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How to Eat Healthy

It’s easier than you think to start eating healthy! Take small steps each week to improve your nutrition and move toward a healthier you.

Eight Healthy Eating Goals

Small changes can make a big difference to your health. Try incorporating at least six of the eight goals below into your diet. Commit to incorporating one new healthy eating goal each week over the next six weeks. You can track your progress through PALA+.

Make half your plate fruits and vegetables: Choose red, orange, and dark-green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, along with other vegetables for your meals. Add fruit to meals as part of main or side dishes or as dessert. The more colorful you make your plate, the more likely you are to get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs to be healthy.

Make half the grains you eat whole grains: An easy way to eat more whole grains is to switch from a refined-grain food to a whole-grain food. For example, eat whole-wheat bread instead of white bread. Read the ingredients list and choose products that list a whole-grain ingredients first. Look for things like: “whole wheat,” “brown rice,” “bulgur,” “buckwheat,” “oatmeal,” “rolled oats,” quinoa,” or “wild rice.”

Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk: Both have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but fewer calories and less saturated fat.

Choose a variety of lean protein foods: Meat, poultry, seafood, dry beans or peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the protein foods group. Select leaner cuts of ground beef (where the label says 90% lean or higher), turkey breast, or chicken breast.

Compare sodium in foods: Use the Nutrition Facts label to choose lower sodium versions of foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals. Select canned foods labeled “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added.”

Drink water instead of sugary drinks: Cut calories by drinking water or unsweetened beverages. Soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks are a major source of added sugar and calories in American diets. Try adding a slice of lemon, lime, or watermelon or a splash of 100% juice to your glass of water if you want some flavor.

Eat some seafood: Seafood includes fish (such as salmon, tuna, and trout) and shellfish (such as crab, mussels, and oysters). Seafood has protein, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids (heart-healthy fat). Adults should try to eat at least eight ounces a week of a variety of seafood. Children can eat smaller amounts of seafood, too.

Cut back on solid fats: Eat fewer foods that contain solid fats. The major sources for Americans are cakes, cookies, and other desserts (often made with butter, margarine, or shortening); pizza; processed and fatty meats (e.g., sausages, hot dogs, bacon, ribs); and ice cream.

Use the MyPlate Icon to make sure your meal is balanced and nutritious.

Source: How to Eat Healthy

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What's Your Ideal Body Weight?To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat. But it’s not always clear how to do that. For most people, a successful weight-loss plan has two parts: healthy food choices and physical activity. Understanding the balance between the two can help you lose weight more easily and keep it off!

According to the National Weight Control Registry, of adults who have successfully maintained their weight loss:

  • 98% have modified their eating habits.
  • 94% have increased their level of physical activity, especially walking.
  • 78% eat a healthy breakfast every day.
  • 75% weigh themselves at least once a week.
  • 62% watch less than 10 hours of television per week.

So you think you’re ready, but you’re not sure how to take that first step? It’s not as hard as you might think.

Start your weight loss journey using these 5 steps:

Set realistic goals.

Before beginning a weight-loss program, assess where you are today so you know what you need to improve. Learn your BMI to help determine how much weight you would like to lose to reduce your risk of health problems.

Set yourself up for success with short-term goals, like “I will make lifestyle changes which will help me lose (and keep off) 3-5% of my body weight” or “I will reduce the amount of times that I eat out each week from ___ to ____.”

Short-term goals like these can seem more achievable, and can, little by little, keep you on track toward your long-term goals. If the goal is too difficult, it’s harder to achieve and can lead to self-judgement and disappointment that can derail the smaller successes you’ve achieved.

Understand how much and why you eat.

Use a food diary or tracking app for a while to gain an understanding of what, how much, and when you are eating. If you tend to snack late at night or visit fast food restaurants several times a week, those might be opportunities to make healthier choices. Being mindful of your eating habits and aware of common roadblocks and excuses in your efforts to lose weight can help you set and reach realistic goals.

Manage portion sizes.

It’s easy to overeat when you’re served too much food. Smaller portions can help prevent eating too much. Learn the difference between a portion and a serving and how to keep portions reasonable.

Make smart substitutions to reduce sodium, saturated fat and added sugar.

Foods high in saturated and trans fat and sugar are often high in calories too. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite flavors. Learn to make smart substitutions instead. Learn how to reduce the added sugars in your diet with these infographics. Take the 21-Day Sodium Challenge to reduce the sodium you eat. Discover healthy snacks for between meals and fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods to help keep you fuller longer.

Balance what you eat with physical activity.

Most of us can agree it’s easier to take calories in than to burn them. The amount of physical activity an individual needs to lose weight can vary, but in the weight-loss equation, healthy eating and physical activity complement each other. Both are essential parts of losing weight and staying at a healthy weight. Physical activity is anything that gets your heart rate up. Learn the AHA Physical Activity Recommendations for Adults.

Tips to help you on your weight-loss journey:

  • You may want to work with a registered dietitian nutritionist (RD or RDN) to create a healthy eating plan. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers a “find a dietitian” resource on their website.
  • Learn how sleep can affect eating and see if there are changes you could make in your sleep schedule.
  • If you feel you need more support, look for a weight-loss program that’s been proven safe and successful. Get personal support from a weight-loss group or buddy.
  • Aim for a gradual weight loss with healthy lifestyle changes until you reach a healthy weight.
  • If you have any heart conditions or you are experiencing symptoms of other chronic health issues, talk to your healthcare provider before starting a weight-loss or exercise program.
  • Include maintenance in your goals to help you keep the weight off.
  • Remember, these steps lead to life-long healthy eating. They are not a quick-fix diet.

Source: 5 Steps to Lose Weight

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Reflecting Forward 20113…2…1…happy New Year! It’s time to put the last year behind you and work toward what you couldn’t accomplish the year before. Lose 25 pounds, exercise daily, stop eating so much chocolate…it’s all so possible!

You go to the gym and it’s packed! Looks like you weren’t the only one who had a weight loss resolution. You start awkwardly fumbling around and after about 20 minutes, you begin to sweat. It’s working! After a month or two, you would have noticed the gym attendance has tapered off a bit—had you continued to go.

Most people are full steam ahead at first start, but often times that steam begins to run out and old habits return. So how do you maintain your resolution and accomplish your goals for the New Year? Here are some tips to keep you going throughout the year.

Make a Plan

Most people just jump into whatever activity they want to improve on, with little thought of the long run. One of the biggest problems with New Year’s goals is the fact that most of them are an abstraction. “Losing weight” and “going to the gym” aren’t very concrete and they fall apart easily. Try putting realistic numbers on your goals. “Lose 2 pounds a week for 3 months” or “eat out one less time per week” give numerical value to your goals and they begin to material and become more concrete.

Start Small

Notice the weight loss goal was was 2 pounds, not 10 pounds. It is best to take time with accomplishing your resolution. Most people kick-start the New Year with a vengeance, but they begin to fizzle within weeks. Most of the time this is because they started too strong and didn’t ease into the transition. Take your time with your resolution, it’s not a race. Start with small victories and work your way up to the big picture.

Create Accountability

One of the best ways to accomplish something is to broadcast it to the world. Tell everyone about your goal, but not as a New Year’s resolution. No one will expect you to keep a New Year’s resolution, but they will hold you to your word on a goal. Tell your friends and family what your goal is and what you’re doing to accomplish it. Over time, they’ll ask how you’re doing and support you, which will in turn give you something to be accountable for.

A new year brings new challenges and an opportunity to change your behaviors for the better. The hard part is sticking to your guns and accomplishing all you want to accomplish. Set a realistic goal, tell your friends and plan it all out and by the same time the next year, you’ll be celebrating the new year and the completion of your goal!

©2016 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion LLC

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Benefits of Workplace Yoga ClassesIf you have heard of the movie, The Secret, you have heard of the Law of Attraction, as well. The Law of Attraction is not something that simple comes your way; you have to put a little effort into, as well.

The law of attraction states that every positive or negative event that happened with you was attracted by you. You may or may not buy that completely, however, I will say There are techniques that you can use in order to make the Law of Attraction work for you so that you can get what you want out of life.

Learn How to Meditate Using Creative Visualization

First and foremost, if you are interested in utilizing the Law of Attraction to its fullest potential, make sure that you begin each day with meditation. Meditation is important as it brings your focus toward what you desire and what you expect for that day. Meditation will increase brain power and have your mind at that relaxed state.

Creative Visualization is a powerful tool in creating the feelings behind the desire. It is not enough to just meditate on something you wish to attract into your life, visualizing brings it to life.

Creative Visualization takes it one step further by incorporating the feelings you are feeling as you see yourself.  It has been successfully used in the fields of health/wellness, fitness/exercise,  education, business, sports, and the arts for many years.

As you embrace the feelings of joy and happiness, you will see that more joy and happiness will enter your life. Creating visualization makes this happen by using your emotions as triggers.

Learn the Art of Being Grateful

Being grateful means truly understanding how much we already do have without asking for any more. When you are in a state of gratitude, so many more things to be grateful for come our way.

Take a look around you, there is so much to be grateful for, but you need to stand up and take notice. When you start to understand the simple blessing such as butterflies or flowers that envelope your life, you will feel more joy. Once you feel more joy, you will manifest more joyful events in your life.

Write Your Own Thoughts

If you really want to get the most out of the Law of Attraction, then you must consciously control your own thoughts on a daily basis. Sometimes you must control your thoughts on a moment-by-moment basis.

If you find yourself going into negative or self-sabotaging thoughts, you need to take responsibility in several ways.

  • Think positively
  • Concentrate on all that you are grateful for
  • Give yourself positive affirmations

Focus as often as you can on what you DO want rather than on what you don’t want. For example, if you want to be healthier, or lose 25 pounds, focus on the results and the solutions you would like to see.

Start creating your thoughts to show up as you wish.  Remember, this is the first day of the rest of your life.  Focus on joy, happiness and success.  Start creating your own victory!

© 2014 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion

Further Reading

How to Eat Mindfully: Learn to Appreciate Every Bite

How to Find Your Exercise Motivation

 

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Fitness buffs start year with boot camp at Lakeland YMCAIt can be difficult fitting exercise into the daily grind. People come up with so many excuses to keep them from a healthy lifestyle and staying active. Becoming one of the “fitness faithful” may seem out of reach, but guess what? It’s actually a lot easier than you think! Exercise has to become part of your daily and weekly habits and once it is, it’ll become second nature and just another part of your routine. Here are 4 easy ways to make exercising into a sustainable habit, instead of feeling like an occasional chore.

1. Have a Partner

You know those days where you just don’t feel like getting up and stepping out of the house? It becomes more difficult when you have a friend waiting outside, ready to go! Having a workout buddy helps to create a fun atmosphere and gives you someone to share your workout journey with. There are even websites, like sparkpeople.com, where you can get a virtual workout buddy and log/track your progress.

2. Create a Routine

Consistency is the key to creating workout success. Pick at least three days a week at a specific time where you are dedicated to your exercise program. Make sure not to cancel those trips to the gym on a whim, unless it’s something very important. But this should be the exception rather than the rule. If you have to cancel, reschedule for the same day at a different hour or the next day. Planning your workouts into your calendar, just as you would a dinner date or business meeting, will help form and reinforce a habit, leading you to overall fitness success.

3. Make Yourself Accountable

There are many different ways to hold yourself accountable to your actions, so the idea is to find one that is realistic for you. As mentioned above, having a buddy to go with you provides motivation on those days you feel less than motivated and can help keep the energy high. Does money motivate you? There is a website, stick.com where you create a commitement contract to yourself towards achieving a certain goal. If you don’t meet the goal, it costs you money, which you can designate to go to a charity if you chose. Another way is to create a daily reminder. Most phones have free apps that ask you if you have fulfilled a certain activity for that day. Or you can be traditional and just use a calendar. Either way, when faced with a “yes” or “no” question, it’s harder to skip your workout.

4. Reward Yourself

Come up with small rewards for accomplishing your goals and you will be more likely to succeed. Everyone likes positive reinforcement and a reward system will give you something to look forward to for accomplishing your workout goals. Pick something you like and reward yourself with it for good behavior. Say you like going to the movies. After every two weeks, if you haven’t missed a day, take yourself out to see a movie. You will begin to associate hitting your goals with getting to see the next blockbuster, which will help with overall success.

Habits can seem very difficult to form and break, but if you chop them up into smaller activities, they become easier to achieve. Follow these tips and you will be able to form new, healthier habits that will lead you to a life of good health and fitness!

© 2014 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion LLC

Further Reading

Lack of Workout Time? Fitness Dilemma Solved!

Preparing for a Lifestyle Change

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Working Out BWThe fresh start of a new year inspires lots of people to make New Year’s resolutions. Some of the most popular wellness resolutions include losing weight, exercising more, dieting, quitting smoking and stress reduction. Here are some tips to help you stick to those resolutions for 2014:

  1. Find Your Motivation. Make sure you REALLY want to make the change. What is your motivation for making a change? Don’t just do it because someone else told you or you need to fit into a new dress. Find your intrinsic motivation and you’ll be more likely to stick with it. Maybe you want to lower you cholesterol or reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. Only when you feel this intrinsic motivation, this reason inside of you with the true desire to make a change, then your chances to succeed are high.
  2. Set Goals. You must break the old habits and replace them with new ones. Instead of a rush of activity in a one-time effort, consistency is the key to success. You need to do things regularly to achieve challenging goals. Make a realistic plan to reach your goals. Resolutions are really just annual goals. But like all goals, they should be SMART: 
    • Specific- your goals just identify exactly what you want to accomplish in as much specificity as you can muster.
    • Measurable- as the old adage says, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
    • Actionable- every resolution should start with a verb (e.g., “quit,” “run,” “finish,” “eliminate,” etc.)
    • Realistic- you have to be careful here. A good resolution should stretch you, but you have to add a dose of common sense.
    • Time-bound- every resolution needs a date associated with it. When do you plan to deliver on that resolution? It could be by year-end (December 31) or it could be more near-term (March 31).
    • With SMART goals, you now have a visual reminder of your plans and a way to measure your progress.
  3. Make Your Plans Public. Tell your family and friends what you are committed to achieving. If you’re accountable to someone else for your work, you might be more likely to stick with it. Better yet, find someone with similar resolutions and buddy up. A co-worker or friend who is interested in going to the gym will often make it more likely that you both will go.
  4. Measure Your Progress. Measurement allows you to visualize your progress. It will give you something to look back at and be proud of. If you have a feeling of accomplishment towards your goal, you will most likely continue to strive. Even if each day’s effort doesn’t feel like much, it adds up to a big change.
  5. Reward Your Success. Rewards are a great motivation to keep going so celebrate the good stuff you’ve done. If you’ve reached a mini-goal or you’re stuck with your resolution for a month, treat yourself to something special. But, try not to use food as a reward.
  6. Don’t Give Up. Be ready for setbacks along the way. Nobody’s perfect. Forgive yourself and get back on track as soon as you can. Plan ahead for how you’ll deal with setbacks so you won’t be surprised if it happens.

Sticking with your New Year diet resolutions in 2014 can be easier when you have a plan. Use some of these tips and strategies to stick with your New Year diet resolutions in 2014 – and beyond!

Happy New Year! …Tiffiny

© 2013 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion LLC

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Many people have a goal of getting fit, but do not have a “mental” plan in place to make it happen. Recognizing that the mental part may be more important than the physical part is just another step in the right direction of sticking with your exercise plan. Use these five steps to propel you toward reaching your fitness goals.

1. Feel Emotional
Have you heard the term “emotions create motion?” Feeling disturbed about your health and well-being can make all the difference in the world in making the switch to commit to a consistent exercise regimen.  Try on a few bathing suits or take out an old photo of yourself when you felt good about your body or go get a physical. Make a list of what you want to change and allow your emotions to create the transformation.

2. Make a Clear Decision
Clarity allows us to get to the place we want to go. Rather than just wishing you could lose a few pounds, make a clear decision and a serious commitment to taking action toward your goals. Decide on the body you want and then motivate yourself by thinking of several long-term goals you’re shooting for, like running a marathon or never wearing the size you’re in again. Getting that clear picture in your mind will allow you to take action and commit.

3. Get Focused
The more focused you are while exercising, the more you are likely to challenge yourself in ways you never thought possible. Instead of thinking about the pain of the workout, focus on the movement and the energy it takes to move the muscles you are working. Try keeping a mental picture of your goal in your head.  Some people also find that listening to music helps motivate to stay in a zone. Dr. Costas Karageorghis concluded that music is “an often untapped source of both motivation and inspiration for sport and exercise participants.”

4. Get Creative
Getting tired of the same exercise routine is pretty common and results in not exercising at all. Thinking of creative solutions to motivate you to exercise will help.  The trick is finding something you love to do. If you are sick of the treadmill and the same exercises you continually do, then it’s time to make the switch and find something that excites you.  Try incorporating kayaking, karate or ball room dancing into your weekly routine. Once you discover what you enjoy doing most then exercise will start to feel less of a chore and it will become more fun to do.

5. Be Realistic
Realistic, well-planned weight-loss goals keep you motivated and focused. Unrealistic and overly aggressive weight-loss goals can be difficult, even impossible to meet. For example, losing 25 pounds in four weeks in time for your high school reunion can surely undermine your efforts. And if your weight-loss goals are beyond reach, you’re more likely to be discouraged and feel frustrated and give up altogether on your weight loss plans.

Being mentally ready to stick with an exercise and healthy eating program is an important, if not, the most important step to reaching your goals.  The more you practice these five steps to your mental plan, the more ready you will be, and the quicker you will reach your goals.

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