Archive | Better U

Tell Fat to Fork Off-How Long Does It Really Take To Create A New Habit?

Tell Fat to Fork Off

How Long Does It Really Take To Create A New Habit?

They say it takes 21 days to create a new habit. That’s kind of a weird idea though, isn’t it? It doesn’t take that long to form a bad habit. And sometimes no matter how hard we try it takes us a lot longer to form a new habit.

So how long does it really take to create a new habit? The answer is that it depends. It depends on your mindset and it depends on how big of a change it is from what you are doing now. If it is your habit to eat a bowl of ice cream at night and you switch from regular ice cream to a low sugar frozen yogurt version, it’s probably not going to take you very long to make that new habit. Giving up ice cream altogether though or cutting out all sugar on the other hand might take a lot longer.

When we ask that question, what we really want to know is how long do we have to tough it out before it gets easier. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel where we don’t have to try so hard anymore? In other words, when will this new behavior become automatic?

While it will be different from one person to the next and even from one habit to the next, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Tell Fat to Fork Off

It’s easier to make a new habit than get rid of an old one. Be prepared to work a lot harder to give up checking your email every 2 minutes or snacking late at night. Whenever possible, try to replace an old habit with a new one. For example if you’re wanting to give up coffee, brew a cup of herbal tea in the morning and throughout the day when you would usually reach for your cup of Joe.

Habits will form faster if you stick to the same time and environment each day. Instead of going for a walk whenever, keep your sneakers next to the door and schedule your walk every day at 6pm, right after dinner for example.

A constant reminder of why you’re trying to change your behavior is also helpful. Remind yourself every day that you’re exercising so your body stays strong and you can go play with the kids or grandkids in the yard.

Or put up a picture to remind you that you’re making frugal habits so you can one day purchase your dream home.

Keep your reason why you’re changing front and center and then be prepared to stick it out. Yes it will take some time to make new habits and replace old ones. But it will be well worth it in the end.

 

Grocery Tips: Signs Of Good Produce

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We all know that fruits and vegetables are essential parts of a healthy diet. The vitamins and nutrients from them helps make the body stronger and can boost the immune system. Each fruit and vegetable has its own natural properties that are beneficial. For instance, a tomato has antioxidant properties that help cleanse the body of toxins and free radicals. It is great for preventing cancer too.

You can easily find fruits and vegetables in the grocery store.  But how do you choose the good ones from the bad ones? Read on for some great tips.

Tips for Finding Good Produce:

Fruits

Oranges– Good oranges are firm, heavy and have a smooth texture. Do not buy oranges that are lightweight, dull, spongy, and have a rough texture.

Peaches– Good peaches are firm and plump. It should be white or yellow in color with a red blush. Do not buy peaches that are very cushiony or shriveled.

Grapes- Good grapes are tender, plump, firmly attached to the stems and have a slight amber blush (green grapes). Bad grapes are brown in color, have a wrinkled surface and brittle stems.

Apricots– Good apricots have a uniform golden color and they are firm. Do not buy apricots that have a pale yellow or greenish color. Bad apricots can be very soft or very hard.

Cherry– Good cherries have new looking stems and a smooth and shiny surface. Bad cherries have dried steams and dull surfaces.
Cantaloupe- Good cantaloupes have a delicate aroma, yellowish skin and a thick texture on the rind. Do not buy cantaloupes with a sweet and pungent aroma as well as those with a soft rind.

Watermelon– Good watermelons are symmetrical in shape and have a cream-colored underside. Do not buy watermelons with cushiony spots.

Vegetables

Broccoli– Good broccoli is firm, have closed florets and have a deep green color. Do not buy broccoli that are yellow in color, with open florets and water-soaked spots.

Asparagus- Good asparagus have closed tips and straight green stalks. Bad asparagus have open tips and the stalks are curved.
Bell Pepper- Good bell peppers have bright and glossy skin. They are firm and thick while bad bell peppers have soft spots and shriveled surfaces.

Carrots– Good carrots are firm and have a bright orange color. Bad carrots have a rough texture, soft and have green roots.

Tomato– Good tomatoes are plump, smooth and have a rich red color. Bad tomatoes look shriveled and have blemishes.

Now that you know how to choose good produce, you will spend your money wisely. Do not rush choosing good produce though, take your time and make sure you buy the best, it will be worth it.

Essentia Health’s Better U- Ten Foods to Help You Maintain a Healthy Heart

Essentia Health's Better U

With heart disease being the leading cause of death, it’s no wonder why there is plenty of talk about being heart healthy. While a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains that incorporate lean proteins and fish is key to a healthy lifestyle, there are a few foods that stand out in their healing power. Here are ten of them.

By no means is this an exhaustive list, nor is it a suggestion that these are the most heart smart foods. These are just ten foods to consider in your heart healthy lifestyle.

Blueberries: Full of antioxidants and folate, blueberries are known to fight heart disease, cancer and other illnesses. They also include plenty of fiber and vitamin C. Use them on top of your cereal and salads and add them to baked goods.

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Tofu and soymilk: The soy-based products include plenty of healthy benefits and are rich in calcium, potassium and magnesium. Tofu is a great meat substitute and soymilk can replace the regular milk you drink and add to foods daily.

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is full of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, potassium, magnesium, soluble fiber and folate. It’s a great start to your day or you can add oats to your favorite baked cookies.

Spinach: This flavorful green vegetable includes calcium, fiber, potassium and B-complex vitamins. Use spinach in place of lettuce in salads and sandwiches. Cooked spinach is delicious as well.

Salmon: Oily fish are a good source of vitamins A and D and omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon has the highest concentration omega-3s, but tuna, trout, mackerel, sardines, herring and anchovies are also good source. You can grill salmon; add it to a stir-fry, pasta or even a salad.

Flax seeds: These small seeds pack a nutritional punch and are easy to add to foods, virtually unnoticed. They are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, phytoestrogens and fiber. Add them to your breakfast cereal, yogurt or baked items.

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Red wine: Now, here’s some great news. Red wine has antioxidants that can improve your good cholesterol levels. Enjoy a glass now and then, knowing it’s good for you.

Black and kidney beans: These beans are high in soluble fiber, B-complex vitamins and folate. Because they are low in fat, they’re a great protein source in your meals. Add them to soups, serve them over rice or make some chilli.

Almonds and walnuts: Another great source omega-3s, these nuts are great as a snack by themselves or added to other foods. They also have mono and polyunsaturated fats, magnesium and fiber.

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Sweet potatoes: Not only do they taste good, but sweet potatoes also have plenty to offer nutritionally. They are a great course of beta-carotene, fiber and vitamins A, C and E. Eat them as a side dish or puree them into pancakes and muffins.

How can you incorporate these nutritious and flavorful foods into your diet? How about starting with a bowl of oatmeal in the morning, spinach salad for lunch and lovely grilled fish in the evening? And don’t forget that glass or red wine…it’s good for you!

Interested in being a part of the next Essentia Health Better U? Email Jeri.Hughes@essentiahealth.org

Home-Cooked Meals: Cooking Healthy Food For The Heart

Since participating in Essentia Health’s Better U over a year ago, I have a been super aware of just what types of foods make for a “Healthy Heart.”

Essentia Health's Better U

Are you aware that what you feed your family on a daily basis affects their health? Since the family eats at home the majority of the time compared to eating at restaurants, you should be very aware of what you serve on the table. Your family’s health is in your hands and this is a huge responsibility but with knowledge, you can do it.

You can protect the heart and blood vessels by preparing less saturated fat meals. Remember, not all fats are bad. You just have to know how to identify the bad ones. The ingredients you will use and the way you cook the food will make a big difference in cooking healthy food for the heart.

Basic Things To Remember

* Less Fat- You can cut down on the fat through cooking methods like boiling, broiling, steaming, roasting, baking, grilling and microwaving food instead the usual frying. If you need to fry, use non-stick pans and a cooking spray instead of frying oil. Fats can really add flavor to the food, so what do you do if it is lessened? Opt for using seasonings and spices instead. Lemon juice is great for steamed vegetables and broiled fish. Pepper is great for chicken seasoning. Onion and garlic can boost the flavor of meat and vegetables.

* Lean Cuts– You cannot avoid meat, pork and poultry due to its protein but you can keep the cholesterol down by choosing leaner cuts. With beef, choose cuts like round, flank, sirloin, tenderloin, rib, chunk, rump roast, T-bone, porterhouse and cubed. In poultry, white breast meat is low in fat. In pork, the leaner types are pork loin, center loin chops, Canadian bacon and ham.

* Low Dairy Fat- Dairy should be part of your meals because of the calcium. However, dairy can be pretty fatty if you do not know how to choose. Instead of drinking full-cream milk, opt for fat-free skim milk or low-fat buttermilk. For yogurts, buy the low fat or fat-free ones. For cheese, parmesan and cottage cheese have less fat.

* Find Substitutes- Fatty food is definitely tastier but you can still make your food delicious by using substitutes. For instance, instead of using regular salad dressings, you can go for low-fat mayonnaise and low-fat salad dressing. Instead of plain yogurt, go for sour cream when cooking.

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By knowing what to cook for your family, you can help protect them from heart diseases. In addition, if they learn to eat healthy at home, it will be easier to continue a healthy lifestyle from then on.

Yummy Vegetable Chowder

This delicious chowder is a great way to use up those vegetables from your garden or fresh produce from the store.  Easy to prepare and perfect with a loaf of crusty bread for a light meal.

Serves: 6

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

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Ingredients:

1 cup broccoli, chopped

1 cup carrots, chopped

1 cup cauliflower, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 medium zucchini, chopped

1/2 cube butter, melted

1/2 cup flour

4 cups milk,

1 teaspoon pepper, ground

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

2 teaspoons garlic salt

Instructions:

  1. Put carrots in saucepan and cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Add broccoli, cauliflower, and onion and enough water to cover.
  3. Boil 5 more minutes then add zucchini continue cooking for 5 more minutes.
  4. While vegetables are cooking, melt butter in soup pot over medium heat.
  5. Add flour and mix well, brown slightly.
  6. Add milk and whisk until smooth
  7. Turn heat up to medium

What Heart Healthy recipes do you have to share?

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