Connect with us

fiber

For More Energy, Go Green

Published

on

Be diligent in your daily intake of green vegetables. Take note of the difference in your energy levels as your cells begin to thrive from the surge in nutrients!

Nutrition is the key to seeing results from any exercise program – whether your goal is to add muscle, burn fat, or have more energy and improve overall health. Green vegetables are a key player in your nutrition plan as they are good ways to provide the nutrients that are important for digestion, cellular health, and a natural vitamin and mineral intake. Also, a diet rich in green vegetables contributes to a strong immune system. What if you don’t like vegetables? You can still get all of their health benefits with some creative nutrition. Here are some helpful suggestions to consume more green vegetables in your daily meals.

Part of creating individualized nutrition plans for clients is supplying them with the proper amount of nutrients. A large percentage of clients select a good number of green vegetables from the lists that I provide, such as spinach, asparagus, broccoli, kale, string beans, Romaine lettuce, and other nutrient-dense vegetables. Though most enjoy a wide variety of green vegetables on a regular basis, I will often receive a response from a client who likes few vegetables. Once in while, I'll receive a response from a client who does not like any vegetables at all.

Disguise Your Vegetables

There are ways to disguise vegetables, such as including them in omelets, homemade meatloaf, and blended shakes. Spinach or broccoli can be easily disguised in both an omelet and meatloaf along with other items such as diced onion, diced pepper, or diced mushroom, and one can still receive important nutrients even if they prefer the vegetable to be an ingredient rather than having it by itself. Items such as spinach, kale, and asparagus can be used in blended shakes. I personally add one cup of baby leaf spinach and a half cup of steamed asparagus to my shake, and it does not alter the flavor of the shake. Once blended, the liquefied vegetables are barely noticeable and are easily absorbed by the body, giving me a great amount of vitamins and minerals that are vital for great cellular health and that definitely pack a punch of energy.

Are You a Vegetable-Hater?

Nine times out of 10, I can persuade the non-vegetable lovers to use the disguised vegetable methods, but every now and then I find a true vegetable-hater. For these rare cases, I recommend supplementation. The proper nutrients are available in specific powdered shakes, as well as certain powders and capsules. Green supplements can deliver these important missing dietary nutrients that greatly improve energy levels, recovery, digestion, and overall health.

Here are some supplement brands that I recommend for cases in which clients dislike vegetables:

A great quality powdered shake is Orgain Organic Protein and Greens. Two scoops contain an organic greens blend of 15 organic spinach leaves, a half cup of organic kale, and 2 organic broccoli florets.

Another green supplement that is available in either powder form or capsule form is Green Vibrance. The capsules are a convenient way for the real veggie-haters to consume their green vegetables on a regular basis.

Most individualized meal plans that I create contain vegetables at three to four out of the five total meals of the day. Generally, women have half-cup servings at most of the early meals and a full cup at the dinner meal. Men generally have a full cup of vegetables at each of the three to four meals. I encourage you to be diligent in your daily intake of green vegetables. Take note of the difference in your energy levels as your cells begin to thrive from the surge in nutrients!

The post For More Energy, Go Green first appeared on FitnessRX for Women.

Have you tried this NEW workout plan that everyone is talking about?

Unlock Your Hip Flexors

Exercise Programs

Five Questions About Healthy Eating Habits for Your Heart

Published

on

February is Heart Health Month! Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One of the most important things you can do to increase your heart health and decrease your risk for heart disease is to take a look at your diet. Are you eating the foods that are good for your heart and sparingly consuming the foods that aren’t?

Here are five questions to ask yourself about your diet.

How much sodium are you eating? Hypertension or high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. One of the best ways to decrease your blood pressure or to prevent high blood pressure is to watch the amount of sodium in your diet. It's in everything these days. However, it is not in fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables, and lean meats. The worst foods are those that are typically processed and packaged, and food when you are dining out. When grocery shopping, try to stay on the outside aisles of the store and avoid purchasing a lot of items down the center aisles. This tends to be the area where the higher-sodium foods are located. Try to decrease how many times you eat out per week. When you do dine out, be sure to drink plenty of water to help flush out the excess that is bound to be in your food. Are you choosing low-fat animal protein sources? Saturated fat is the fat that is found in animal products and is directly linked to elevated cholesterol and increasing the risk for heart disease. Most individuals get their protein from meat, resulting in high saturated fat consumption. The best way to watch the amount you are taking in is to choose lower-fat protein sources such as those from fish that is grilled or baked, white-meat chicken and turkey without skin, center cuts of pork, and lean cuts of red meat such as filet or sirloin. Are you eating fruits and veggies with every meal? Prepare them any way you like, and shoot for a few portions at each meal. Toss fruit into your oatmeal or yogurt and add veggies to your eggs at breakfast. At lunchtime it’s easy to grab a veggie as your side to your sandwich. Fruit is an easy and portable snack any time of day, and half of your plate should be covered with vegetables at dinner! These nutrient powerhouses are loaded with fiber. Fiber helps to decrease the cholesterol in your body, which can be very heart protective. Where are the high-fiber carbohydrates? Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap in recent years, mainly due to the increased intake of highly processed and unnatural carbohydrate sources. Carbs are important and help supply the body with energy it needs to run various systems of the body. Portion control is key here (1 to 2 cupped-hand-sized servings) and so is choosing the kind of carbohydrate. Choose whole grains, beans, lentils, and fruits that are unprocessed the majority of the time. Are you eating the right kinds of fat? Fat in your diet is important; however, the type of fat you are choosing is key. Remember that animal fat is the not-good-for-your-heart fat, along with foods that are packaged to have a long shelf life and those that are deep fried. The good fats are those from vegetable sources such as nuts, olive oil, avocado, and fatty fish like salmon. Choose these types of fat the majority of the time, being aware of portion sizes though, since they carry a lot of calories with them also.

If you have a family history of heart disease, you should definitely be asking yourself these five questions and working toward healthy eating habits. Take time this month to reflect on your heart health, decrease your sodium intake, and increase your fiber and good-for-you fats!

This blog was written by Angie Mitchell, RD, Wellness Coordinator. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Continue Reading

creating healthy habits

Fad Diet Book Bestsellers for Weight Loss: Buy or Skip?

Published

on

It seems like every couple of months a new book comes out about a new diet plan for weight loss and shoots to the top of the bestseller list. I decided to check and see what which fad diets are currently topping the list and give you the positives and negatives of them. Of the top eight books, three were related to Whole30 and four were based around the Ketogenic Diet.

Ketogenic Diet (Keto)

This diet plan cuts out all carbs except a very low 20 grams per day, and focuses on a high-fat diet. Doing this allows your body to enter ketosis, where it is breaking down dietary and stored body fat into ketones. The body will now focus on using fat for energy instead of sugar, which is what it normally uses. Protein intake is also lower than traditional low-carb diets to really focus on getting around 75% of your diet from fat.

Pros: Scientifically since you aren’t consuming carbohydrates, your body has no other choice than to burn fat for energy, which results in fat loss. Once you get through the initial stage of getting your body into ketosis, you are less likely to feel hungry, even on a low-calorie diet. This also comes from eating a high-fat diet that will have you consuming more calorie-dense foods. You will reduce your insulin levels and inflammation. Due to the small amount of foods you are allowed to eat, you will more than likely increase your intake of good-for-you fats from nuts, fish, and avocado. Negatives: It can be very challenging to follow such a strict diet that only allows 10% from carbohydrates and 15% from protein, which is not traditionally how we eat. The first week as your body gets into ketosis can be very challenging with mood swings, hunger, tiredness, and headaches. In order to get so much fat in the diet, most people end up eating a lot of foods high in animal fat or saturated fat. Initial weight loss has been found with this diet, but long term it hasn’t been seen (which may be due to the challenge of sticking to the diet). This diet is very low in fiber, which is needed to keep your heart healthy and keep you full. Whole30

This diet plan eliminates all sugar (real and artificial), alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, baked goods, junk food and treats (even if they are made with approved ingredients); and no stepping on the scale or taking body measurements for 30 days. You are encouraged to eat real food, specifically meat, seafood, and eggs and lots of fruits and veggies with herbs and seasonings.

Pros: Focuses on real food, so you don’t have to buy special foods and instead can buy everything you need at the grocery store. Encourages healthy fats, lean protein, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Helps to eliminate processed and packaged foods and makes you focus on fresh foods. Discourages replacing junk food with “healthier junk food” made with approved ingredients and encourages no junk food at all. Negatives: When you eliminate entire food groups such as grains and dairy, you are more likely to be at risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, specifically calcium, Vitamin D, and B Vitamins. If you are choosing non-lean meats, you can be taking in high levels of saturated fat, which will affect your cholesterol. Your fiber levels will decrease when eliminating all grains and legumes (beans). A diet this strict is challenging to maintain long term and may cause rapid weight loss followed by weight gain, which is called yo-yo dieting and has been found to slow down the metabolism and makes losing weight in the future more challenging. If you aren’t used to preparing all of your meals and snacks at home, this will add a lot of time to your typical routine.

If you want to try something new and popular, keep in mind that these diets might not be the best long-term solution due to their strict rules. Both options have some positive aspects about them that can be incorporated into your diet. It never hurts to try something new when the end result is to increase your overall health. Now it’s up to you if you want to spend the money to buy the books and read more!

This blog was written by Angie Mitchell, RD, Wellness Coordinator. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Continue Reading

Exercise Programs

Eat Better, Work Better? Three Nutrition Tips for Productivity

Published

on

We’ve all heard the phrase that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but who knew that eating a balanced diet would also make you more productive at work? That’s what was found in a study conducted by Brigham Young University on 19,000 employees from three large companies (published in the Population Health Management journal). It was discovered that employees with unhealthy diets were 66% less productive than those who ate whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

So how can you be a more productive employee? Try these three simple ways to eat more balanced meals and then get ready to impress your boss.

Whole-grain Goodness

Swap out your old rice, pasta, bread, and cereal for grains that are higher in fiber and are less processed. Brown and wild rice are excellent alternatives to white rice. Whole-wheat pasta, couscous, quinoa, millet, and oats are more high-fiber options to incorporate into your diet.

When it comes to breads and cereal, check the label. Choose options that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Check out the Whole Grains Council website for more information.

Fabulous Fruits

Most people need three pieces of fruit per day to meet their individual requirements. This can easily be done by incorporating a fruit in your morning cereal or oatmeal, grabbing an apple or banana for a quick and portable snack, or having a bowl of sweet berries after dinner for dessert. The vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber in fruit are all great reasons to include them in your diet.

Varied Veggies

One of the most challenging food groups to get into your diet, but also one of the best for you, is vegetables. It can be difficult to meet that 4–5 recommended servings per day, so how can you get these in to help balance your diet?

One way is to make sure that you are spreading them out throughout the day by including a vegetable serving at lunch and/or snack time. At lunch, grab portable veggies such as baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, mini bell peppers, and sugar-snap peas to add some variety and crunch along with your typical sandwich. Or nibble on veggies with a hummus dip for an afternoon snack. Make it a goal to try one new/different vegetable each week.

***

Now that you know the impact of nutrition on employee health and productivity, you can follow these three tips for healthy meals and snacks.

This blog was written by Angie Mitchell, RD, Wellness Coordinator. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Continue Reading

Trending