New Year Nutrition

With the new year fast approaching, it is important to set positive goals for yourself to achieve as 2018 begins. Here are some quick and simple nutrition tips and goals to have as new years resolutions to start off a new year with healthy nutrition and yummy foods.NewYearNutritionArticle

  • Eat breakfast everyday! Your first meal can help to get the body energized in the morning. Include important nutrients in breakfast that might be missed later in the day. Carbohydrates are going to provide that good boost of energy. Fiber in breakfast, like oatmeal or cereal, helps to eliminate cholesterol and keep you feeling full until lunch. Calcium and vitamin D rich foods in breakfast, like milk and yogurt, help to build strong bones and a strong immune system. If you are in a rush, grab a quick on-the-go breakfast like a granola bar or fresh fruit.
  • Read the labels! Food labels provide us with a wealth of information about a product. Nutrient contents and even a full list of all the ingredients. Checking food labels for key percentages or ingredients is a simple way to become more mindful of the products you consume. Check for the magic number of 10%. If an item has more than 10% of healthy nutrients like fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium or iron, it is a good source of nutrients; if an item has more than 10% of nutrients like saturated fat, sodium, or cholesterol it may not be the most healthy item.
  • Drink more water! Water helps to keep the body hydrated and a hydrated body can perform all of its necessary functions much more easily. Water aids in digestion and keeps skin looking young and glowing. Try carrying a water bottle around with you. Bottles with cool designs or shapes can make it more personal to carry with you and having it there will force you to take more sips. 

Adopting simple and basic nutrition techniques is a great way to start establishing healthy habits!

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Mindful Mornings

What you do and think first thing in the morning can set the tone for the rest of your day. Setting a mindful morning routine that works for you and helps you get in a positive mind set for the day can be very beneficial. Here are some tips for waking up with ease and energy!

  • Wake up earlier. Going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier can help give you more time to prepare for the day in the morning so you don’t feel as rushed to get to work or school. The morning can be a very quiet and peaceful time of the day 
  • Exercise. Getting in some morning movement helps to energize the body and get the blood flowing. Start the day with some basic stretching or a quick walk!
  • Breakfast. Try to have breakfast within two hours of waking and include lots of proteins and carbohydrates for quick energy and to feel full longer!
  • Set an intention for the day. Pick one word or phrase that you would like to focus on throughout your day. It could be something like “I will try to practice my listening skills today” or “I will practice gratitude and appreciation today.” It helps to keep your mind clear and focused and gives you a purpose for everything you do that day.

Not everyone is a morning person, and that’s okay. But practicing a mindful morning routine can help to give you a clear and stress free start to your day that hopefully will follow you until bedtime!morning

Get Healthy and Happy Without Even Leaving Your House!

The excitement of winter is coming and though the smell of gingerbread and peppermint, a crackling fire and a mug of hot cocoa can make you warm and cozy, there is no denying that getting outside or trying to find motivation to move around and get active can be a struggle.

Here are 3 reasons why a quick at home workout can help you to get healthy and happy during the cold winter season!

  • Studies have shown that just 15 minutes of fitness at a time, or even as little as one hour per week can minimize your risk for depression or depressive like symptoms. Boosts in mood enhancing hormones after exercise can also promote short term elevated mood levels!
  • The digital age of exercise is upon us and there has never been a more opportune time to utilize technology to enhance your health. Fitness apps, YouTube clips and videos all can be a great way to fit in a guided work out right from your living room!
  • Stretching is a gentle and easy way to warm up the muscles when we may be lacking in energy to be super active. You can even stretch right from your couch or in front of the fireplace or television without even having to take off your pajamas!Winter

 

 

Disguise your Fries

Sweet potatoes are a power packed functional food that can be used to replace the standard potato in recipes for a bright and sweet kick. 

They are high in Vitamins B6, C, A and D which all help to support a healthy body. They are also anti-inflammatory and contain minerals like iron, magnesium and potassium. These nutrient dense tubers help our immune systems, bones and teeth, eyes, muscles, blood, heart, and even help to give us natural energy and stress reducing effects!

Try this easy and fun Sweet Potato Fritter recipe with eggs on top for breakfast or as a snack with a Siracha Mayo dipping sauce! Yum!

Sweet Potato Fritters

  • 1 medium sweet potato (grated)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oilfritters
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Whisk egg in medium bowl and then add grated sweet potato, olive oil and salt & pepper.  Mix to coat the sweet potato. Add coconut oil to a skillet and heat. Ball up 1 large tablespoon of sweet potato mixture and place in skillet using a wooden spoon or spatula to flatten ball to a patty shape. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. 

 

Guided Gratitude

It is important to remind ourselves of all the blessings in our lives during this thankful time or Thanksgiving holiday. Appreciation and gratefulness for the things in our life, whether person, place or even an idea, can expand our awareness and acceptance skills, enhancing our ability to live in a mindful mental state. With gratitude, we acknowledge what gives us meaning and purpose or that spark of joy. Celebrate your fortunes, appreciate your qualities, acknowledge your commitment. All will boost your confidence and ability to see life from a non-judgmental perspective.

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Guided Gratitude Practice –

Find a relaxed and comfortable space and body position. Close your eyes and follow the prompts creating visual images using your mind and feelings using your emotional experience of gratitude.

First, think of the people in your life you are grateful for. It could be family, friends, teachers and peers. People who are in your life now, people who used to be in your life, or even people you hope to meet. Visualize what they look like and how they support you, guide you and give you strength. Take a deep breath in, and on your exhale imagine saying thank you or sending gratitude and compassion to those people.

Next, think of a place you are grateful for. This could be your home, a forest, the beach. Wherever you feel safe and can appreciate what is around you. Visualize the colors and shapes you may see here, imagine the smells and sounds that you find in your grateful space. Think about what it is about this place that you feel grateful for. Take a deep breath in, and on your exhale imagine saying thank you or sending gratitude and compassion to that place.

Lastly, think of yourself. Think of all your qualities and attributes that make you, you. Visualize yourself doing actions you are proud of, appreciate your skills and characteristics that give you joy. Maybe you are grateful you are kind, hardworking, strong, or friendly. Experience gratitude for how your body works to keep you healthy and breathing strong, how your mind learns new topics and skills and holds memories or wishes, and how your emotions make you feel. Take a deep breath in, and on your exhale imagine saying thank you or sending gratitude and compassion to yourself.

Open your eyes and slowly take a moment to reflect on what you may have discovered during your contemplation. 

Beets are a Treat

Beets are a root vegetable ideal for Fall. As the weather gets colder the root vegetables can stay strong under the earth. Beets are bright with shiny hues of pink and purple, but they aren’t only great to look at, they are great to eat!!Beets

  • Inflammation Fighter: Beets have been found to fight nasty inflammation responses in the body. Fighting inflammation in the body means beets could be a great way to also fight off chronic diseases.
  • Fiber and Nutrient Container: Beets also contain high amounts of fiber, helping to rid the body of toxins and purifying the liver. They can also boost your immune system with it’s Vitamin C content and minerals like potassium and manganese.

Try this fun Beet Brownie Recipe to add a sweet vegetable kick to a warm and delicious dessert!

Ingredients;

  • 2 medium beets boiled and peeled
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • cups whole wheat flour
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup golden brown sugar packed

Steps;

  • Puree beats in a blender.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line a 9-inch by 9-inch brownie pan with parchment paper or grease pan generously.
  • Cut sticks of butter into tablespoon size chunks and place in a saucepan. Add chocolate chips. Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture melts and is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and then set aside.
  • Mix the eggs for about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and brown sugar; mix about 2 minutes. Add beet puree and slowly add chocolate mixture. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined. Pour batter into pan and smooth top with a spatula.
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

 

The Power of Parks

Whether you live on a farm in Sussex or an apartment in New Castle, retreating to parks and spending time in nature is a powerful way to relax, refresh and revive. Time spent in green space or natural environments has been proven to have relaxing effects on both the body and the mind. Nature can

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  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Boost the immune system
  • Calm the mind 
  • Aid in flushing out toxins

Clean oxygen, fresh scents and natural oils all work effortlessly together to enhance well-being. Spending an afternoon in the park is also a great way to socialize, play, and to be active while hiding away from traffic noise, pollution, and technology.