do not scratch cookware

14. Fine Grater

  • To grate ginger or green chilies

15. Pepper Mill/Grinder