Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Belly Bloating Busters



Guest post: When we want to look our best for a special occasion we typically think, hair, make-up, a great outfit and some killer shoes. What we forget to add to the mix is being mindful of food intake. Eating the wrong foods before an event can sabotage your beauty plan. Certain foods can give your gut an instant bloat that looks and feels awful. Luckily there are belly bloating busters offered Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O.; Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine and anti-aging medicine. 

For a girl’s night out: Don’t be afraid to have a large meal beforehand. If you are planning for an active night, whether dancing, bowling or party hopping, you will need the fuel and protein is key. 

Dr. Calapai has created the perfect meal for a pre girls night out:
-      1 grilled chicken breast (approx 4 oz)
-      1/2 cup cooked brown rice and lentils
-      1 cup steamed string beans
This combo will fill you up without weighing you down, and will give you the energy you need to dance the night away!

For a dinner- date: Don't "just have a salad." All the vegetables in the salad will actually cause your stomach to bloat more. 

Dr. Calapai suggests ordering fish with one side of grilled vegetables. “Wild Salmon is jam-packed with heart healthy vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids. If Salmon is not an option, mackerel, sea bass and lemon sole are all good options as well. As for the veggies, try to steer clear of cauliflower or broccoli which may cause bloating. Opt for grilled zucchini, asparagus, or carrots which will keep your tummy tamed!”

For a day at the beach: If you’re going to the beach you need a healthy, energizing meal to get you through the morning but you don’t want it to show in your stomach.  You’re probably thinking that the easiest thing to eat before you head out is some Special K with skim milk. It’s low in calories after all, right? It doesn’t matter how low-cal it is, the dairy and multi-grains will expand in your intestines, causing your gut to stick out. 

Instead of cereal, Dr. Calapai has a belly bloat busting recipe for oatmeal pancakes. Take 1/2 cup raw oats, 3 egg whites, 1/2 apple, and a dash of cinnamon and throw in a blender to create the pancake mix. This high fiber non-fat breakfast choice offers whole grain fiber plus additional fiber from the apple, and protein from the egg whites. It's a great filling way to start the day, and will not create any abdominal gas or bloating, so you can go bikini-bare with ease!

For an afternoon luncheon: Eating a well-balanced lunch is essential for boosting energy and productivity; giving you power over that mid-day slump and keeping your metabolism active. Oftentimes people want to skip lunch in hopes of losing weight and grab an energy drink to keep them going. This is so bad! The carbonation from an energy drink will make you more bloated then a light lunch. Dr. Calapai says, “For a mid-day luncheon, your best bet is a salad chock-full of fresh vegetables and greens, topped with a piece of grilled fish, low-fat tuna salad, or fresh turkey breast slices. Throw a few walnuts or almonds on top and dress with a low fat/low sugar dressing, to finish off your delicious salad creation!”

For traveling days: These days airports are getting bigger and so are the food courts. It’s tempting to give in to the convenience of fast travel food, but the combination of a high-sodium smorgasbord and air travel equals a very bloated body from head to toe. There are better options. Eat before you leave for the airport.  Dr. Calapai suggests packing your carry-on with fruits, vegetables, and granola bars. These bloat busting options are usually available at airport kiosks. Also, avoid the beverage service on board. Stick to water, you will have a happier flight and feel revived upon arriving at your destination!

Monday, February 22, 2016

10 Ways To Know You're Stressed



Dr. Hafeez whose expertise is in understanding neural pathways as they respond to anxiety, stress and trauma explains that how we think directly impacts how we age and how youthful we appear. The routine stressors in our lives really impact how fast or slow we age. When stressed, we see it in our skin tone, texture, elasticity, and over all glow.

“When someone is under stress they can appear up to 5 years older, 10 years if they don’t manage stress or make changes to their lives. Stressful relationships and careers age people. I have seen patients end relationships or get new jobs and look 10 years younger within days.  People are spending money on creams, facials and cosmetic procedures but if the stress is still there it will still show in their face,” offers Dr. Hafeez. 

Here are Ways Stress is Written All Over Your Face

1. You have dark circles. Stress results in blood flow to main organs plus capillaries under eyes are fragile and break under stress leaving your face looking sallow and tired. Dark circles seem more apparent.

2. Mini-Menopause
The jury is still out on exactly how or if this is possible, but it appears that the constant flow of cortisol that goes along with chronic stress causes a dip in estrogen, one that mimics, on a smaller scale, the dip that occurs during menopause. Less estrogen means less collagen and less moisture. So, while estrogen levels may not drop enough to shut down your period, stress may make them dip enough to make your skin look dull and dry.

3. You notice more wrinkles. Life’s stress due to divorce, death of loved one, job-loss, financial concerns; impacts our brain chemistry. When we feel sad or anxious, are crying or not sleeping well it’s common to see deeper lines around the middle of the eyes, forehead, under eye area and mouth.

4. You itch, flake and even have hives.  Stress leads to inflammation which may lead to rashes, rosacea, eczema flare ups and changes in skin moisture.

5. People ask if you’re feeling okay.  When the Starbucks barista or guy at the dry cleaners asks if you’re feeling okay, pay attention. These people may not know the details of your life but they know how you look because they see you quickly.

6. Under-Eye Bags: Tomorrow's to-do list can weigh on your mind, keeping you from getting enough beauty sleep. This can cause fluid to pool below your lower eyelid area, and what you end up with is a puffy mess in the a.m. Stomach sleepers, bad news: You can expect the puffiness of your under-eye bags to be even worse because of gravity.

7. Increased jaw size – Heavy jaw
Grinding teeth and clenching of the jaw are common symptoms of stress. Unfortunately, these habits can cause the jaw muscles to work overtime. This can result not only in damaged teeth, but also a heavier than usual jawline, as the muscles become larger with the grinding action.

8.Hair Loss
Stress can cause sudden hair loss by literally flipping the switch on the hair follicle’s growth stage from an active to a resting phase. Once the follicle enters this resting phase prematurely, it stays there for about three months, after which time a large amount of hair will be shed. When you experience an overall shedding of hair, you must cast back a few months to find the trigger. Rest assured that in most women, this hair will grow back.

9. Adult Acne
Acne isn’t just for hormonally crazed teenagers. Many adults can’t seem to outgrow it because of stress hormones. What makes it worse is that tense people often can’t leave pimples alone. Squeezing, poking and picking at them becomes an almost obsessive way to release tension, but it also makes breakouts worse, exacerbating the inflammatory response, and you’re left feeling a bit more stressed. So no picking

10. Hormonal Mood Swings
There is a lot of interaction between hormone physiology and mood that works both ways. Our mood can impact our physiology, and our physiology can influence the balance of our hormones. If stress can sit at the top of a cascade of events that lead to undesirable hormonal changes in the body (like those that trigger insomnia, insatiable hunger and weight gain, and collagen breakdown), then what we want to do is find ways to gain the upper hand on our stress level and ensure that we keep all those hormones in check.

According to Dr. Hafeez, “The good news is that we can get to the root cause of our stress and manage it. When you notice changes in your facial appearance take inventory of what is going on in your life and what may be stressing you out. Simple things like sitting quietly for 10 minutes focusing on breathing, writing in a journal, exercising or taking a walk outside, reading, baking, painting, listening to music and reaching for an activity that takes focus off the stress is helpful. If you find yourself reverting back to the stressful issue consider therapy. Clearly there is a connection between how we look and how we feel and think.”

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Sorority Girl's Vitamin Guide

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Either you're just getting over that seasonal cold or you've been unfortunate to have just been hit with it! Whatever the case, it's important to get the right vitamins in your system to stay healthy and help prevent getting sick. Your immune system is so important to take care of you so it's important that you take care of it! We are only given one body in this lifetime and every day it goes through wear and tear and somehow we have to make it last for over 80 years! Below are a list of the best vitamins to fuel your body for our 20 to 30 year old readers as shared by Dr. Christopher Calapai D.O. Take note and be sure to take them daily!

• Calcium: These are the decades to bone up, as in, maintain your bone mass. Dr. Calapai recommends adults aged 19-50 years take 1,000 milligrams of calcium, daily. If you don’t receive enough calcium from your diet, you may need to take a supplement containing elemental calcium. Elemental calcium refers to the actual amount of calcium in a supplement that's available for your body to absorb—the rest are compounds making up the supplement. But when supplementing your calcium, read the labels carefully, cautions Dr. Calapai . “For example, if you buy tablets such as calcium carbonate, each tablet contains 1,250 milligrams of calcium,” he says. “Unfortunately, only 500 milligrams is elemental calcium.”

• Vitamin D: The reason we're severely lacking vitamin D nowadays, much more so than even our parents were, is because we're missing out on the number-one source of vitamin D: The sun. "Vitamin D is a pro-hormone made in the skin upon exposure to sunlight, and production of it is rapid and robust," Calapai says. "Within 10 to 20 minutes without wearing sunscreen, people make between 10,000 and 20,000 IU. But because of widespread sunscreen use, total sun avoidance, and our increasingly indoor lifestyles, our vitamin D levels have fallen drastically." Dr. Calapai says, “Take at least 2,000 IU per day year-round. And although you technically don't need to supplement on the days that you know you'll be outside when the sun is high, it's just easier to take it every day than to try to remember when and not to."

• Folic Acid: For women in their childbearing years, folic acid is recommended if you’re planning on conceiving anytime soon. “You should take it before you get pregnant to ensure your levels are high because low rates of folic acid can cause a number of birth defects,” says Dr. Calapai. “The recommended dosing of folic acid is 400 micrograms per day if you are age 14 or older.”

• Iron: Iron is another key consideration for menstruating women. “Iron deficiency commonly occurs in pregnant women, causing anemia, which can result in fatigue and weakness,” says Dr. Calapai . “Iron enables red blood cells to carry oxygen and deliver it to body cells.” If you’re pregnant and not getting your daily 27 mg. of iron from sources such as iron-fortified cereals and eggs, then look for it in a supplement containing 16 to 20 mg, or speak to your physician about iron supplementation specifically.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sorority Favorite: The ClassPass


How are you doing on your New Year's Resolutions related to health & fitness? Well, if you're like the majority of the world, then you've probably fallen off a bit. Well, we have something that will get you back on track: The ClassPass.

The ClassPass is your cost effective way of trying out the best fitness classes in your area. How it works is you pay a monthly fee ranging from $100-$115 and you have the chance to take advantage of classes at certain ClassPass studios. The only rule is that you cannot go to the same studio more than three times. This is to ensure that you take advantage of all of the other gyms/studios. We love the ClassPass because it makes you accountable. When you sign up for a class, you're committing to attending that class. If you don't show up, you will actually get charged for missing the class. No one wants to lose money so it's a great way to stick to your commitment.

Sign up and let us know what you think! 

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Lemon Water Secret

Our tummies have been at rest ever since we adopted this amazing morning regime: drinking hot lemon water. No lie, our stomachs digest food so much nicer ever since we started our day doing this. We learned from FoodMatters.TV that warm lemon water serves as the perfect ‘good morning drink’, as it aids the digestive system and makes the process of eliminating the waste products from the body easier. It prevents the problem of constipation and diarrhea, by ensuring smooth bowel functions (sorry, TMI!). Try it for yourself and let us know what you think!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

5 Foods To Keep You Hydrated


This summer has been hot, hot, HOT! Like, whoa. We are between Scottsdale and Seattle and with AZ's dry heat and Washington's lack of A/C, this summer has been brutal. But, luckily there's nothing a little hydration can't cure which is why we were so happy to have stumbled across United Healthcare's menu on some hydrating foods to quench your thirst during this summer heat. Check them out below!

Super salads. Watermelon, oranges, tomatoes, cantaloupe, berries, celery and cucumbers are all flush with fluid. These water-rich foods make great low-calorie snacks too!

Berry-delicious smoothies. Add berries — fresh or frozen — to low-fat or fat-free yogurt or milk. Puree in a blender.

Summer salsas. These can be made from vegetables, fruits or a combination of both. Enjoy your favorite variety as a snack — dip into it with cut-up veggies or whole-grain pita chips. Or top grilled fish or chicken with it. Have a sweet tooth? Give orange or pineapple salsa a try.

Chilled soups. You can serve these as a light meal — or as an appetizer or dessert. Here are three cool and soothing options:
Gazpacho. A summertime favorite that's typically rich in tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell pepper and garlic.
Vichyssoise. This creamy French classic is made with pureed potatoes and leeks. To keep it on the healthful side, use low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth. For an even creamier soup, stir in a little plain low-fat yogurt or low-fat sour cream.
Fruit soups. Strawberries, raspberries and cantaloupe puree nicely. See "Chilled melon soup" for a recipe to try.

Frozen nibbles. Freeze grapes or berries. Grab them for a quick and cold snack.

Do you have a favorite thirst-quenching food or drink for the summer? Share with us below!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Healthy 4th of July Treats


Yay for our Independence! Even though we celebrate such a major moment in US history, that doesn't mean that we should exercise our freedom to eat poorly this holiday. Consider some healthy 4th of July treats when celebrating with family and friends. Below are some healthy recipe links to help you make some delicious {semi} healthy treats:

Patriotic Popsicles

Red, White, & Blue Trifle Dessert

Basil Hummus Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers

Happy 4th of July cooking!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Staying Fit with the Fit Bit



Catchy name, right? After we did the update on our phones a while back and noticed that our phone was tracking our footsteps, we've been paying better attention to how active we keep ourselves throughout the day. Apparently, you're supposed to get in 10,000 steps a day believe it or not. Well, unless your phone is with you, your footsteps can't be tracked, so we got wind of an even better tracking device: the Fit Bit! The Fit Bit is an awesome device that looks like a wristband. As you keep it on your wrist it tracks your total steps, showing you your average amount of steps and comparing it to other days that you've walked. The Fit Bit also keeps track of how many miles you have walked and how many calories you have lost. But, that's not even the heart of it all! It can also track your weight change and your sleep patterns! We are even thinking of taking advantage of the competitive feature where you can compete with your friends and family. It has a leaderboard to reflect who is taking the most and least steps.

Talk about motivation! We can't wait to see how much more in shape and healthy we can get! If you're currently using the FitBit, share with us your experience in the comment below!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Top Summer Hikes


The weather has been just right in some of our favorite places in the U.S. making it the perfect time to "take a hike"! We really enjoy being outdoors (allergies and all!) and there is just something so liberating and freeing about climbing and walking some of the coolest trails. After all, we are not IN nature; we ARE nature! It's important to have moments of meditation and tranquility in addition to challenging yourself physically and hiking does just that. With all that being said, we started to ponder where some of the cool places to hike are and we jotted down some suggestions of cities and trails from TSS Reader and Alpha Chi Omega alumnae, Alyssa Conti, in conjunction with our faves. We then created  a list to share with you. Find our must-try places and/or cities to hike for the summer below and let us know which ones we are missing by leaving a comment below!

  1. Twin Peaks in North Bend, WA
  2. Grand Canyon in Arizona
  3. Cascade Falls in Lake Tahoe
  4. Waipio Valley, Hawaii
  5. Rocky Mountain, Colorado
  6. Durango, Colorado
  7. Bryce Canyon, Utah 
  8. Zion Canyon in Utah
  9. Nounou Trail in Hawaii
  10. Glacier National Park
  11. Boulder Trail in Payson, AZ
  12. Coal Creek Trail in Washington
  13. Franklin Falls Trail in Washington

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hungry Girl's Grilled & Chilled Veggie Tuna Salad





We are trying to take in more greens so we were so happy to come across this super quick and tasty recipe from Hungry Girls. Their diet-friendly recipes make it easier to eat clean. Below is one of our favorite super green recipes. Find the step by step below!

Ingredients

1 (2.6 oz.) Pouch - Starkist Tuna Creations® Sweet & Spicy

8 thin (or 6 thick) asparagus stalks, tough ends removed, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 cup eggplant cut into 1-inch cubes

One 1⁄2-inch-thick onion slice, rings intact

1⁄2 cup cherry tomatoes

3 cups chopped romaine lettuce

2 Tbsp. light balsamic vinaigrette dressing


Directions

1. Bring a grill pan sprayed with non-stick spray to medium-high heat. Add asparagus, eggplant, and onion. Cook until slightly softened, 6–8 minutes.

2. Flip veggies, and add the cherry tomatoes to the pan. Cook for 4 minutes.

3. Flip tomatoes. Cook until all veggies are soft and slightly blackened, about 2 minutes.

4. Transfer veggies to a medium bowl. Let cool completely.

5. Chop onion. Cover and refrigerate veggies until chilled, at least 30 minutes.

6. Place lettuce on a large plate or in a large bowl and evenly top with chilled vegetables and tuna. Top or serve with dressing. Yum!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

10 Best Snacks For Healthy Weight Loss


Contrary to popular belief, in order to lose weight, you actually have to eat! We are huge advocates for staying fit and in shape, the healthy way. Not eating enough and essentially starving yourself while excessively working out can cause a lot of problems including putting yourself at risk for hypoglycemia. Yahoo! Stories created the perfect article on the '10 Best Snacks For Weight Loss' so we wanted to share them with you so you can make smarter eating choices as you embark on a healthy weight loss journey. Find the ten (10) snacks below as written by Yahoo! Stories!

Hunger Squasher!
WEIGHT LOSS SNACK #10

Wholly Guacamole, 100-calorie pack

100 calories, 9 g fat (1.5 g sat fat), 200 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 1 g protein

Most pre-made guacamole is lacking in one crucial ingredient: guacamole. Avocados, specifically (adios, Ortega). But Wholly Guacamole is what it says it is: real food, with no added oils, starches and artificial colors. Avocados pack in healthy monounsaturated fats that contain oleic acid, which can actually help quiet feelings of hunger. Which means this snack will actually do what afternoon snacks are intended to do: keep you full and focused until dinnertime. And Keep That Waistline Toned and Tight with These Essential 4 Ways to Lose Your Belly in 14 Days!

Waistline Melter!
WEIGHT LOSS SNACK #9

MaraNatha Almond Butter, No Salt, Creamy, 2 Tbsp

190 calories, 17 g fat (1.5 g sat fat), 0 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 7 g protein

Sure, peanut butter is cheaper, but when it comes to weight loss, almond butter is like PB on steroids. In fact, a study from the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders compared subjects on a low-fat diet with others who followed a diet richer in fat—but the fat was supplied by almonds. The almond group lost 50 percent more weight off their waistlines than the low-fat dieters, despite the fact that both groups consumed the same amount of total calories. Try smearing some over apple slices for a tasty blend of sweet and savory (bonus points if you choose a red apple over green—red fruits have higher nutrient counts).

Belly Filler!
WEIGHT LOSS SNACK #8

SkinnyPop, 3 ¾ cups

150 calories, 10 g fat (1 g sat fat), 75 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 2 g protein

Eat for size, and win the weight-loss prize. “Volumetrics” is an eating plan championed by researchers at Penn State University, and it’s based on eating foods that take up a lot of space in your gut—without a lot of calories. For example, a huge salad—or in this case, nearly 4 cups of popcorn—will leave you more satisfied than a square of chocolate, and for far fewer calories. We love SkinnyPop because it’s free of additives and tasty without being too salty. Fill up, but don’t fill out: Use These Eat This, Not That!-recommended 10 Daily Habits That Blast Belly Fat.

Fat Blocker!
WEIGHT LOSS SNACK #7

KIND Caramel Almond & Sea Salt, 1 bar

200 calories, 16 g fat (3 g sat fat), 125 mg sodium, 7 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 6 g protein

The sweetness of caramel, the fat of almonds, the added sea salt—wait, this is a diet food?! Yes! KIND keeps the sugar content low while packing this bar with healthy fats, which slow the body’s absorption of sugar and carbs, keeping blood sugar levels stable and focus laser-sharp long after snack time is over. A study published in Nutrition Journal found that consuming low-sugar, high-protein snacks promotes weight loss. The reason: Healthy snacking keeps your blood-sugar from spiking, preventing hunger pangs, cravings and body fat storage.

Metabolism Turbocharger!
WEIGHT LOSS SNACK #6

EPIC Grass-Fed Protein Bar, Bison, 1 bar

200 calories, 12 g fat (5 g sat fat), 220 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 11 g protein

Okay, so maybe when you think “snack,” your first thought isn’t “Where can I get me some bison?” But buffalo is much leaner than other meats, and makes for a better jerky, especially when paired with organic spices and dried fruit. Adding low-sugar, high-protein snacks to your daily diet can help fuel weight loss efforts by boosting metabolism and reducing hunger pangs. Just be sure to choose the right protein—for example, click here to discover the shocking truth about How Tilapia Is Worse Than Bacon!

Vitamin Booster!
WEIGHT LOSS SNACK #5

Fage Total 2%, 7 oz

150 calories, 4 g fat (3 g sat fat), 65 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 20 g protein

Packed with protein, crammed with calcium, popping with probiotics, yogurt has all the makings of the best weight loss foods. But tread ye carefully in the aisle of the fermented milk products; manufacturers have a knack for cramming as much sugar and artificial ingredients into yogurt pots as they do candy bars. The next time you find yourself discombobulated in the dairy section, reach for the Fage (pronounced fa-yeh). Not just creamier and more delicious than most yogurts, the brand’s little bit of milkfat in the 2% variety allows your body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in the yogurt. Plus, you can’t get a much purer ingredient list than this: milk, cream and cultures.

Belly Fat Fighter!
WEIGHT LOSS SNACK #4

Kashi Original 7 Grain Sea Salt Pita Crisps, 11 crisps

120 calories, 3 g fat (0 g sat fat), 180 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 3 g protein

Pita chips sound more exotic than corn chips, so a lot of us immediately think they must be healthier, too. But step back from that snack: Most brands douse their pita in heavy oils and then roll them in sodium. Kashi’s, on the other hand, have a modest 120 calories and 180 mg sodium per serving. In astudy published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers discovered that obese participants who added whole grains to their diets lost more belly fat than those who did not. One of the key weight-loss benefits of whole grains: their healthy dose of fiber helps slow digestion, keeping you fuller longer. And to enjoy your guilty pleasures, guilt-free,Indulge in These 10 Best Junk Foods for Weight Loss.

Bloat Buster!
WEIGHT LOSS SNACK #3

Eden Organic Pumpkin Seeds, ¼ cup

200 calories, 16 g fat (3 g sat fat), 100 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 10 g protein

Not only are they loaded with protein and fiber, but pumpkin seeds are also one of the world’s best sources of magnesium, a mineral that helps strengthen bones and improve blood circulation. In addition to a generous portion of satiating protein, one ounce of the tiny seeds serves up 75 percent of your day’s magnesium, which can ward off water retention (read: no more bloated belly). The nutrient can also help relax your blood vessels, nixing deadline-induced headaches.

Calorie Burner!
WEIGHT LOSS SNACK #2

Horizon Organic Mozzarella String Cheese, 1 stick

80 calories, 6 g fat (3.5 g sat fat), 200 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 8 g protein

Each low-fat stick of this brand has a fifth of your day’s calcium intake, which means a low-fat you as well. Some researchers speculate that dairy calcium helps fight fat because it increases the “thermic effect” of eating—in other words, you burn more calories digesting calcium-rich foods than you would if you ate something with the same number of calories, but no calcium. Try a piece of pre-sliced, low-fat cheese like mozzarella or Monterey Jack with some wheat crackers, recommends Christine M. Palumbo, a Chicago-based dietician. “Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil Triscuits work great for this and have a really nice flavor,” she says. She can even help you lose weight at MickeyD’s; check out What 8 Diet Experts Eat at McDonald’s.

Chocolate Belly Melter!
WEIGHT LOSS SNACK #1

Vitalicious VitaBrownie, 1 brownie

100 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g sat fat), 105 mg sodium, 10 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 4 g protein

With VitaBrownies, you can satisfy your craving for something sweet at any time of the day without sabotaging your diet. Each chocolaty square packs 8 grams of whole grains—a dietary staple of people with the littlest middles. A Public Health Nutrition study found that participants who ate three or more servings of whole grains had 10 percent less belly fat than people who ate the same amount of calories from refined carbs (like bad-for-you brownies). When it comes to diet and snacking, being unrefined is a good thing!

Happy healthy eating!

Friday, February 27, 2015

What You Probably Didn't Know About Waist Trainers

With this week being National Eating Disorders Awareness week, we are very sensitive to this topic because we know how it affects not only sorority women, but all women. Body image is a heavy topic and can consume so many of us. Being skinny and looking perfect is an obsession predominately created in our own minds, influenced by the media and our surroundings. It is so important to recognize when dieting is becoming unhealthy. Recently we have been hearing a lot about waist trainers. Skeptical about its results, it was so timely that we heard from Dr. Oz on his take on the waist trainers. Click here to learn about the affects of using a waist trainer.

Diet fads are exactly just what they are...fads. They will go away eventually. Maintaining a healthy body takes discipline, healthy eating, and exercising...continuously. Crash diets, waist trainers, wraps-those are all temporary solutions that don't foster a constructive way of living in a sound body. Don't get us wrong, some mainstream diets and exercises have proven to be great, but that is because they foster a healthy lifestyle like eating paleo, doing crossfit, and doing yoga.

If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, we encourage you to check out the National Eating Disorders Awareness website to learn more about eating disorders, how you can tackle them, and how you can help others.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Secret Foods To Help Your Hair Grow Faster




1. Sweet potatoes  2. Yellow Bell Peppers  3. Salmon  4. Avocados

Stock up those foods in your refrigerator and watch your hair grow! One of our favorite Instagram accounts, @Shredz, enlightened us on these important foods to help your hair grow that we just had to share. Shredz puts it all into perspective:

Eat Salmon twice a week. The Vitamin D, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids will contribute to long healthy locks and a hydrated, nourished scalp.

Yellow bell peppers contain 5.5 times more Vitamin C than oranges which is great news for your hair because the antioxidant properties of Vitamin C strengthen hair follicles and prevent hair damage and breakage.

Sweet potatoes are packed with beta carotene, which is a precursor to Vitamin A, a nutrient known to promote hair growth and a healthy scalp.

Avocados can be eaten to gain the benefits of its healthy fats, but it can also be applied to your hair and scalp to stimulate collagen and elastic production. Apply to skin and hair for about ten minutes before thoroughly rinsing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

5 Best Pre-Workout Foods

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If there is anything we have learned, don't go straight to the gym without fueling your body! When you see people uber sweating at the gym, it is because they have properly eaten throughout the day giving their body that extra jump-start to kick off those unwanted calories. We have come up with the 5 best pre-workout foods for you to consume before you hit the gym.

  1. A Banana--if you plan on doing some hardcore cardio in the form of running, then you want some potassium running through your body. Consider a banana or two as they're filled with lots of potassium to help with muscle recovery.
  2. Yogurt parfait w/ berries--Berries are the perfect antioxidant and plain, greek yogurt is a nice mix to help make this snack more full.
  3. Hard-boiled eggs-- 1-2 hard-boiled eggs are an awesome source of protein prior to the workout.
  4. Shake with whey powder--Mixing into any shake or smoothie you blend up is great for added protein in your system and will help with muscle develop.
  5. Salad--You can never go wrong including greens into your pre-workout meal. Greens in a salad can offer you loads of fiber, vitamins, and minerals which all support a healthy body.
These are just some of our favorite pre-workout snacks. What are yours? Share with us below in the 'comments'!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Truth About Ebola


The media has gone crazy these last couple of weeks revolving around Ebola. We want to keep you informed because a lot of satire and fabrications over this virus have been spreading like wild fire. Let's start with exactly WHAT Ebola is.

Ebola is one of numerous viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHF) transmitted through direct contact with blood or body fluids of an infected person or exposure to objects (i.e. needles) that have been contaminated with the infected body fluids. This virus can affect both humans and non humans (i.e.: monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). Studies are showing that this virus came from a bat.

Myths

  • VHF (Ebola) can be transmitted through the air.
              The Truth: VHF (Ebola) CANNOT be transmitted through the air.

  • Ebola came out of nowhere this year.

             The Truth: Ebola did not just surface out of nowhere this year. Ebola was first discovered in 
             1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  •  Ebola has a cure.
            The Truth: No vaccine or medicine is available to cure Ebola. Experimental vaccines and   
            treatments for Ebola are under development, but they have not been fully tested.

  • You will catch Ebola if you travel to Africa.
           The Truth: Not necessarily. The places to avoid are Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone due to 
           the high level of Ebola cases. Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo have only  
          experienced a small number of Ebola cases so as long as precautionary measures are taken, 
          exposure should be limited.

Overall, it's all about protecting yourself so that we can diminish the spread of this awful virus. How you can accomplish this is to simply keep yourself clean. Wash your hands frequently; avoid contact with blood and body fluids of any person, especially someone who is sick; don't touch bats and non human primates or their blood and fluids.

For more information on how to properly treat Ebola and other great info on this virus, please check out our source, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Do The Self Check: Breast Self Exam For Breast Cancer


With October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is important to pay attention to how you can not only raise money for breast cancer research, but to also raise awareness on how to know what is normal for you when examining your breasts. According to Susan G. Komen For The Cure, The signs of breast cancer are not the same for all women. It is important to know how your breasts normally look and feel. TSS Reader, Stephanie, shared that, "If you don't check enough, you won't feel the difference when you do decide to check". Therefore, the key is to make the BSE (breast self exam) a weekly routine. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Know the warning signs so early treatment can be addressed and hopefully save your life. If you notice any change, contact your health care provider and schedule an appointment.

For more facts on breast cancer, click here!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Girl's Guide To A Gluten-Free Lifestyle


[Picture Source: Pinterest]
Okay, so we have all heard of the word "gluten" and even Jimmy Kimmel joked around here when he interviewed people and they really didn't know what it meant {haha}. But, in all seriousness, gluten has been something that negatively affects many, including Co-Founder, Karen. The affects can include IBS or extreme bloating that can last days or even weeks. According to WebMD, gluten is a protein found in anything made from wheat, rye, or barley. It can also be found in products less obvious like soy sauce and lunch meat. The best way to avoid gluten is to start by reading the labels of all the food you encounter. Look for trigger ingredients such as barley, wheat flour, rye bread or flour, oatmeal, semolina, malt flavoring and the list goes on. Check out a full list here! "Gluten-free" shouldn't sound daunting and a lot of grocery stores have many gluten-free and tasty selections. Karen reached out to some of her friends to get some tips on great foods to consume that are gluten free so here are some of the suggestions:
  • Corn based pasta from Trader Joe's 
  • Trader Joe's gluten free oatmeal 
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables (especially green and dark green veggies)
  • Lean meats (like grilled chicken, fish, pork tenderloin and beef tenderloin)
  • Ezekiel bread or sprouted grain bread
  • Pure, plain Greek yogurt
Special tip from TSS Reader, Brynn: "Be careful with food labeled "gluten free" because for the gluten they've taken out, they've also added 5 crappy ingredients in it! It's definitely all carb based products too!!"

Stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and Udis have great gluten-free products. One suggestion that Karen received is to avoid Maltodextrin and Dextrose. Those are terrible preservatives that are in spices and a lot of foods. Again, LOOK AT THE LABELS.

At the end of the day, cooking at home is the best way to avoid processed food that can contain gluten so that is the best option when trying to live a gluten-free lifestyle. Above all else, consult with your doctor or nutritionist before you adopt any new change in food lifestyle. All of this is new to us so we want to hear from you! What are some of your favorite foods to eat that are gluten-free? Please share them below!

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!


Bio:
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!


Interview:
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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