Showing posts with label Alicia Holmes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alicia Holmes. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Benefits of Plant Based Diet!

Recently health and wellness has been trending.  And thank goodness, as it is high time that healthy eating habits and exercise replace fast food chains and quick fix diet fads.  Among the trending health topics is the plant based diet.  As a nutritionist, this is how I personally choose to eat.  Instead of cutting certain foods out entirely like the vegetarian or vegan diets, this is simply making the majority of what you eat whole, unprocessed, plant based foods.  The benefits of eating in such a way are numerous, and it is incredibly easy to do.
Research has shown that by simply incorporating more vegetables, fruits, beans, peas, lentils, whole grains, nuts, and seeds into your diet can help you prevent and even reverse many of the top health issues people are facing today.  Adding in more of these whole natural foods in your diet will mean more nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, and fiber.  It also will also mean less room for damaging fat, preservatives, chemicals, and refined sugars, all of which are linked to serious health problems.
Your body needs the nutrients and vitamins found in food to survive, it uses them as fuel for every single function it performs.  Chemicals, preservatives, and damaging fats only serve to bog down your system, and add unnecessary work for your body as it tries to detoxify itself from these foreign substances.  Eliminating these things from your diet will free up much of your body's energy for daily use, rather than detoxifying.  On top of that, every single one of your cells are being replaced over time, and the food you eat is what those new cells are made of.  That Big Mac doesn't sound so good now, does it?
And contrary to common misconception, on a whole, vegans actually have healthier bones, higher blood protein levels, and less nutritional deficiencies than omnivores.  It is possible to get all the protein and calcium you need from a vegan or plant based diet.
In case you need more reasons to consider a plant based diet:
Lose excess fat
Reduce cholesterol
Reduce risk or help treat diabetes
Reduce inflammation
Healthier gut flora
More energy
Improve cognition
Control weight
Slow aging
Gain muscle
Reduce risk for cancer
Natural detoxification
Better sleep
Healthier intestinal transit
Clearer skin
Boost immune system
Reduce risk for heart disease

Just remember that you put into your body directly translates into your health.  You are what you eat, literally.  Food can either be the best form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison.  Bon appetite!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Yummy & Healthy Banana Nut Muffins!

These cold winter days have me pining for a warm, comforting breakfast… Without tons of added sugar and butter.  Anyone who has met me knows I want it all, in all aspects of my life.  Why can’t I have a warm, filling, and healthy breakfast?  Oh, that’s right, I can!  These muffins prove it.  So bake these up, eat them cold or warm them up, either way they are sure to satisfy your wintery sweet tooth and your grumbling tummy, without adding extra lbs to your waistline.  So enjoy a batch of homemade healthy, without any guilt.  

½ C quinoa flakes or rolled oats
¾ C protein powder
¼ C gluten free flour or preferred flour
½ Tsp salt
½ Tsp baking soda
2 large bananas
2 Tsp vanilla extract
½ C preferred milk
1/3 C sugar (I used brown)
½ C Chopped walnuts

Optional add ins:
¼ C Chocolate chips
¼ C blueberries

1.     Preheat oven to 355 degrees.
2.     Prepare muffin or cupcake pan with preferred oil or butter.
3.     Mix all ingredients together, spoon into prepared pan.
4.     Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until edges are starting to pull from the sides, allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Super easy & super healthy!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Why You Should "Eat Local"

Eating locally and seasonally has been given a lot of press lately, and for good reason.  There are numerous benefits economically, and for your health when you eat foods that have been grown closer to home.  And who doesn’t like benefits?

Better Nutritional Content and Taste
When food is transported, it has to be harvested early and refrigerated to keep it from going bad before it can get to it’s destination and be sold.  That means that your food hasn’t had the time to fully develop, which means fewer nutrients, and then is chilled, which further depletes the nutritional value.  On top of that, very often produce is irradiated to kill germs, which means it is exposed to radiation.  Top that off with the use of preservatives like wax (to keep in moisture), time on the grocery store shelves, and the nutritional value goes down even further.  Now, don’t get it wrong, eating any fresh fruit or vegetable is good in my book, but nutritionally speaking, locally beats out something that has been flown in any day.  And a bonus: The same reasons that make locally grown produce nutritionally superior, makes them taste better.  Early harvesting, transport, refrigeration, preservatives, and time all deplete the natural flavor of produce.  When fruits and vegetables have a chance to ripen naturally, and are on your plate sooner, you are getting the full potential of flavor!

More Cost Effective
Everyone likes money, and the less you have to spend on groceries, the better!  When you eat locally, you are eating seasonally, which means the fruits and vegetables that are available will be ones that grow in your area abundantly, and in line with the laws of supply and demand, they will always cost less.  Couple that with minimal transportation (which also cuts costs), and your pocketbook will thank you. 

Better for Your Body
Our bodies were designed to eat the food that grows in our immediate environment, season to season.  Imagine an Eskimo moving to Arizona.  In a freezing environment, a diet high in animal protein and fats like whale blubber helps to provide energy and keep body temperatures up.  But if that Eskimo imported food from his homeland instead of adjusting his diet for a warm desert environment like Arizona, what do you think would happen?  If he continued eating the way he had in negative degree weather, his body would most likely become overheated, and the chances of developing heart disease or a range of other health complications sky rocket.  Now, this is obviously an extreme example, but think if you were to only consume fruit, salads, and popsicles all winter, you would probably have a hard time staying warm due to the high water content and the cooling nature of those foods.  On the other hand, those same foods are great in the summer to help you stay hydrated and cool.  A meal or snack that is out of season certainly won’t do you any harm in moderation, but sticking to the foods that grow more locally and that are in season on a consistent basis is definitely ideal for your health.  

Variety in Your Diet
When you eat seasonally, your diet tends to be more diverse.  You are literally changing with the seasons, which means a vast array of nutrients from many different sources throughout the year.  It also helps to keep things fresh in the kitchen, not only with fresher, tastier, more nutritionally dense ingredients, but also with new recipes and meals, which can help make eating healthy a fun, exciting, and easy lifestyle choice.

So grab a friend and go pick your own fruits and vegetables at a local farm, or drop by the local farmers market and stock up on healthy, seasonal, and delicious food choices.  Leave a comment and let us know what seasonal items are your favorites!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Meet Alicia Our New Health & Fitness Contributor!

We have very exciting news that we just couldn't wait any longer to share with our readers- meet our new Health & Fitness contributor, Alicia!  We're all about eating healthy and working out... but we're not exactly fitness experts.  Alicia is the perfect addition to our team!

A few times a month, Alicia will share all of her tips & tricks on eating healthy and working out.  Bonus... she even has yummy and healthy recipes in store for us too!  Read her bio & interview below, and get to know Alicia personally!

Alicia Holmes is an Arizona native with an intense love and passion for health and wellness.  She serves as a health coach, personal and group fitness instructor, a fitness model, and has a passion for what she does.

Alicia’s thirst for knowledge about health led her to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.  There, she became a certified health coach, with the intention of helping to improve the quality of life for others through nutrition and overall wellness practices. 

Given her athletic background in competitive gymnastics and cheerleading, coupled with her extensive knowledge of physical fitness and performance, becoming a fitness trainer was a natural step for her.  For the last four years, she has been training clients on a personal level, and has recently started instructing group fitness classes as well.

Upon meeting her, it's apparent that she finds true joy in being able to inspire others to improve their health and happiness.  She loves sharing her knowledge of nutrition and fitness!

1. How did you get into health & fitness?
"It’s been a journey, but my dad’s cancer sparked my interest in nutrition.  I have a blog post on that on my website.  Years later I started marketing for an organic supplement company, and also began fitness modeling.  That’s when I realized I couldn’t quench my thirst for knowledge on anything health related."  

2. How many times a week do you workout?  What do you do?
"I try to get a good work out in at least 3-4 times per week.  Sometimes it’s more, and sometimes I just don’t have the time.  I love group fitness classes though, especially bootcamp style workouts.  The energy is awesome and I get such a killer workout.  For fun I also love hiking, hot yoga, and swimming."

3. What is your go-to snack when you're in a rush?
"Fruit, but I also try to always have my homemade protein bars or bites handy; sometimes a girl needs a little more than a banana!"

4. You have gorgeous hair- what's your secret?
"Thank you!  I don’t really have a secret, but eating as healthy as I do does help to grow strong, thick hair.  Also not washing it everyday if I can avoid it, which is convenient for my busy lifestyle."

5. What is your favorite part about working and eating healthy?
"My favorite part about working out and eating healthy is definitely how I feel.  I haven’t always been so healthy, I look back and it’s like night and day.  I have so much energy, I feel vibrant and alive.  I hardly get sick, and I sleep like a champ."

6. What's the worst diet you've heard of and why?
"That’s a tough question to answer.  There are so many fad diets out there that are pretty extreme.  I believe in moderation.  No carbs?  No fat?  95% protein?  Are you kidding me?"

7. What's 3 things you always carry around in your purse?
"I never go anywhere without lip balm and snacks.  Those two are easy.  Hmmm…  Floss!  I always have a travel size floss on me."

8. What's one of your favorite workout classes? 
"I really like doing Amenzone workouts, they are really challenging, but I love that.  And the workouts are different every single time, so you never know what to expect.  Except that I will definitely be sweating.  A lot.  I also really love hot yoga."  

9. One food you cannot live without.  Why?
"Just one?!  I feel like I have tons!  Right now I guess it would be bananas.  I have been having at least one a day lately.  But they are so tasty, and healthy.  And they are perfect before or after workouts, in my protein smoothies, and they are so portable."

10. What do you think is key to living a healthy lifestyle?

"Having fun with it.  If you make eating healthy and exercising fun, it’s easy to maintain.  We all like having fun.  But the second you start to take things too seriously, it tends to all fall apart.  Go hiking or make a healthy dinner with a friend; find a way to really enjoy eating vegetables by experimenting in the kitchen.  Eat cleanly, but have a treat now and then. Don’t sweat it if you miss one workout.  It can be easy to get carried away, but if you enjoy yourself, your meals, and your workouts, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is easy."
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