Do You Need Gym Motivation?

Some of us have a harder time finding the initial motivation to hit the gym than others.  Once you make it a regular event during your week-you will be less likely to want to miss a day/skip the gym.  But getting started in this habit may be tricky but once again, there is an app for that! With the iPhone and Android app “Gym Pact”, users deposit money and get a chunk back every time they check in at the gym-and lose some cash when they don’t!   So you can get paid to hit the gym? See for yourself how Gym Pact can change your habits and get you started on the right track toward your fitness goals.  Visit gym-pact.com to learn how a once dreadful event can become a fun and accountable way to live a healthier life!

 

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Fat-Fighting Dinner

Whole Wheat Pasta with Ricotta and Vegetables

Ingredients
8 ounces dried whole wheat or whole-grain penne pasta
2 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups asparagus or green beans cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup light ricotta cheese
1/4 cup snipped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil, crushed
4 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Directions
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting any oil or salt.
2. Add broccoli florets and asparagus or green beans during the last 3 minutes of cooking; drain.
3. In a large serving bowl, combine ricotta cheese, basil, thyme, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, and freshly ground pepper.
4. Add cooked pasta and vegetables to ricotta mixture. Add chopped tomatoes. Toss to combine. Sprinkle each serving with grated cheese; serve immediately.

Nutrition facts per serving: 361 calories, 16g protein, 55g carbohydrates, 9g fat (2g saturated), 7g fiber

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The Hunger Scale

Take a look at this “Hunger Scale” provided by writer Bob Greene from Oprah.com. This tool will help you avoid eating mindlessly. The more in touch you are with your hunger, the less you need to count calories.

First, decide how you’re feeling:

10: Stuffed. You are so full you feel nauseous.

9: Very uncomfortably full. You need to loosen your clothes.

8: Uncomfortably full. You feel bloated.

7: Full. A little bit uncomfortable.

6: Perfectly comfortable. You feel satisfied.

5: Comfortable. You’re more or less satisfied, but could eat a little more.

4: Slightly uncomfortable. You’re just beginning to feel signs of hunger.

3: Uncomfortably hungry. Your stomach is rumbling.

2: Very uncomfortable. You feel irritable and unable to concentrate.

1: Weak and light-headed. Your stomach acid is churning.

You should eat only when you’re feeling 1, 2, 3 or 4.

Put your fork down at 5 or 6 and wait until the next scheduled meal or snack.

If you’re trying to lose weight, stop at 5, the point at which you’re eating a little less than your body is burning.

Get Moving At The Office!

Sitting for long periods of time at work can be hard on our muscles when they should be getting active and stretching.  Take some time to look at Office Stretches provided by The Mayo Clinic.  Get moving and feel the benefits of these easy-to-follow stretches.  You will be feeling better in no time once you ad these to your daily routine!

Photo of man practicing a shoulder stretch

Outsmart Your Sweet Tooth

Try These healthier alternatives to satisfy your sweet tooth during that next sugary craving!  Enjoy the flavors without the unhealthy-ness! 

Honey-Yogurt Dip-Mix 8 ounces of vanilla yogurt with a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Use it as a dip with fresh, in-season fruit.

Chocolate Apples-Melt a quarter cup of dark-chocolate chips in the microwave and enjoy it as a dip with sliced fresh apples. (You can dip any of your favorite fruits.)

Hawaiian Smoothie-Whip together one cup of skim milk and a half cup each frozen strawberries and crushed pineapple (canned in juice and drained). Stir in a few teaspoons of shredded coconut.

Strawberries and pineapple make a great smoothie.

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Fun Form of Exercise!

If you live near a body of water such as a lake or ocean, we highly encourage you to purchase a “SUP” and get with the trend of Hulakai!  Otherwise known as a stand up paddleboard, this is a great form of exercise.  Stand up paddleboards have the ability to test your balance, leg strength, and core stability all while working your arms.  You can enjoy the sun and outdoors while getting a relaxing (but difficult) workout!  Check out the Hulakai website to learn more about their SUPs!

 

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Go For A Mango!

Mangos are a delicious and refreshing fruit but many of us forget they are also extremely healthy!

Health Benefits:

1.  Prevents Cancer: 
Research has shown antioxidant compounds in mango fruit have been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. These compounds include quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat, as well as the abundant enzymes.

2.  Lowers Cholesterol: 
The high levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C help to lower serum cholesterol levels, specifically Low-Density Lipoprotein (the bad stuff)

3.  Clears the Skin: 
Can be used both internally and externally for the skin. Mangos clear clogged pores and eliminate pimples. (Read more on page 5.)

4.  Eye Health: 
One cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight and prevents night blindness and dry eyes.

5.  Alkalizes the Whole Body:
The tartaric acid, malic acid, and a trace of citric acid found in the fruit help to maintain the alkali reserve of the body.

 

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GABA-Relieve Anxiety Naturally

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 40 million adults suffer from severe anxiety disorders each year, and it seems everyone deals with less debilitating but still harmful levels of anxiety on at least an occasional basis. But while we spend billions of dollars on prescription medications that promise to calm us down, drugs aren’t always necessary. Trying a natural supplement can do the trick just as well and is often better for our bodies anyways.

For instance GABA.  Also known as gamma-aminobutyric acid-has a calming effect on the brain.  GABA is a nonessential amino acid and neurotransmitter that blocks stress and anxiety by preventing neurons from over-firing.  GABA is produced naturally in the body but also is available in supplement form.  Try Rainbow Light Busy Brain Release sold at $24 for 60 minitabs.

 

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Chia Seeds-A Must!

Chia is native to southern and central Mexico and Guatemala.  Cultivated by the Aztecs, this was once considered a superfood that sustained the warriors for an entire day on a single tablespoon of chia seeds.  It has disappeared from the region after the Spanish conquest because the Spaniards banned foods that were linked to Aztec tradition.  Today, chia seeds have once again become a popular superfood among health conscious consumers.

Chia seeds are effective in boosting weight loss efforts.  High in protein and fiber, their carbohydrates are slowly digested.  This helps curb appetite and increase fat burning.  Chia seeds are a great source of energy before workouts and are also higher in omega-3 fatty acids compared to any other food.  Omega-3’s are known to improve memory, concentration and other cognitive abilities.

Chia seeds are also filled with antioxidants, even more than blueberries! Eating these seeds on a regular basis may help prevent health conditions such as strokes, heart diseases and cancer.  Chia seeds also help maintain lower blood sugar levels and detoxify the body.  When fiber is consumed, the body is effectively able to remove waste and toxins from the body.

Eating chia seeds on a regular basis can reduce inflammation in the body because chia seeds contain essential fatty acids.  High levels of inflammation are associated with many health conditions such as arthritis, heart disease and chronic pain.

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Black Bean & Corn Power Salad

With 21.7 grams of protein per serving and 21.3 grams of fiber, this power salad is sure to fill and fuel you up with only 6.9 grams of fat!

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the corn, beans, parsley, onions, vinegar, oil, lemon juice, garlic, and honey or brown sugar. Let the salad marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Arrange the lettuce leaves on 4 salad plates; spoon the salad over the lettuce.

 

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