16 Easy Diet Tips That Really Work

Lizzie Fuhr from PopSugar says exercise plays an essential role in any weight-loss journey, but how you fuel your body is just as — if not more — important. If you’re ready to embrace new lifestyle changes and even more ready to stop feeling like food is a constant struggle, here are the straightforward tips we live by that really work.

  1. Lose the mind-set that foods are off-limits: According to trainers Chris and Heidi Powell, “anytime you deprive yourself of food . . . all you want is what you can’t have!” Take your mind-set away from sacrifice, and allow yourself everything in moderation.
  2. Keep it clean: Replace processed foods with clean (whole and natural) items. Not only are natural options more nutritious, you’ll find that their flavors are more satisfying.
  3. Opt for whole grains: Refined and processed carbs weigh you down and muck up your progress. Fiber-rich whole grains keep hunger at bay, support healthy digestion, and are a crucial part of a long-term weight-loss success.
  4. Greek yogurt is your best friend: Instead of sour cream, dollop this protein-rich yogurt on your burrito bowl. Make it into a creamy pasta sauce that satisfies any Italian cravings. Honestly, is there anything this protein-rich dairy option can’tsub for?
  5. Make your snacks smarter: Instead of a snack that includes just one food group, go for two — even three. The winning combination of protein, fiber, and carbs fuels workouts and keep you full.
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Summer Vegetable Kabobs

My recipes shared this great summer treat:

vegetable-kabobs-sl-173142-xIngredients

12-inch-long wooden skewers
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon salt
16 cups assorted cut vegetables

Preparation

1. Soak skewers in water 1 hour.

2. Whisk together wine and next 6 ingredients until well blended; reserve 1/4 cup. Combine remaining white wine mixture and vegetables in a large bowl. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Remove vegetables from marinade, discarding marinade.

3. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high). Thread vegetables onto skewers, and grill according to directions in “Guidelines and Cook Times for Vegetable Kabobs” below.

4. Transfer skewers to a platter. Remove vegetables from skewers, if desired. Serve with reserved 1/4 cup white wine mixture.

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Research proves having fun = a healthier brain

happy babyCindy Richards, Editor of LifeTimes says …

Go to that party, join some friends for coffee, or call your sister to catch up. It will be good for your brain.

Ongoing research at Rush University in Chicago has shown a strong link between spending time with others and a healthier brain. The research, headed by Robert W. Wilson, senior neuropsychologist at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, started in the 1990s. Volunteers agree to answer questions about their lifestyle and personality. And they agree to have their brains autopsied when they die.

To date, the researchers have done more than 1,000 brain autopsies. They found that the changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias were common but did not always lead to cognitive impairment or dementia. They also found that lifestyle and personality traits predicted cognitive health even after accounting for the autopsy findings.

 

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How to Take Charge of Your Medical Records

medical recordsMelinda Beck shared with the Wall Street Journal Newspaper that “It’s your health. So it’s time you took control of all the information about it.”

That’s the message that a growing number of patient advocates are trying to spread to American health-care consumers.

For most people, of course, it’s all too easy to simply leave their health records in the hands of doctors and hospitals. But that’s a big mistake, the advocates argue. First, it gives doctors too much power over information that is vital to patients, and it creates opportunities for errors. Perhaps more important, it keeps patients from using the information themselves for their own benefit.

“For consumers to start requesting and using their health information will be a game-changer for the health-care system,” says Christine Bechtel, a consultant for the National Partnership for Women and Families who spearheads the Get My Health Data campaign to get patients to ask doctors for their records. “Once we unlock the data, there’s an enormous amount we can do with it.”

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6 Healthy Bedtime Rituals That Will Make Tomorrow Awesome

morningLizzie Fuhr for POPSUGAR shared that waking up groggy and unprepared does not make for a happy morning. Incorporate these bedtime rituals into your evening routine, and you’ll immediately reap the positive benefits.

  1. Sip different: While a glass of wine or another boozy nightcap can make for a nice night, it is not supporting your goals for the next day. Stick with these better-for-you before-bed drinks that won’t mess with your energy or sleep.
  2. Snack right: Certain snacking can support a healthy night’s sleep. Opt for something light (around 150 calories) like these calm-inducing snacks.
  3. Pick up, pack up: Spend 10 minutes tidying up your home and packing up your work and gym bags for the following day. This way, you wake up to a clean, Zen space, and you’ll have more time to linger over your coffee and breakfast.
  4. Write it down: Instead of trying to run down a long mental list (and inevitably forget something), write down what you need to do the following day — especially the things you tend to forget. Since I’ve adopted this habit, I’m much calmer in the morning and have not left my apartment without grabbing my lunch first.
  5. Turn it off: Keeping your electronics on all night is affecting your sleep patterns, which can zap your energy the following morning. Say goodbye to Netflix binges in bed, and unwind with a book or magazine instead.
  6. Get to bed: Listen to your body when it’s tired! It’s imperative to make sure you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep every night, so you wake up feeling fabulous and ready to take on whatever tomorrow might bring.
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Announcing the July Flat Apple 2015 Event!

 

As part of the Healthy Lombard “Flat Apple program, which is designed to keep kids moving throughout the summer months, Healthy Lombard is pleased to announce the Inaugural Tour de Apple.

The Tour de Apple is a fun bicycle ride that covers 3/4 mile per loop. Each participant will ride two (2) laps, with each lap timed.

For each complete lap, a participant will receive an “apple bite”. Participants who post a faster time on their second lap, will receive an additional “apple bite”.

An “apple bite” is a rafflticket that will be included in the Flat Apple program for your chance to win a bike or other great prize.

Click here to download a flyer with the route.

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Satisfy Your Craving in 100 Calories or Less

snackingThe YMCA of the Triangle asks, “When the hunger pangs hit, do you crave sweet or savory?” 

Great news! You don’t have to sacrifice your favorite treats in order to eat healthy. In fact, a well-balanced nutritional snack can pack in the taste of its high-calorie counterparts, leaving your appetite satisfied and your waistline slim.

Aim for 100-calorie snacks (like the ones below) that ideally provide a mix of protein and fiber to keep you feeling fuller longer. 

5 TOP SAVORY SNACKS

1. Mini Quesadilla (100 calories)
You might not expect quesadillas to top the list of low-calorie foods. But try this: Sprinkle 1 ounce of grated low-fat cheddar on half of a whole-wheat tortilla. Fold in half and microwave for 20 seconds. Instant appetizer! 

2. 3 Crackers with Cheese (100 calories)
Top 3 whole-grain crackers with 1 ounce of sliced, low-fat cheese (your choice).

3. 8 Baby Carrots with Hummus (90 calories)
Craving something crunchy? Dip large baby carrots in 2 tablespoons of hummus (pick your favorite flavor to add variety). This high-vitamin snack serves double duty by packing in the protein.

4. 14 Almonds (98 calories) OR 6 Pretzel Sticks (96 calories)

A serving of almonds provides high fiber, healthy fats and protein for longer satiation. For those who don’t like nuts, pretzel sticks offer a convenient alternative on-the-go (just be sure to choose whole-grain!)

5. 6 Cups Microwave Popcorn (100 calories)

Need a bigger snack? Popcorn can feel like an indulgent mini-meal because it takes longer to chew. Choose a light brand (check the nutrition facts). 

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Bring them back to life

wilted veggieCarol Bylmire from the Washington Post shared that somehow, that bunch of bright carrots has lost its snap, shoved to the back of the crisper where it lay forgotten. Do you toss them or attempt a little veggie rehab?

She tested and found that the following methods work best for reviving each individual vegetable, although times may vary slightly depending on exactly how dry or wilted your produce is. As specified here, cold water means from the tap. Ice water means a combination of three parts cold water and 1 part ice cubes. Use the refreshed vegetables within 24 hours.

ASPARAGUS: Cut ¾ inch from the bottom of each spear. Refrigerate for 1 hour, stored upright in 2 inches of water in a glass. (It’s OK to store the spears this way for up to 24 hours before using.)

BROCCOLI: Cut into florets. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, soaking in ice water. (The florets might float; that’s OK.)

CARROTS: Cut ½ inch from both ends. Refrigerate for 1 hour, soaking in ice water (peeled or unpeeled).

CELERY: Separate into individual ribs; trim 1 inch from the bottom of each. Refrigerate for 1 hour, stored upright in 2 inches of water in a glass.

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Creating Healthy Family Food Habits

family eatingKate Bowler from Picabo Street suggests that we all know that making sure our kids eat healthy is important, but it can also be a challenge. Picabo Street, Olympic Gold Medalist and busy mom, talked with us about the importance of helping her kids develop healthy eating habits, how she teaches her family why eating healthy is important, and her tips and tricks for even the pickiest eaters:

  • Lead by example. “I care a lot about whether or not my children have good eating habits. It’s very important to me. So, one of the first things I do is have good eating habits myself, to set the right example.” Picabo says she tries to ‘walk the walk’ and eat a balanced diet to show her kids how it’s done. Another trick? Using their favorite athletes as a good example. “I’ll ask my kids what they think one of the best athletes we’ve recently seen on TV eats, and then we actually go look up online what they say their diet is, and they go, ‘Ohh!'” Showing the kids that the athletes are eating good foods to make them stronger helps them understand how important healthy food is.
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