Spring Cleaning the Pantry and Refrigerator

Today I want to share with you Spring Cleaning your Pantry and Refrigerator.  Millions of people are overweight and dieting.  Many people have health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.  Statistics show that for many Americans genetics only plays a 10% role, exercise a 10% role and what you eat plays an 80% role in your health and shape.  This is good news.    How many foods in your kitchen are over-processed especially with white flour and sugar?  Do they have preservatives?  Artificial sugars?  Saturated fats or trans fats?  Many snacks and processed foods are calorie dense foods containing little nutritional value.  So take an inventory of your pantry and refrigerator.  Great now let’s do a Spring Cleaning and talk about the rules of clean eating.  This isn’t about another diet or even depriving yourself.  It is a lifestyle change in learning to eat healthy and clean.  It involves planning healthy meals for the week, but first you must have healthy options.  Whenever I can, I buy and eat local foods.  Here is what I keep in my kitchen:

Complex Carbs or Whole Grains:  brown rice, wheat germ, quinoa, oat bran, and spelt.

Cereals:  Oatmeal, Muesli,  and Kashi.

Dairy:  Rice Milk, Lite chocolate soy milk, Goat Cheese, and Stoneyfield organic Yogurt (Plain)

Fresh Fruits:  Bananas, Apples, Pears, Blueberries, oranges, Frozen mangos and dried fruits which are great for cereal in winter months.

Veggies:  Buy the color of the rainbow!  Lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, and whatever is in season!  I love Kale, Swiss Chard, and eggplant.  Sweet potatoes or yams are a staple in my kitchen.

Beans:  Soy, lentil, chickpeas, black beans and white beans.

Lean Proteins:  Soy burgers, tofu, tempeh, turkey, chicken, fish, pork, venison and buffalo meat from a local farm.

Nuts or Nut Butters:  I always have Tahini and almond butter on hand.  I also have pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts and pecans on hand.  Not only are these a good source of protein, but they are a great garnish to many meals.

Condiments:  Mustards, horseradish, vinegars, olive oil, salsas, lime and lemon juice……a large variety of good herb seasonings.  It is all about flavor so spice up your meals.

If you plan on the weekends and make your meals and healthy snacks ahead of time, you will avoid the unhealthy snacks.  You know, the cake, cookies or candy bowl at the office that tempts you every time you walk by.  I always carry dried mangos or other dried fruit with no sugar added, almonds or other nuts, apples , almond butter and cut up veggies.  That way, when I need a snack, I have healthy options.  You will make mistakes.  It is how you deal with those mistakes that will determine your success.  Have compassion for yourself!  Enjoy the journey and remember, it begins with one habit at a time!

 

Stress Management – The 3 Biggest Mistakes People Make in Managing Their Stress (Yes You)

  

By Lauren Ann Ebbecke ©2013

Stress is the number one leading cause of illness in our society today and no one is slowing down. Unfortunately, this stress can be a challenge for getting through the day, leading to reduced productivity, poor performance, and affect your attitude. What’s worse is that ongoing stress will lead to health problems in the long run, including obesity, high blood pressure, heart attacks and insomnia. If you want to live a healthy and happier life, then now is the time to set up a daily routine to keep your stress level in check.

 

Here are 3 of the biggest mistakes to avoid and what to do instead.

Mistake #1 – Eat comfort Junk Food – Chocolate, Coffee, and Ice Cream? I’ve seen so many people turn to eating fast food, pizza, mac –n- cheese and junk food to feel better or because they are so stressed and do not think they have time to cook a healthy meal. They end up eating two meals in one!

What to do instead – My students and coaching clients know the firm rule I have:

Always schedule time to sit down and eat a healthy meal. There are plenty of Eat Clean recipes and cookbooks that have simple healthy meals. If you make time to prep on Sunday afternoon for the week, then you will be less tempted to grab junk food when the going gets tough! Your body will definitely appreciate it.

Mistake #2 – Do Not Sleep Well – When people are under stress it is usually because they have not managed their time well and end up working twice as many hours. This leads them feeling like they are overworked, underpaid and stressed out. Be Proactive by getting organized.

What to do instead – Focus on getting more organized. Keep a calendar with all appointments, meetings and important activities clearly written and try using a colored pen like red or purple. In addition, make sure to schedule time for you to relax or exercise.

Mistake #3 – Do Not Exercise – Another common and costly mistake for being stressed out is not getting enough exercise or movement in your day. People get up (wishing they could go back to bed), make coffee, take a shower, get dressed and run out the door to work. They work all day and come home exhausted to raid the refrigerator, watch tv, eat ice cream and go to bed. No wonder there is stress!

Never underestimate what exercise will do for your physical and mental health! Try it for one week and notice how you feel at the end of the week.

What to do instead – Schedule at least 30 minutes a day five days a week for movement. Find an exercise you really like such as dancing, tennis, biking, walking, jogging, racquetball, or hiking in nature. Change your routine to keep it exciting. This is a really good thing, because not only will it relieve your stress, but you will become fit in the process!!

Bottom Line? You want to create a daily routine that always leads to a healthier you. And the quickest way to create this routine is to get organized and schedule time for you! No one else will do it for you! So, what steps are you taking to keep the stress out?

 

 

Giving and Living In Gratitude This Holiday Season

By Lauren Ebbecke ©2012

Well, it is the holidays once again.  For me, it is a joyous occasion and it is a reason for giving.  I use to practice gratitude during the holidays because I was too busy the rest of the year to think about it.  Now that I have made a practice to BE PRESENT at all times,  I practice gratitude every day.  This means that I experience the feelings as well as expressing it.  Gratitude is taking action or expressing it while appreciation is to value something or feel grateful for it.  Gratitude is the expression of appreciation.

I teach Anatomy & Physiology to nursing students.  I love to teach about the brain and positive emotions.  The research shows that positive thinking changes the brain neurons to allow us to experience more happiness.  This in turn lowers our stress response!  There can definitely be a lot of stress during the holiday season with family, dinners and expectations!  When our stress response kicks in our heart rate, blood pressure and sugar levels rise while our digestion stops.  Thus, long term stress is definitely not good for our bodies. [Read more…]

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