5 Small Tweaks to Jumpstart Your Diet

You Won't Even Feel Deprived!

 

Dieting is a pain in the neck under any circumstances, but when you think you’re doing everything right and the scale still doesn’t budge, it’s tempting to just throw in the towel and go back to eating your high-calorie favorites.

Don’t give up yet. By making some small tweaks to your diet, you can easily be on the road to your dream body.

Here are five small tweaks to jumpstart your diet:

Lighten Up Your Coffee

The days when you drank coffee at home are long gone, and ordering a large latte with sugary syrup can really make the calories add up. Try drinking a cup of black coffee or coffee with just cream or sugar, but not both.

Better yet switch to green tea. According to a study by the American Physiological Society, green tea drinkers have lower BMIs and less body fat.

Drink Lemon Water

You should be drinking water throughout the day, and each time you fill your glass, squeeze some lemon juice in. Citrus acts as a diuretic, and going to the bathroom more often, means you’re not as bloated. As an added bonus, you may experience a brief spike in your metabolic rate.

Eat Slower

When you have a busy day, it’s tempting to just gulp down your food as quickly as possible, but your brain needs time to process that full feeling, and you end up overeating. Chew each bite 25 times, and note how your food tastes. Another good trick is to put your fork down between bites.

Keep Gym Clothes in the Car

How many times have you wanted to hit the gym after work, but forgot your gym clothes? So instead of getting in that good workout, you go home and beach on the couch eating chips.

Stash sneakers and leggings in the trunk before work, so you’re all set at the end of the work day.

Grocery Shop After Eating

When I go down the store aisles, I feel like I can inhale 1000 calories just perusing the bakery aisle. I end up buying a treat more times than I care to count. Eat your meal or snack first and then shop. One other tip is to make an exact list and stick to it. Resist the urge to buy the 2-for-1 cookies or chips, and pass up the free samples.

What small tweaks have you made to your diet?

 

 

Are You a Sugar-Sweetened Cereal Fanatic?

4 Things to Look For When Making Your Next Purchase

I have always loved a big bowl of cereal at breakfast. I remember two of my favorites were Cap’N Crunchs Peanut Butter™ and Golden Grahams™. Looking now at the nutrition label, the serving size of the peanut butter cereal contains 21 grams of carbohydrates and 9 grams of sugar. I’m sure the Golden Grahams™ are not much better. I would have been better off eating a candy bar.

Of course that doesn’t mean you have to give up eating cereal. Follow these tips, always read the nutrition labels, and you can feel good about eating something that is nutritious and delicious.

Here are four things to consider when purchasing breakfast cereal:

High Fiber

Each serving of cereal should contain 5 grams of fiber, which would be roughly 20 percent of your daily intake. Since high fiber can be pretty bland, you may want to add fresh or dried fruit to make it taste better.

Low Sugar

Believe it or not, there is one cereal that has no sugar. Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal™ is made from healthy grains such as barley, lentils, soybeans, and whole sprouted spelt. As a bonus, it also has 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.

Chances are that you’ll be more satisfied with cereal that has a few grams of sugar, so aim for no more than 8 grams of sugar per serving.

Healthy Portion

This is where you need to be able to read and understand food labels. Some cereals are 200 calories for a ¼ cup of cereal. I don’t know about you, but that sure wouldn’t fill me up. Buy cereals that let you eat at least ¾ cup.

One cereal I can vouch for is Puffins™. You taste that extra crunch, it’s a little sweeter, and you can eat ¾ cup for just 110 calories. Plus, it packs a nutritional wallop at 5 grams of fiber.

Whole Grains

When you’re checking the ingredients in your cereal, look for terms such as “whole wheat, or “whole oat.” If it just says “wheat,” that means it’s refined. Look for healthy grains such as quinoa, brown rice, millet, sorghum, or quinoa. If it contains corn or plain rice, don’t buy it.

Total™ is a good example of a cereal that contains whole wheat and you get 11 vitamins and minerals per one cup serving.

 

Dare to Make a Difference

How a 13-Year-Old Girl Turned a School Around!

Have you noticed how many teens wear the baggy shorts that are always falling down around their hips? It makes me think of my days in junior high when we had to conform to a strict dress code. Girls wore a skirt and blouse, or a dress.

My friend Susan was always complaining about how cold her legs were, and while the rest of us were sympathetic, we knew the principal was a miserable old crank, and when it came to rules, it was his way or the highway.

Finally, Susan couldn’t take it anymore and showed up for class one day in a pair of pants. When she walked into class you could have heard a pin drop it was so quiet. While we admired her plucky spirit, we knew it was only a matter of time before the hammer dropped.

The PA system crackled to life summoning Susan to the office IMMEDIATELY! Her reward for following her convictions: she was booted off campus and told not to show her face again until she was in compliance with the dress code.

So, that was the end of that, or was it? Susan returned to class a few days later, and the dress code didn’t change that year. However, it started a conversation among the school bigwigs. Maybe Susan had a point, and it wouldn’t be the end of the world if girls could wear a nice pair of slacks and blouse.

Gradually the dress code changed, and now kids choose what to wear and more emphasis is put on just getting them to show up for class.

How many times have you wanted to take a stand for something you believed in, but were afraid people would make fun of you, or like Susan, you would be the only person standing up for what you believed in? Dare to make a difference. You may change a lot of lives, but the biggest change will be in your own.

Are You Itchy, Cranky, and Have No Energy?

Tips and Tricks to Cope with Dehydration in Menopause

As if we didn’t have enough to cope with in menopause, now we have dehydration to worry about. How does dehydration affect women in menopause?

Our bodies are made up of 75% water, and as we age, we lose a lot of that water through urine, sweat, and hormonal changes. Estrogen levels drop, add hot flashes and night sweats to the mix, and it’s easy to see how women can be dehydrated.

Dehydration can also make the skin dry and itchy, and can lead to bladder problems or infections. Other symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, headaches, and poor concentration.

The best way to stay hydrated is to drink plain water. Soda, coffee, flavored waters, and tea flush water out of your system, and lead to further dehydration.

To cool down a hot flash, drink a glass of water when you feel it coming on, and you won’t get hit with as much heat.

Aim for 8 glasses of water a day. If you’re not used to drinking that much in a day, start slowly and add a glass a day. This will also be kinder to your bladder, and you won’t have to constantly run to the bathroom.

If you want to kick your metabolism up, drink a glass of warm water when you first get up. Take a bottle of water with you to work and take small sips during the day.

Are you drinking enough water?

Are You Tired of Aching Feet?

5 Benefits of Diabetic Shoes

I have always had wide feet and a high instep, so when my feet started aching for no reason, I headed to the doctor to see what was up. It turned out my arches had fallen, which often happens in menopause.

Once you enter menopause, you’ll notice several changes in your feet. Feet are usually longer and wider, the protective fat pad on the bottom of your feet thins out, and you can’t absorb as much impact as when you were younger.

If you’re diabetic, you need a shoe that is comfortable and protects your feet from corns and calluses that can develop into painful sores. If these sores become infected, you may lose a limb.

Here are five benefits of wearing diabetic shoes:

Custom Fit

It’s tempting to just go online and order diabetic shoes, but diabetic shoes are custom-made just for you, so you want a trained professional to determine the correct size and fit.

Proper Padding and Support

Diabetic shoes provide extra padding and support that decreases the irregular pressures on the bottom of your feet.

Wide Toe Box

You can’t walk properly if you feel like your toes are cramped. A wide toe box also prevents the top of the shoe from rubbing sores or blisters on the toes.

Insurance Coverage

If you qualify for Medicare, you can often have diabetic shoes covered under the Medicare Therapeutic Shoe Bill, which was passed by Congress in 1993. However, many private insurers also cover the cost of diabetic shoes and inserts.

Attractive Styles

I remember the days when custom-made shoes were so ugly that you would look better wearing the shoe box. Now, there are athletic shoes, dressy shoes, sandals, and slippers. If you have trouble with tying your shoes, Velcro straps make the process a lot easier.

These shoes are also available in a wide variety of colors, so they can pair well with what you are wearing.

What has been your experience with diabetic shoes?

4 Healthy Foods That May Be Derailing Your Diet

You Don't Have to Give Up Chips and Guacamole!

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that big plates of pasta and rich desserts can make the scale groan, but some of the foods that you always thought were healthy may also be keeping you from shedding those last stubborn pounds.

Here are four healthy foods that can derail your diet:

Avocado

I was excited to read in the Nutrition Journal that people who ate a half an avocado every day had less body mass and smaller waists. Avocados contain healthy amounts of fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin K, vitamin C and potassium.

One of the popular ways to use avocados is in guacamole. Once you add chips to the mix, it’s easy to overeat. Just ¼ cup of guacamole contains 8 grams of fat, but nutritionists consider 1/5 of the avocado as one serving. That cuts the fat down to 4.5 grams.

Almonds

A big handful of almonds hits the spot when you’re starving between meals. I was surprised that a cup of almonds has a scale-busting calorie count of 529 calories and 45 grams of fat.

Keep calories down by measuring ¼ cup portions into zip lock bags, and when the snacking urge hits, you have a healthy serving ready to eat.

Egg Whites

I see so many breakfast sandwiches made with egg whites, but the ones I have tried don’t have much taste and are not a satisfying meal.

Eggs have received a bad rap in recent years with nutrition experts because they can raise cholesterol levels. However, the yolk contains choline, which is an essential fat-burning ingredient.

Now, nutritionists are chilling out, and recommending no more than 2 egg yolks a day.

Multi-Grain Bread

What could be healthier than a sandwich made on multi-grain bread? Before you pack that sandwich, read the nutrition label. Terms such as “whole grains”, “7-grain,” and “multi-grain” can mean that enriched white flour may be mixed in with some whole grains, but you don’t know how much. Multi-grain bread is often higher in sugar and calories.

Choose breads that are 100% whole-grain.

 

 

4 Tasty Super Bowl Treats

They're Also Good for You!

I am a big football fan and have attended quite a few Super Bowl parties. There’s every kind of dish available from hot wings and chili, to burgers hot off the grill. Nachos piled high with meat, cheese, and sour cream are so delicious you may devour the whole plate.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that these lavish spreads are mighty high in fat and calories. But food and football do go together, and you can substitute healthier foods and not feel deprived.

Here are four tasty Super Bowl treats:

Baked Potato Bar

Who doesn’t love a piping hot baked potato? Potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin C and potassium, and you can dress them up in so many different ways. Steamed broccoli, chopped tomatoes, onions, or chives add a lot of taste but not calories. You can also put out small dishes of bacon and cheese so that you have something to please everyone.

Barbeque Chicken Sliders

This juicy chicken cooks in a tangy tomato sauce. Small slider buns can be used to build sandwiches with your favorite toppings. If you like salad, serve the chicken with shredded cabbage tossed with low-fat mayo, cider vinegar, celery seed and a drizzle of honey.

Cauliflower Pizza Bites

These healthier pizza bites substitute cauliflower for white pizza dough, and are baked in mini muffin pans.  Add your favorite fillings, and serve with a bowl of warm pizza sauce for dipping.

Vegan Rice Krispy Treats

No party is complete without dessert, at least in my book. These tasty treats use brown rice syrup instead of marshmallow crème, and the addition of peanut butter bumps up the protein. Each serving is only 153 calories, so don’t feel bad about coming back for seconds.

 

Does Winter Weather Make You Cranky?

5 Ways to Deal with Seasonal Depression!

We have had so much rain lately that I feel like building an ark and climbing in it. It’s too nasty to go outside and so cabin fever sets in, and the long cold nights seem like they’ll never end.

Does this sound familiar? You may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), otherwise known as seasonal depression. Thankfully, there are things you can do to improve your dark mood.

Here are five ways to deal with seasonal depression:

Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. This is particularly helpful if you find that you can’t go to sleep or can’t wake up. If possible, eat your meals at the same time each day. Following these good habits will keep your body in a more normal rhythm.

Let the Light Shine In

When the weather is  dreary and it looks dark outside, open your curtains and blinds and let in some natural sunshine, even if it’s just a small amount. When things are dark and dreary, it’s a temptation to just curl up in a corner. Spend at least part of the day in front of the window.

Purchase a Light Box/Dawn Simulator

If you’re having trouble getting out of bed, consider purchasing a dawn simulator. It works like your alarm clock but it gradually wakes you up with light. Many people who suffer from SAD get relief by using a light box for 30 minutes each morning.

Don’t Neglect Exercise

When it’s nasty outside, the last thing you feel like doing is exercising. However, getting some exercise in the fresh air will give you more energy.  Bundle up if you have to, and talk a walk or run. Visit your neighbors or play games with the family.

Keep a Journal

Writing down your feelings is a good way to relieve stress and isolation, and you may find that it’s not just the dreary season of the year that is bothering you. Maybe there is a problem at work or in your relationships with family and friends.

 

Can’t Lose Those Last 10 Pounds?

5 Ways Fidgeting Can Help You Lose Weight!

 

I had a friend when I was a teenager that just could not be quiet. If we were in the car, she would drum on the steering wheel, stamp her feet, and wiggle her hands till I was ready to smack her. When I would ask her to stop, she told me that she just likes a lot of noise.

Now, it turns out all that fidgeting may be good for keeping the pounds at bay, and when you’re in menopause you need all the help you can get.

You probably want to let your friends and family know what you’re doing, so they don’t think you’ve lost your mind.

Here are five ways fidgeting can help you lose weight:

Pace

Pacing works particularly well if you are on the phone, or waiting for commercials to end. If you’re in an airport waiting for your flight to leave, pace up and down the corridors.

March in Place

If it’s impossible to go outside for a break, march in place. How often do you stand in the grocery line waiting to check out? That’s a good opportunity to burn more calories.

Tap Your Feet

Put your favorite music on and tap along to the beat. If you really want to kick it up a notch, snap your fingers and sway your hips from side to side.

Make Multiple Trips

When you’re copying papers, do half and then walk back to your desk for the rest of the pile. Find the farthest bathroom from your office.

If you’re at home and folding clothes, make multiple trips to put them away. Sweep the driveway, and make a separate trip to get the mail. It’s all about creating extra steps.

Wriggle Legs

If you’re sitting at a desk, wiggle your legs. It not only helps burn calories, but can also improve circulation and sore muscles.

These are just a few ideas, and you’ll want to tailor fidgeting to your schedule and what works best for you.