Day 58 – Slumber Blunders

We all love sleep, and getting enough for good health is a no brainer, but what about adhering to a strict sleep schedule? If you are like me, you usually don’t go to bed at the exact same time each night, and probably sleep in on the weekends. While this doesn’t seem like the end of the world, it is surprisingly bad for you.

Sticking to a food schedule (eating the same time each day) is good for you, but doing the same with your sleep is equally important. Doing both is sure to make you feel a lot better over time. Set reminders on your phone if you have to!

Click on the image below for more info.
bigstock-beautiful-young-brunette-woman-28455638

Day 57 – Beat the Heat!

As the days get warmer I find it hard to stay cool while exercising outdoors, even in the mornings that are nice and cool in the spring/fall. It’s important to not push it too hard in the heat, which can easily lead to headaches or worse; shortening your workout!

But seriously, heat is no joke when one doesn’t take the proper precautions to deal with it before, during, and after their work outs. I make sure to drink lots of water, try to run in the shade, and do cardio indoors if the temp is too high. Swimming is also a fun option, but not always practical.

For more info on how to beat the heat during your summer routines, click on the image below.
ExercisingOutdoors_Hydration_400

Additional Links:

1.) http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/Top-5-Tips-to-Staying-Cool-During-Your-Summer-Workout_UCM_428764_Article.jsp
2.) http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=905
3.) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ben-greenfield/summer-shape-up_b_1573841.html

Day 56 – Healthy Muscle Gain

My goal for this diet was to get down to my target weight before the 60 days were up. Now that I have achieved that goal I wondered, well, now what? Obviously I want to stick with my diet but what other goal should I have? I decided that perhaps adding more strength to my work out and gaining some muscle mass would be a good, new goal. Why? Well… it is swimsuit season now. So, why not look good this summer to celebrate my new healthy lifestyle achievement? There is nothing more rewarding than a great self image, and a body that reflects it! 🙂

I will try to keep my new weight around 170, however depending on how much muscle mass I gain I might get up to 175. I’d rather be “slender” than “huge” so we will see how it goes. It will be a learning experience for me, and I will have to do some research to help keep me on the right track. I’ve already reached out to a friend who hits the gym on a regular basis who is full of good advice. I will keep you posted on how it goes, so stay tuned!

For more info on what “super foods” are good for muscle gain, click on the image below!
man-making-a-muscle

Day 55 – Food Spotlight – Triscuits

Triscuits were one of my favorite foods before my diet. I ate them almost daily. But after my diet started and I read their ingredients more carefully I found that they contained more unhealthy stuff than I thought so I gave them up. Recently, however, I found out that they had made some changes and began to lean towards a more “natural” ingredient approach. I reread the ingredient list and was pleased enough to toss a box into my shopping cart. It’s nice when Big Food listens to their consumers, many more of which are asking for healthy, more natural foods these days. So, let’s keep it up!

IMG_0516

Day 54 – Plank Grilling

Now that summer is about to take full effect, we might as well prepare for the proper summer foods. They look, smell, and taste amazing! But, are they good for you? Not really. As much as I hate to say it ( I LOVE TO GRILL) grilled food is quite bad for you. It causes cancer, and foods like that tend to catch up to us in our older age.

The good news, however, is that this can easily be avoided while still enjoying the awesomeness that is grilled food, and the event of grilling in general. I don’t know about you, but, sitting outside next to a charcoal grill in the summer with a beer is by far one of my favorite summer activities! One healthier example is grilling salmon on a wood plank instead of directly on the grill itself. This avoids much of the smoke and other cancer causing agents that makes grilling more unhealthy than most options.

For more info about plank cooking, click on the image below.
cedar-plank-salmon-l

Additional Sources:

1.) https://www.plankcooking.com/About
2.) http://bbq.about.com/od/fishandseafood/a/aa100204a.htm
3.) http://bbq.about.com/od/grillinghelp/a/Plank-Grilling.htm
4.) http://grilljunkieguy.com/plank-grilling-tips-pointers/
5.) http://food-hacks.wonderhowto.com/inspiration/food-tool-friday-heat-up-your-grilling-with-wood-planks-0162186/
6.) http://foodal.com/knowledge/protein/foodals-guide-grilling-planks/
7.) http://www.fix.com/blog/plank-grilling-pointers/
8.) http://www.livingpaleo.com/how-to-cook-using-wooden-planks/

Day 53 – Sensational Summer Tea

bistro-candon
Today I thought I would share one of my favorite summer drink recipes. It’s a homemade ice tea and juice blend. It’s perfect for those hot summer days after a good long walk outside, or to take in a drink cooler when going camping, fishing, etc. And, of course, it’s very healthy for you!

Homemade Ice Tea Blend

Add the following into your favorite glass pitcher or cooler. You may need to double this recipe if using a larger cooler.

1.) 1 pitcher sized bag (or 4 small mug sized bags) of your favorite tea (I like regular Lipton for this recipe but mixing other flavors is also good). Fill about 2/3 of the way to the top with room temp filtered water.
2.) 3 fresh squeezed (or better yet, juiced) lemons
3.) 1 fresh squeezed/juiced lime
4.) 1 fresh squeezed/juiced grapefruit
5.) 1 fresh squeezed/juiced orange
6.) 2 fresh squeezed/juiced peaches
7.) 3 tbsp local unfiltered honey
8.) 1 tbsp coconut oil (2 if you really like coconut)

Gently stir the mix and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes so that the tea can saturate the water. Then refrigerate or add ice to the glass if needed for immediate serving.

Sip with a loved one and enjoy! 🙂

Day 52 – Don’t Dodge Dairy!

When I heard about the potential harms within Big Food’s dairy industry I found it all too easy to say no to many of my once beloved dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. If it were not for organic yogurt I might have passed them up all together! But, I wanted to make sure I kept dairy in my diet because it is incredibly good for you. Vitamin D, Calcium, proteins, and healthy bacteria are just some of the amazing benefits that dairy can offer you, especially if it’s organic in nature. What else is there you ask? Click on the image below for more…

Dairy-products

Additional Sources:

1.) http://www.healthyeating.org/Healthy-Eating/All-Star-Foods/Milk-Dairy.aspx
2.) http://authoritynutrition.com/is-dairy-bad-or-good/
3.) http://www.legendairy.com.au/health/dairy-and-your-health/dairy-health-benefits

Day 51 – Golden Years

One of the reasons I started living healthier was to make sure that I live a long, active, and comfortable life as an independent adult. I want to make it all the way into my golden years and be healthy enough to enjoy them. Healthy living, saving for retirement, and life insurance are by far some of the best decisions I have ever made.

Speaking of old age. I came across a cool article on forbes.com that interviewed people over 100 years old and asked them what their health secrets were that allowed them to live so long and still be able to enjoy life to the fullest. Click on the image below to check it out!
Older-Adults-eating-1200x661

Day 50 – Mushroom Kingdom

One food that I have yet to add to my diet are mushrooms. I am not a very big fan of them, both in texture and taste. But since I have zero fungi in my diet I began to wonder if maybe I was missing out on something. Perhaps mushrooms offer some sort of benefit that other foods do not?

As it turns out I did find something that makes mushrooms unique as a health food. They are apparently very high in Vitamin D which they produce when in contact with sunlight, like humans do. They also contain a lot of antioxidants other and immune boosting goodies, as well as high levels of selenium which has numerous health benefits.

After all this new found knowledge, I decided that maybe adding a few mushrooms to my diet might not be such a bad idea. Perhaps if I cover them with enough vegetables I won’t notice them in my meals! 🙂

For more info on how mushrooms can aid your health, click on the image below.

Mushrooms assortment in a wooden table.
Mushrooms assortment in a wooden table.

Additional Sources:

1.) http://www.powerofmushrooms.com.au/health-nutrition/health-nutrition/
2.) http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=97
3.) http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/278858.php
4.) https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-mushroom.html
5.) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/05/13/mushroom-benefits.aspx

Day 49 – It’s a Stretch

Stretching is an important part of my day, primarily after work outs, but, it’s a good way to relax both the mind and body during meditation as well; hence why yoga has become such a big hit. One thing I learned recently is that stretching after your workouts instead of before is much better for you. Before, I used to stretch both pre and post workout but now I normally just do post unless I’m really stiff. If you do stretch before you work out, make it light and take it easy on those cold muscles!

I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that stretching has more health benefits than just aiding your muscles. It’s also good for your cardiovascular system and your joints as well, among other things. It’s definitely something you want to do well into old age, as it continues to offer benefits long after your ability keep up those intense work outs of your youth!

To learn more about the health benefits of stretching, click on the image below!
670px-Stretch-Step-5---Version-2

Additional Links:

1.) http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/stretching/art-20047931
2.) https://heartofhealing.net/relaxation-wellness/stretching/benefits-of-stretching/
3.) http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/fitness/training+tips/5+ways+stretching+benefits+your+health,10989
4.) http://lifehacker.com/5983731/why-stretching-is-just-as-important-as-exercise
5.) http://www.mensfitness.com/training/pro-tips/question-week-benefits-stretching-exercises