Easy Ways to Reach 10,000 Steps Every Day

Lately, I have been trying to up my step count on my fitbit and I have found there are many easy ways to increase steps. Not only does this increase the amount of calories you will burn throughout the day, but also it will make you more active and energetic. At work, we have Virgin Pulse. It allows you to record the steps you take and daily activities like what workouts you do during the day and how many glasses of water you drink. It is associated with our health benefits, so we can earn extra cash throughout the year. I have been trying to walk more to earn more cash and benefit my health.

We sit more than we think. We sleep around eight hours a day, sit while commuting to and from work and then sit for another eight to nine hours working. Not only can this increase body weight, but also it takes a serious toll on our joints. You can develop hip, knee and neck pain from the way you sit. The static pressure on tissues for long periods puts weight on your lower back, stressing the joints and muscles. Similarly, it can cause obesity. Sitting without contracting your muscles for long periods can slow the metabolism and cause weight gain, while also increasing the risk of many diseases associated with obesity, like diabetes, heart disease and more.

14physed-running-photo-master768

How to increase your steps throughout the day:

Drink more water:
Not only is drinking more water good for your health, but you can increase your steps by the frequent walks to the fridge or water fountain, as well as the restroom.

Walk on your lunch break:
During my lunch break, I always go for a walk or run outside or on the treadmill. This is a great way to get a workout in, as well as increase steps.

Take the stairs:
Take the stairs at home, work or the mall.

Park far way:
Park at the other side of the parking lot to increase steps

Create a walk at work:
During the warmer months, many people at work create a group to walk for 20-30 minutes in the middle of the day. It is a great way to make more connections, while increasing steps.

Take a walking break:
Throughout the day, take 5-10 minutes to get up and walk. It can help increase brain flow and gives you a break during the busy workday.

Get a dog or cat:
Playing outside with your furry friend can help increase your steps

Take the long way:
Go to the farther bathroom or go the long way to your office

Use a stand up desk:
Stand up desks can help lower your risk of obesity, heart disease and more.

Set reminders on your phone:
You can set reminders for every 2 hours to make sure you walk for five minutes.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Ketogenic Diet 101

The Ketogenic diet is the newest fad diet that has been buzzing around the news. Although this diet seems new to us, it has actually been practiced for decades. It is based on science and physiology, so it has been shown to work well for many people.

So what is it and why is it so popular?

The Ketogenic diet is a low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat diet that is intended to help you lose weight and improve your health. The notion of this diet is to put your body in the metabolic state called ketosis. Ketosis is when your body breaks down fat for energy. This is a natural survival state your body initiates when you are low on food. During this process, your body produces ketones in the liver when it breaks down fats. Since your body’s main source of energy is from carbs, when you do not eat adequate amounts of carbs, your body looks for other sources of energy, like fat and protein.

This diet does not force you to count calories or reduce portion sizes, it is a different approach to weight loss. It is basically changing your main sources of food, so your body reacts differently, causing you to lose weight.

Benefits:

Weight loss: since your body will be using fat for energy, your body will burn more amounts of fat than usual. It has been shown that this diet has better results than a low-fat diet.

Blood sugar: since you will be eating minimal carbohydrate and sugar, your blood sugar levels will drop. This may be a helpful way to manage diabetes when compared to other diets.

Acne: Since you will be consuming less processed foods and sugar, you may have less acne.

What can you eat?

Healthy fats: 80% of your diet
Olive oil
coconut oil
grass-fed butter
some nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds)
MTC oil (medium chain triglycerides oil from coconuts)

Non-starchy vegetables:  5% of your diet
(aka low carb veggies)
leafy greens
cucumbers
zucchini
asparagus
avocados
tomatoes
onions

High protein foods: 20% of your diet
Grass-fed meat
cage free eggs
bone broth
wild caught fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel)
Full-fat dairy products (butter, cream)

Foods to avoid

Sugary foods (soda, cake, etc)
grains or starches
fruit
root vegetables and beans
Alcohol

Example meal plan:

Breakfast: eggs with tomatoes, onions, and cheddar cheese
Lunch: Salad with grilled chicken, almonds, and veggies
Dinner: Zoodles with tomato sauce and mozzarella
 

 

Amazing Benefits of our Favorite Spice

While studying yesterday, I came across the beneficial properties of cinnamon and became very intrigued by its history of medicinal uses.  It has been used for thousands of years, dating back to ancient Egypt. Little did we know that the fragrant spice that fills the air on Christmas morning could help reduce blood sugar and prevent many common diseases.

Cassia Cinnamon is the most common type of cinnamon that is used in America today. While Ceylon cinnamon is used in many other countries and is known as “true cinnamon.” The spice is made from the bark of Cinnamomum trees, while the essential oil can be made from the bark, leaves or twigs. The smell and flavor of cinnamon is due to the compound known as cinnamaldehyde. This compound is also responsible for the beneficial properties of cinnamon.

Ceylon is milder and sweeter in flavor and is the best version for your health.

Health Benefits

Antioxidants: as we know, antioxidants reduce free radical damage. This warming spice has been shown to have one of the highest antioxidant levels when compared to other commonly used spices. They contain polyphenols, phenolic acid, and flavonoids. These antioxidants can help reduce free radicals, which can help reduce risks of many diseases and illnesses.

Anti-inflammatory properties: the beneficial antioxidants in cinnamon also help reduce inflammation. This can lower the risk of many diseases, like cancer, heart disease, infections and repair tissues. In relation, this can help reduce pain, allergic reactions, relieve muscle soreness and many other common inflammatory issues.

Heart Health: cinnamon has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and blood pressure.  The compounds in cinnamon help reduce LDL cholesterol while keeping HDL cholesterol stable. LDL cholesterol is the bad cholesterol, while HDL cholesterol is the good cholesterol.

Improve Sensitivity to Insulin: Insulin is the hormone that is needed to keep blood sugar balanced. Cinnamon is beneficial to people who are resistant to the effects of insulin since it increases the sensitivity to insulin. Diseases that revolve around insulin resistance are type 2 Diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

While there is no established dose that is recommended for cinnamon, it has been shown that ½ to 1 teaspoon of powder added to your daily diet can have beneficial properties. You can add it to your shakes, oatmeal and much more. It is found in more dishes than you think!

How much water should we actually drink?

Good Morning! We finally have hot water again and I have never been so grateful. We have been out of hot water for the past three days and it has been torture. You don’t realize what you have until its gone (lol)! With our landlord, the gas company and other tenants living in the building, it has been difficult to get the hot water started again, but (thanks to me) it is finally working.

On the topic of water, I decided to touch base on how much water is actually needed each day. As we know, the body consists of about 70 percent water. Many people think that nutrition focuses on what we eat, however, the amount of water you drink daily can impact overall health.

Importance of water:

  1. Regulates body temperature
  2. Lubricates joints
  3. Protects the spinal cord and other tissues
  4. Helps food pass through the intestines

Although water can be consumed through foods and other liquids, it is important to consume plain drinking water. Water is lost by the body every day through sweating, urination, and breathing. The amount of water that is needed varies per day and from person to person. The quantity of water is affected by age, physical activity, caloric intake, body composition, health status, ambient temperature, humidity, and altitude.

So how much water should you drink?

Many people think that you should consume 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water per day; however, as stated above, it does vary.

There are various formulas that explain how much water you should consume per day, however, this can be tricky and impossible to do.

The calorie based formula explains that you should consume 1 milliliter of water per calorie you burn. If you are exercising vigorously in a hot, humid environment, you would need to consume more water. This formula is rather hard to base your water consumption on since most people do not know how many calories they burn every day.

The body weight based formula is much more realistic; however, it is for adults older than 30 years old.  This formula states that you need 30-35 ml of water per kilogram of body weight.

The Institute of Medicine has established a daily recommendation of water.
Men: thirteen 8 ounce servings of water
Women: nine 8 ounce servings of water
this does not take activity level, environmental or medical conditions into consideration.
( I find this option easiest to follow)

Tomato Tart

Tomato Tart

IMG_20170905_183859_859
Tomato Tart

1 large onion
1/4 cup sugar
1 store bought pie crust
3 tomatoes
1/2 block mozzarella
parmesan cheese to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

Step 1: caramelize onions

Step 2: slice tomato and mozzarella. Line a small pan with pie crust. Spread a layer of sliced mozzarella and sprinkle parmesan cheese. Cover with caramelized onions and tomatoes. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and bake until crust is golden brown. 

Probiotics vs Prebiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast. They are the “good bacteria” that keep your gut healthy and moves food through your intestines.

Prebiotics are the food for probiotics. They come from fiber and other carbohydrates that we cannot digest. The probiotics and other bacteria in the gut eat prebiotics.

Why are they important?

Probiotics help absorb nutrients and fight infections. They have been shown to improve your immune system and help treat many digestive issues. The digestive system is one of the largest neurological systems in our body, so a healthy digestive system can help prevent many issues and fight many illnesses. They can reduce skin issues, fight auto immune disorders, as well as prevent and fight colds and flus.

There are many types of probiotics with different benefits. They are mostly classified into two groups:

Lactobacillus: found in fermented foods and dairy products. This type can help with diarrhea and help people who are lactose intolerant.

Bifidobacterium: found in dairy products. This type of probiotic has been shown to ease irritable bowel syndrome.

Consuming probioitics:

  1. Sour foods, like apple cider vinegar and fermented vegetables. The acid in these foods help support the growth of probiotics in your gut.
  2. Consume more probiotic rich foods like yogurt, kombucha and kefir. There are many foods that are enriched with probiotics now, such as chocolate!
  3. Take a probiotic supplement!

Consuming Prebiotics:

  1. Legumes
  2. Oats
  3. Many high fiber fruits, like bananas and berries
  4. High fiber vegetables, such as asparagus, garlic, dandelion greens, leeks, and onions
  5. Take a prebiotic supplement!

Some foods are considered synbiotic, meaning they contain both preboitics and probiotics. An example is sauerkraut.

 

Post Run Meals

Long distance running can be very strenuous on the body. After a run, it is important to consume the proper nutrients to repair muscles and rehydrate the body. It is ideal to consume the nutrients within 30-45 minutes after a run. This can help improve your endurance and  make you a faster runner. It can also help reduce the risk of injuries.

Your post run meal, should be a combination of carbohydrates and protein. Since glycogen is used to make energy, it is important to consume it after you run. It is ideal to consume high-glycemic foods, such as whole wheat bread or pasta, potatoes, or brown rice.  Protein is also important because it helps repair and restore muscles. It is ideal to consume a ratio of four grams of carbs to every one gram of protein. You should also consume plenty of fluids with electrolytes.

Post run meal ideas:

  1. Eggs, veggies, and whole wheat toast
  2. Whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce and grilled chicken
  3. Quinoa salad with beans
  4. Peanut butter sandwich
  5. Potatoes and eggs
  6. Grilled chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread