What Does Fat Do?

What’s fat good for?
How do we get it to go where we want it to?
Where does it wander when it’s lost?

This, is Fat Month.

If cells were personified, each fat cell would be an overbearing grandparent who hoards. They’re constantly trying to make you eat another serving of potatoes, and have cabinets stacked with vitamins they never take.

Like that grandparent, your fat cells are always trying to store stuff.
Fats? Of course.
Vitamins? Heck yeah.
Hormones? You bet.
Random pollutants and toxins? Sure.
Adipose tissue will soak all that up like an oily little sponge and keep it safe until you need it again.

That’s the whole point of body fat—to store energy for you.
When you lose weight, your fat cells start shrinking, releasing lipids and other fats into your bloodstream. These get broken down, and eventually the smaller molecules exit via your urine or breath.

But adipose cells release all the other molecules they’ve hoarded, too.
That includes key hormones like estrogen, along with fat-soluble vitamins and any organic pollutants that found their way into your bloodstream as you gained weight.

Adipose tissue’s tendency to store things is an unfortunate side-effect, because often we need those things to be circulating, not sitting around.

Take hormones, for instance.
Female body fat actually produces some of its own estrogen in addition to storing it, and the more adipose tissue a person has, the more estrogen they’re exposed to.
This is why being overweight puts you at an increased risk of getting breast cancer. Many types of breast cancer are caused by malfunctions in estrogen receptors, which are more likely to go haywire when more estrogen is around to stimulate them.

Vitamins pose the opposite problem.
Adipose sucks up available fat-soluble vitamins (those stashed in adipose tissue instead of being excreted in your outgoing urine)—A, D, E, and K—and often doesn’t leave enough for the rest of your body.
Studies suggest that obese people tend to suffer from vitamin D deficiencies because it’s all lurking in their adipose tissue.
These vitamins can come back out as you lose weight, and as you decrease your body fat, you also allow more of your new vitamin D to stay in your bloodstream.
Water-soluble compounds can just be peed out if you take too much of them, but because the vitamins stored in your adipose tissue can continue to build up, you can eventually overdose on them.

It’s rare, but it does happen.

Fat is also a (temporarily) safe space to store pollutants and other organic chemicals that might otherwise pose a threat.
Organochlorine pesticides build up in fat, as do the polychlorinated biphenyls in coolant fluids and other chemicals from the “dirty dozen” of environmental contaminants.
These banned chemicals can get into your food supply in small quantities and are stored in your fat, possibly because your body wants to sequester them away from your organs. Bodies don’t seem to store enough of these to become toxic, but the constant build-up leaves you vulnerable to exposure.
And they do start to re-emerge when you lose weight.

Since you’re not eliminating all of your body fat at once, this doesn’t seem to pose a problem for most people.
You’re dumping toxins into your bloodstream, but you’re also eliminating them through your pee.
There’s some evidence that certain pollutants—so-called “persistent organic pollutants”—can stick around in your body fat for years, but so far it seems that natural toxin-elimination methods (also known as peeing) work well enough to get rid of them.

Safe or not, it’s best not to give your body a spot to stash all the hormones and vitamins it can hoard.
Our bodies aren’t designed to hold onto excess body fat and stay healthy—that’s why obesity is a risk factor for so many diseases.
Getting rid of fat storage is just another reason to try and cut down on your own adiposity this year.

Letting someone shame you into thinking you don’t look the way you should is not a wise reason to lose weight, but doing it to be healthier usually is.

Just think: every time you lose a pound of fat, you’ve also literally detoxed yourself without ever having to do one of those terrible juice cleanses (which, by the way, do not work).

You’ve used the power of your own body’s filtration systems to get rid of them—and it will thank you for it.

Success Is In Your Attitude

Who doesn’t want to be successful? We all do.

But, it seems, that at the end, it is your attitude which determines your success.

A study conducted at Harvard showed that a person’s attitude is often the deciding factor if they will be successful or not. Your attitude contributes to 85% of your success. So, it is quite necessary that you have the right attitude and the correct mindset.

Like many things in life, attitude is temporary.
It is something that you can always change.

You can always judge if your attitude is a boon or a bane.
If you feel that your attitude isn’t helping you move forward in life, then it is the right time to change it.

Importance of Having a Positive Attitude

Having a positive outlook on life is extremely important.

A woman who has a positive outlook on life is generally liked by everyone.
This outlook is usually attainable if the woman has a positive attitude in life. Like having a positive outlook, there are many benefits of having a positive attitude.

  • It helps you reach your milestones.
  • It helps you become a favorite among co-workers and makes you instantly likable.
  • You start seeing the good in everything.

You would agree that a happy attitude is better than a high IQ.
People who are successful do not always have a highly intelligent quotient, but they have a happy attitude.
This allows them to conquer their fears, be more self-dependent and be more confident.

If we’re to talk about a few very successful people, there are many things that are common among them.

  • They all are confident.
  • They never lost hope
  • They are happy

All these things are achievable in life only if the person has the right frame of mind and the right attitude.

Positive Attitude vs Negative Attitude

Having an unfriendly or a dull attitude would never make you a social person.
People with a dull attitude are seldom successful and usually crib about their problems in life.
And no person likes to stick with a person who always complains about their problems.

Everyone faces at least one problem daily, but the people who are happy and have a positive attitude never whine about their problems.
No matter how big the problems are, a person would never crib about it because they know that crying over something won’t solve it.

Success doesn’t mean being utterly rich or being the most famous.
It means that you’re content. You might be working at a day job and you can be successful at it.
Success just requires the right attitude, not money or fame.

Here are some ways by which you can achieve a happy attitude and be successful.

  •  Be happy.
    A happy mind is always fresh and reduces stress.
  • Stay Motivated.
    Many times, life throws hurdles at you.
    It is best that you stay motivated in those hard times and look for a silver lining and hence not lose hope.
  • Mediate.
    Meditation helps reduce stress and keeps the body and mind rejuvenated.
    It helps you boost the morale and helps you in developing a positive attitude towards life.

 

Better habits, Better you!

With unhealthy food choices easily available around us today, it becomes pretty difficult for us to successfully break out of the clutches of junk food, which contain high amounts of starch and carbohydrates.
Some reasons why these types of consumables remain our best choice is:
they’re both appealing and easy to get.

You can easily buy a candy bar or potato chips when you are hungry; and when you do, you are satisfied both by how it tastes and how it’s packaged.

However, this kind of meal should be eaten sparingly, because they don’t really help us. The brain needs about 25 grams of glucose circulating the blood stream to function best and maintain alertness; this is the same amount found in one banana.

By consuming a high-sugar and high-carbohydrate meal, your body is given too much glucose at once, which won’t last as insulin kicks in to regulate the sudden spike in sugar levels.
You will be left hungry and weak few moments after consuming these kinds of food, which leads you to eat some more without actually solving the issue.

Therefore, part of the key of being healthy is finding the kind of meal that not only supply your body with the glucose it needs, but can leave you feeling satiated for a longer time.

Food like beans, fish, meat, and some types of vegetables are the kinds of food you want to eat if you intend to eat healthy.
Unlike foods that are high in carbohydrates, these kinds of food don’t just release all the glucose they contain at one go; instead, they release this glucose slowly in the body, ensuring that every time the hypothalamus in your brain checks your blood, there is a good amount of glucose to keep it going.

Having established the above points, here are some good methods to help you make the shift from unhealthy eating habits, to healthy eating.

 

  • Take It A Step At A Time.

You know how difficult it is for a smoker to just quit on his or her smoking habit?

That’s how it is with changing your eating habit, or changing any behaviour you have turned into a habit. Why?
Because before it turns into a habit, your brain and body adjusts to accommodate your new behaviour, and after years of practicing that kind of behaviour, it becomes something you do subconsciously.

Now, telling your body to change is like you trying not to be yourself anymore. It takes patience, and slow steady steps. Hence, you shouldn’t just jump into changing your eating habits but rather, take it slowly.

You can start with baby steps by trying to eat low starch or low sugar meals four times a week, for two weeks.
When your body seems to have adjusted to this change, extend it to five days. You should continue with such small increments until you can eat low-sugar and low-starch meals comfortably for a whole week, to a whole month, and then a whole year.
Baby steps.

 

  • Replace The Crispy

We know how much we love crispy food; once we hear the word crispy, we can already imagine the sound and taste.

However, in order to eat healthy, it’s best we look for other alternatives that don’t only leaves you full for a longer duration, but also have a crispy feel for the satisfaction. Consider fruits or vegetables like cucumbers.

 

  • It is Okay To Indulge Sometimes

Yes, trying to eat healthy doesn’t mean you are then banned from eating high-sugar and high-carbohydrate food other than once in a blue moon.

You can treat yourself to a high-carbohydrate meal one or two days a month.

 

  • Keep Your Mouth Busy

For those who tend to eat a lot, even after they’re filled, this is for you.

Research has shown that, your nose being exposed to strong mint scent, can do wonders to reduce food consumption as the smell influences your appetite.

Hence, you try chewing a mint gum after meals.

 

  • Don’t Skip Breakfast

Research has shown that skipping breakfast only increases the tendency of you consuming more at lunch.

Hence, it is advisable to consume something before leaving your house.
When doing so, ensure there is a healthy mix of the six essential nutrients your body needs to be lively, productive, and healthy: protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, mineral and last but not least, water.

 

Follow these simple tips and slowly, but surely, improve your health through better eating habits!

Want to try the Paleo Diet?

The paleo diet has been steadily gaining ground among health conscious individuals, with some believing that it’s one of the best weight loss program around.
Contrary to what people think, this diet plan is actually quite easy to understand.

In the paleo diet, the focus is essentially on eating food that our Paleolithic ancestors did – vegetables, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, meats and animal products like eggs and honey.

Dairy, grains and processed food are eschewed as these are relatively recent inventions. While some might find it hard to imagine what dishes can be made when following the paleo diet, there’s actually a dizzyingly wide array of paleo recipes that you can do.

 

In truth, some might find the idea of following a weight loss program daunting, especially if it involves a total lifestyle change.

You can look for simple and easy ways to incorporate the idea of the paleo diet in your life instead.

Here are some paleo food hacks for a healthy diet that you can try:

  • Say sayonara to sugar

Refined sugar is undeniably bad for you, but it doesn’t mean we have to trudge into this life without sweets.

Use raw honey or pure maple syrup instead. These unrefined sugars are a healthier choice and something that would make you question why you ever needed those white, granulated, over-processed ones.

  • Switch flours

You can still have your cake and eat it too with the paleo diet, as long as you switch flours.

Switch your all-purpose flour with nut flour and start baking. There’s really no need to worry about not having your favourite pancake for breakfast with this diet.

  • Take advantage of the seasons

With the paleo diet’s focus on earth-based products, it’s safe to assume that anything you find in the produce section of your supermarket is OK.

While that’s essentially true, the nearest farmer’s market might provide a lot more options.
After all, the produce there are not only fresh and in season, it’s also more affordable.

You can even buy in bulk and freeze it for later. This is especially true for berries as you can simply wash them, pat dry, place on a cookie sheet and freeze. Transfer the berries into a freezer bag and it will keep for several days to weeks.

  • Keep healthy snacks on hand

Most of the time, our unhealthy food choices stem from the lack of time and limited options. If your pantry is full of processed food and salty chips, odds are that’s what you would be picking for a snack.

So keep several paleo-friendly snacks in your pantry and fridge instead. The aforementioned frozen berries are a good option.

You can also make several paleo burritos and freeze them for such moments. There are also some good, easy to make, low-carb roll-up recipes out there.
Or simply have some fresh fruits and easy to snack on veggies like carrots on hand.

  • Make your own chips

It’s easy to see why people love their potato chips. Its’ salty, delicious crunch is undeniably addicting.
But it also gives you zero nutrients.

So instead of constantly resisting the lure of the potato chip, why not make your own kale chip? Like the beloved potato chip, kale chips can also be little pieces of salty, crunchy heaven. Plus it’s nutritious.
Making your own kale chips is also easy to do.

  • Switch up your salads

Salads don’t have to be the same boring romaine, tomatoes and olive oil vinaigrette combination.

Think out of the box and make salads more interesting and fun to eat again by subbing the usual ingredients with something new.
For instance, go beyond lettuce and try a combination of baby kale, arugula and spinach leaves. Basil, endive and radicchio are also interesting options.

Give the tomatoes a rest and use avocados, roasted peppers, grated carrots, citrus fruits or artichoke hearts for garnish instead. Amp up the flavour of your salads by using a fresh lemon dressing or a tahini dressing.

Make it even healthier by opting for avocado or walnut oil.

Have fun trying!

 

5 Healthy Living Tips for People Who Have Diabetes

Your diabetes diet is simply a healthy-eating plan that will help you control your blood sugar.

It is eating the healthiest foods in moderate amounts and sticking to regular mealtimes.

  • Know Your Levels

We know it sounds basic, but when it comes to living well with diabetes, knowing and controlling your blood glucose levels is vital. It is recommended to use your home glucose monitor frequently or wearing devices that your track your glucose and guarantee that the correct amount of insulin is released at the right time.

It is really important to know where you’re at and where you’re headed, and if your levels are not where they should be, take corrective action to bring your glucose back to where it needs to be.

  • Prepare Your Own Meals

Avoid the added fat and sugars that come with eating out by cooking at home instead. Actually, scratch that: You can cook pretty much anywhere!

And home cooking definitely doesn’t mean you have to settle for bland, unexciting dishes. Get creative and replace conventional vegetable and canola oils with choices like grapeseed oil instead, make colourful salads and try boiling or sautéing your chicken/beef instead of frying it!

  •  Practice Moderation, Not Deprivation

Portion control and eating reasonably is the key to any diabetes maintenance program. Eat what you want, but eat it sensibly.

Allow yourself the indulgence but think and control your portions.

 

  • Move Your Body

Exercise is an essential part of keeping your diabetes in check.

Try combining aerobic exercises that raise your heart rate with resistance training, which not only builds strength but also has the added benefit of helping metabolise glucose in the muscle tissue.

  • Talk About It

Remember that you don’t have to go this alone.

Get support from your family, friends, physician, or online groups to stay focused and healthy.

Take advantage of all the information that is out there. Talk to those who can educate you and help you improve your lifestyle.

Everyone Is Obsessed With Drinking Lemon Water—But Is It Really Beneficial To Your Health?

Can such a cheap, simple, make-at-home drink live up to the hype? We looked in to break down the real benefits of lemon water.

Does Lemon Juice Really Deliver?

After eight hours of proper sleep, a glass of H2O with a lemon slice is a great, low-cal (one slice contains two calories) way to start your morning.
But the water part of lemon water is to thank for most of the science-backed benefits of lemon water.

Most people don’t drink enough water, so when they up their H2O intake (with or without the slice of lemon), they’ll usually experience the so-called benefits of lemon water, such as decreased constipation, tighter skin, and weight loss, he explains.

While dehydration can slow metabolic rate, most lemon-water-linked weight loss happens when people use it to replace high-cal beverages like soda or fruit juice. Dehydration can also slow brain function to torpedo your energy levels and allow brain fog to set in, he says.

But sipping any kind of water: hot, cold, flavored, or plain, will do the trick.

No, lemon water isn’t magical, and so far there are no studies that support the claimed benefits of lemon water.
And the lemon itself doesn’t actually provide a ton of nutritional value.

After all, even though lemons do contain vitamin C, and studies link vitamin C deficiency to poor immune function, lemons contain so little of the immunity-boosting nutrient that it likely won’t make any impact on whether or not you catch a cold.
According to the National Institutes of Health, women need about 75 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C per day, but a slice’s-worth of lemon juice only has about one mg.
If you also eat the pulp, you can get up to four mg, or 5 percent of your daily needs.

The same goes for lemon’s flavonoids, antioxidants that research has shown to fight cancer.
He says a glass of lemon water won’t even hit 1 percent of your daily needs.

Meanwhile, the claims that lemon water detoxifies the body and, through its acidity, somehow alters blood pH, are flat-out false.
While the liver and kidneys tightly regulate the removal of toxins from your body, the lungs, kidneys, blood, and bones all work together to maintain your body’s perfect pH. Translation: The foods you eat won’t alter your pH whatsoever.

However, if you have trouble staying hydrated, aren’t a fan of plain ‘ole water, or are trying to cut back on high-calorie drinks, go ahead and try lemon water.

That said, the acidic concoction is not for everyone.
Drinking lemon water, especially in large amounts, can actually cause a burning sensation in your stomach, and can exacerbate the symptoms of acid reflux or heartburn.
Meanwhile, it can also weaken tooth enamel and irritate the gums.
So if you do want to try lemon water, drink it through a straw.

Bottom line:
If you like the taste, go ahead and add some lemon to your morning glass of water. But don’t expect it to yield miracles.

Flu Can Kill!

Most people view influenza as a routine, if unpleasant, possibility each winter.
But the case of a 21-year-old man in Pennsylvania is a poignant reminder that sometimes, the worst-case scenario is more serious than sick days and bed rest.

Kyle Baughman, an aspiring personal trainer living in Latrobe, came home for Christmas not feeling well.
His symptoms persisted when returning to work after the the holidays.

Just a few days later, however, Kyle died at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian hospital from flu-related organ failure, according to his family.

Why does the flu turn deadly?

Influenza can be a very serious illness.
Even though the vast majority of the public that comes down with actual influenza will get through it with Tylenol, fluids, Motrin, whatever, there are people who do get very sick.

Deadly cases are mostly limited to the very young, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, such as respiratory illnesses, but a very small percentage of otherwise healthy people do develop serious complications.
For some people with pneumonia, it will spread to their bloodstream and cause an overwhelming, multi-system infection.
While these cases are extremely infrequent, they can sometimes end in death,.

What should you do if you have the flu?

Don’t try to ride it out yourself. Visit your primary care doctor or an urgent care clinic within 48 hours of developing telltale flu symptoms, including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat and body aches.
A doctor can treat you with Tamiflu, an antiviral medication that can mitigate some symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness.

But if you’re seeking treatment, don’t go to the emergency room, where you’ll run the risk of infecting others and exposing yourself to sicknesses potentially more severe than yours.

How can you tell if the flu is serious?

In most cases, flu symptoms will subside within three to seven days and are mild enough to be treated with over-the-counter painkillers, fluids and rest.
If you experience prolonged symptoms, or shortness of breath on par with what you’d feel during strenuous exercise, you should see your doctor to rule out complications.

Is it too late to get a flu shot?

Not at all. Its better now than never.
If you develop a bit of an immunity now, and you’re exposed to it later on, it will protect you.

And while the flu shot isn’t 100% effective, vaccinated people who still get sick will likely have less severe cases than those who never get vaccinated at all.

The Ever Benefits of Honey

The 1970s and ’80s saw a spike in generic food.
Many supermarkets sold food (or “food”) in white containers labeled with only the name of the food.
These days, consumers are more aware of where their food comes from, how it is processed, and the varieties available.

Consumers can buy honey in many forms, ranging from honeycombs to the popular liquid honey.
In addition to the different forms of honey, there are different varieties of honey – determined by the type of nectar used to produce it.

Honey can be purchased raw, but most commercial honey is processed in one or more ways.
Honey may be filtered, pasteurised or creamed, and each process alters the honey with the goal of making it more desirable to consumers. Increasingly, however, folks are becoming aware of the health benefits of raw honey.

Most commercially available honey is filtered. Although raw honey is perfectly safe to eat, it may not appeal to consumers.

Honey can be filtered to various degrees.
Some raw honeys undergo a coarse filtration that really only removes wings and “chunks” large enough to be seen with the naked eye. Most commercial honey, however, is filtered to remove particles down to 0.1 to 10 micrometers.
This filtration is tight enough to not only remove macroscopic contaminants, but most pollen as well.

Many honey producers also sell raw honey. Raw honey is usually lightly filtered – just enough to remove the large bits. Raw honey will crystallize, but can be reheated to dissolve the crystals. Because it is not pasteurized, the aroma of the honey will not be diminished. Raw honey may be slightly more nutritious than filtered honey because of the small amount of protein found in the pollen grains.

Mead makers – the folks who make honey wine – view raw honey as the highest quality honey. Compared to other forms of honey, raw honey just smells and tastes better. Some claim honey harvested earlier in the season is generally preferable to honey harvested later.

Raw honey is generally sold as a liquid, although it may be crystallized on the store shelf. Some sources also sell chunks of honey-comb. This is, of course, as raw as honey gets – but it also takes more work to get the honey you want if you need to drain it from the comb.

Different honey varieties smell and taste like the nectar from which they were produced. For many plants, the flower’s nectar has a similar flavor to the fruit.
For example, raspberry blossom honey has a flavor and aroma reminiscent of raspberries.


BENEFITS

  • Natural Energy Source
    Honey is known as an excellent source of natural energy as the natural unprocessed sugar present in it enters the bloodstream directly and this in turn can give a quick boost of energy.
    This quick boost works like a wonder for your workout, especially in longer endurance exercises.
  • Strengthens Immune System
    Honey has countless medicinal properties that naturally help in curing a sore throat. Its antioxidants and bacteria-fighting assets also help against fighting infections that are caused by viruses, bacteria and fungi.
    According to doctors and scientists, buckwheat honey has the highest number of antioxidants and when consumed daily can be beneficial for boosting immunity in the long run and this is why honey has known to be one of the best immunity boosting foods.
    It is always advisable to consume honey every morning before breakfast or even workout to get an extra kick of energy for the whole day. It also works as a cleansing toner which improves immunity in children
  • Nourishes your Face and Skin
    Using Honey for skin is very useful because of its moisturizing and nourishing properties.
    Honey is the best natural moisturizer, especially for your dry skin and it is also very easy to apply.
    It also helps curing cracked lips during winters. Many people also use honey masks for skin tone correction.
  • Boosts your memory
    We are what we eat and hence it is very important to consume foods that help make our mental health strong to sustain in old age.
    Honey, the eternal sweetener has numerous health benefits, one of which includes boosting memory and concentration.
    Honey not only increases brain power and memory but also makes you a healthier person altogether. Consumption of honey prevents metabolic stress and helps calm and soothe the brain, which helps in augmenting memory in the long run.
  • For Healing Wounds
    Honey has antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties, which is why honey is used for healing wounds.
    After any skin injury, bacteria that live on your skin can infect and penetrate the wound site. Honey, has been found to destroy these bacteria.
  • Home Remedy for Coughs
    Honey is known to be one of the best home remedies for dry cough as well as wet cough. Research has also shown that drinking a tablespoon of honey can reduce irritation in the throat.
    Honey is the preferred natural remedy for cough, especially for kids, as it helps to relieve nocturnal cough, allowing proper sleep.

Honey is a wonderful creation that everyone can try to introduce into their lives.

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Tips to Healthy Home Cooking

There’s a large number of people who would argue that nothing beats home cooked meals.
The single most important thing we could do as a family to improve our health and general well-being is to make home cooked meals. But today’s rat race has people equating cooking at home as something stressful and time-consuming.

Coming up with delicious and healthy food recipes is easier than you think, especially with these simple healthy food hacks.

 

Pick your salt

It’s not just the news that you have to take with a grain of salt these days.
The ideal daily sodium intake should be kept at 1500 milligrams or less.
Excessive consumption of salt is one major contributor to an unhealthy diet and is also associated with heart failure, kidney disease, osteoporosis, stomach cancer and stroke.

While it’s next to impossible to totally remove salt from your diet and your dishes, there are ways to cut back on it.
One way to cut down on sodium in meals is to use citrus zests.
Simply grate some zest and add to dishes for that extra boost of flavor.

 

Spice it

People might tire of hearing it, but using different herbs and spices can have a major impact on the taste and nutritional value of the dish.
Many herbs and spices offer health benefits. For instance, cinnamon has anti-oxidants that help cells process glucose. Eating just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day will minimize the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Ginger helps reduce inflammation and improves attention span while using rosemary in meat marinades prevents the development of heterocyclic amines, free radicals that are said to cause cancer.

You can go for dried herbs or better yet, opt into growing fresh herbs.
Not only will your garden or kitchen still look nice, but you’ll also have a steady supply of flavor boosters.
Just chop some parsley, chive and thyme, add a little lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and voila – an instant sauce for everything!
Or if you prefer stronger flavors, toss some of chipotle chili’s in the blender, add a little olive oil and blend into a paste.
It goes well with anything, even your plate of steamed broccoli. What’s more, you can blend a big batch to keep in the fridge so you’ll always have some handy.

 

Do an oil change

Something as easy as an oil change can have a major impact in healthy home cooking.
Olive oil is a great and healthy alternative to corn oil and canola oil, although there are those who prefer grapeseed oil or sunflower oil.
But like everything in life, too much of a good thing can be bad, including olive oil. As a rule, try to use one oil for cooking, and another for finishing. Sunflower, grapeseed, rapeseed and peanut oils are good for roasting and frying because of its neutral flavor while olive oil can be used in sautes and for cooking over moderate heat.
Coconut oil is also a good option when roasting, sauteing and baking. For finishing off your dishes or for salad dressings, nut oils, garlic or herb-infused oils are a good choice. Olive oil can also be used in dressings.

One useful hack to losing weight and keeping those calories in check is to use an oil mister to ensure that you don’t go overboard on the oil.
If an oil mister sounds too fancy or expensive, try a cheap water spritzer bottle. Put olive oil in it and use to mist salad or spritz olive oil on the frying pan.

 

Chop Chop

A lot of people are discouraged from making a home cooked meal by the amount of peeling and chopping that one has to do first.
You can save time and effort by using some simple shortcuts. Use your food processor to chop vegetables.
Grating vegetables lessens the prep and cooking time. They are also easier to eat raw and can also be used to make simple, tasty and healthy side dishes.
Buying pre-sliced vegetables in the supermarket can also save a lot of time, plus they’re still healthy.

 

Check the frozen food aisle

Fresh fruits are a much better choice for snacks and desserts. While fresh fruits are ideal, frozen ones can be just as good.
Check out your frozen food sections for your favorite fruits or for those that are in season. As these are picked and frozen while they’re still at their peak freshness, their nutrients have been locked in.
After that, it’s just a simple matter of incorporating them in your dishes or preparing them for dessert. Or, freeze your own fruits and blend them up to create your own raw ice cream.

 

Upgrade your kitchen

You can already whip up a good meal with just a good chef’s knife, a paring knife and a wooden cutting board.
However, certain gadgets will admittedly make life easier and your dishes better. A cordless blender can be a boon to any kitchen as it can be used to grind spices, mash produce or make a healthy soup.
A vegetable spiral cutter is also a good kitchen investment for those who prefer their pasta to be made from zucchini or carrots.

Two in one

Preparing food that can be extended to two meals or more is another kitchen hack that you can use to make home cooking easier and more fun.
Double the ingredients you use and freeze for later use.
For instance, cube and roast two squashes when making soup. Use one to puree into a delicious soup while the other can be used in another dish, like pasta or tacos.
Leftover salad greens can also be used to make spring rolls or bibimbap, a popular rice and vegetable dish from Korea.

How to Stop Sabotaging Your Fitness Goals

Ugh.. you’re tired of being out of shape.

You stumble across that new popular fitness plan, and decided to commit.
This time it’s no sugar, low carbs, and an hour of exercise a day.

Everything goes great on day one. You have the veggie platter for lunch, chicken and veggies for dinner, and you nail your workout. You’re pumped.

A few days later, you begin craving sweets. You tell yourself, “just once won’t hurt.” Next, you crave something greasy. You skip your next workout, order fast food, and binge eat in front of the TV.
Soon, you begin feeling guilty.
You wonder how you’ll stick to your plan, and just like that, you’re back into your old habits.

Sound familiar?

This is one of the four most common ways that people sabotage their fitness goals. Learn to tackle this challenge, as well as three others, to set yourself up for success.

1. Expecting perfection

That one sweet? Not so bad.
The fast food binge? Not great, but manageable.
Letting a few setbacks ruin your fitness plans? Definitely bad.

Don’t expect perfection in following your new diet or workout plan.

Instead, we suggest that you look for progress and allow yourself one cheat meal a week while you learn to create new habits.

2. Expecting too much too soon

Everywhere you turn, fitness ads claim instant success. Results now. One-week weight loss.

In reality, these promises are too good to be true.
If you are unhappy with your current fitness, it likely results from years of bad habits. How can you expect to turn it around quickly?

Start your fitness journey with the right expectations.
There is no instant gratification.
Fitness is a process that takes time, goal setting, and commitment.

3. Focusing on that single big goal

Goals are a tricky thing.
Setting fitness goals is great, but focusing on a single big goal can be paralyzing.

To avoid being paralyzed by your goal, break it down into smaller goals.

Create attainable goals for each day, week, and month.
Then focus on one goal at a time, and create a plan for attaining the goal.
What will your actions be? How often will you take these actions? How will you measure your goal?
When you accomplish a single smaller goal, then set your sights on the next one.

For example, if my overall goal is to lose 30 pounds, my first goal might be to lose one pound a week.
This is a trackable, attainable goal.
To achieve that I plan on working out 3 days a week. After sticking with this plan for two months I might increase my commitment by following the nutrition plan and adding a 4th workout each week.

4. Fixating on what you can’t have

When you begin a new diet, it is easy to focus on the things you can’t have: cookies, chocolate, fast food, and sugar.
The problem is this often makes you want them even more. To counteract this, quit focusing on what you can’t have, and start focusing on what you can have.

At first, you might fell limited by all of your dietary restrictions. However, while searching for tasty, healthy foods, you will soon realize that the list is actually endless. Options include chia seeds, flax seeds, quinoa, amaranth, millet, and more.
There are so many possibilities!

Healthy eating can taste great, and isn’t as hard as it seems.
Just experiment with healthy recipes to find the foods and spices that work for you.
Combine healthy grains, spices, meats, fruits, and veggies for tasty meals that don’t take hours to make and give you great nutritious meals.

How to achieve your fitness goals

OK, enough about sabotaging yourself.

Just like that last point, we don’t want to focus on what not to do. We want to focus on what you should be doing. To wrap things up, here are four ways to think about your fitness goals that improve your chances of success:

  • Work on making progress. There is no perfection; only progress (and the occasional setback!).
  • Have patience. Change takes time. Fitness is a lifestyle, which takes a lifetime to achieve and maintain.
  • Take small steps. Set small achievable goals and tackle them one at a time
  • Focus on the cans. Spend your time and effort on what you can have, and what you can do.

Lastly, enjoy the ride and look at this as a new adventure!