10 Ways to Make Better Eating Choices

As you begin working towards a new healthy lifestyle, you’re sure to have a few bumps along the way. Don’t let them stop you! This is not a rush to the finish line; it’s a journey. Small changes have a huge impact; and over time, small changes add up to make some really big changes. Here are 10 ways you can begin to make better eating choices for life.

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1. Learn to cook

Use Pinterest, websites, blogs, books and magazines to find some new recipes. Start small. You don’t need a ton of expensive ingredients to make a healthy meal. Learn a few new techniques; invest in some good cookware, and get down in the kitchen!

2. Cook ahead
If you know you have a long week ahead and you won’t feel like cooking, do your cooking the weekend before and portion out your meals. Put some in the fridge and some in the freezer so you can grab as needed.

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3. Plan ahead
I know what you’re thinking- plan ahead sounds like cook ahead. Let me explain. If you know you’re going out to a restaurant, review the menu beforehand so you can make the healthiest choice. If you know you won’t have time for a lot of sit-down meals, make sure you pack plenty of snacks. Planning ahead gets you ahead!
4. Find your favorites
Experimenting with new ingredients is a great way to incorporate new vegetables into your meals. Grab some cooking magazines; ask questions at the grocery store, or just grab a new ingredient and search online for how to use it. You may find one of your favorite foods is something you’ve never even had yet! When you find things you like, stick with them. Variety is great, but when you’re adapting to a new lifestyle or dealing with a busy schedule, simplicity is key.
5. Don’t deprive
The important thing to remember about eating healthy is that it’s a lifestyle change, not a 30-day change that’s done and over. If you constantly tell your body things are off limits, you’ll want them more and more. Even worse, you’ll overindulge when you actually do have them. If you want french fries one day, order a small size and be done with it. Have to have your chocolate fix everyday? Pack a small piece of the best chocolate you can find! Healthy eating is not about saying “no” to life’s little pleasures.
6. Don’t reward yourself with food
I know this sounds crazy to some of you, but there’s good reasoning behind it. Many people will make it a point to eat healthy all week so they can reward themselves with junk on the weekends. Don’t let this happen to you. Remember what I said in #5. Stick to that. When you’re pleased with the progress you’re making, reward yourself with other things. Set aside some alone time, buy a new outfit or schedule a massage. Relax alone in your tub or schedule some extra reading time. Feed your soul instead.

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7. Find a support system
Family, friends, a counselor, or an online support system- whatever works for you! Find a few go-to people that can support your new goals. If you’re married, it’s important to have a spouse who will support you while you’re making these new changes since many of your changes will start at home. Explain how important your health is to you. They might just jump on board with you!
8. Say yes to greens

You won’t believe the difference you’ll notice in your mind and body when you consume more leafy green things. Spinach in smoothies, kale in soups, romaine in salads- there are TONS of ways to fit more greens in your life. I recommend three cups of greens a day, so be creative and don’t be afraid to try something new!

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9. Pack in the protein
Protein helps keep you full and is an important part of maintaining overall health and muscle. You may opt for animal protein or vegetarian sources. Either way, try to have a little bit with each meal or snack. Nuts are a great source of protein for a snack. Quinoa and beans are good sources for vegetarians. If you eat meat, just add a little of your favorite meat or fish to meals in order to stay fuller longer. Avoid foods like crackers, chips and cereals most of the time since they often provide little fiber or protein. You’re sure to be hungry quickly after having them.
10. Fill up on fats
Healthy fats provides food with taste and nutrition. They help you absorb nutrients better as well. Nut butters, avocados, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil and grass-fed butter are great choices. You can add them to stir fries, have them as a snack, or use them for dipping. Try a few different things and find out what you enjoy.


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What do you think about these 10 tips? Are they things you already do? Which ones seem the easiest to incorporate for you?

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Five Ways to Squeeze More Movement Into Your Day

Today, it’s harder than ever to find the time to exercise. After managing work and family and dealing everything else that pops up unexpectedly, you have very little time left to focus on you and your health. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible though! Try using these five tips to include more movement on days you just can’t squeeze in a good sweat session.
1. Take the stairs
If you’re going anywhere with an escalator or elevator, opt for stairs instead. If you work in an office building with stairs, you can try to squeeze in a few extra flights during your lunch break before sitting down to eat. A little effort can go a long way!
2. Park farther away
Do you automatically choose the closest parking spot? Stop! Give yourself some extra time and park a little farther if the weather allows and you won’t have a lot to carry when returning to your car. You can use this tip at work, on the weekends, or any other time you just need to move a little more.
3. Multitask
Do you have a favorite television show? Make a point to pick a TV show that is 30 minutes to 1 hour long each night. You can work a different body part for each show. Write down a list of leg exercises for one night, arm exercises for another, etc. You can do jumping jacks or march in place. Take breaks with the commercials, or use the commercials to exercise if you’re watching a longer program. You get to indulge in a little TV time and still take care of yourself- the best of both worlds! You can also listen to audio books while you exercise.

4. Cook
I know what you’re thinking. How does cooking count as movement or exercise? If you’ve ever made a meal from scratch, you know it’s hard work. Washing, cutting, stirring…it all takes some serious strength! Skip the mixes and pre-made foods and get in the kitchen! This will help you stay on track as you make new lifestyle changes. Learning to incorporate lasting changes is part of the process.

5. Wake up 10 minutes early
Incorporating just 10 minutes of high intensity interval training on a busy day can make a huge impact. Try a Beachbody workout in the time you have available, or create your own routine. If you’re struggling to wake up 10 minutes early, go to bed 10 minutes earlier. Remember that sleep is an important part of weight loss and overall health. You shouldn’t wake up exhausted each day.

What do you think about these five tips? Do you think you could incorporate some of them into your busy days? Do you have any other tricks to help you stay on track?
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Paleo, Gluten free Caramel Sauce

Ahhhh, some of the best things in life are SWEET, DARK, and CREAMY! I am a big fan of Caramel, it adds such a dense, creamy texture to anything you put it on. So in my quest to find the perfect clean recipe for a Caramel sauce that would give the sugar filled not so healthy ones a run for their money I stumbled across this recipe on allergyfreealaska.com.

INGREDIENTS
14 oz. canned coconut milk
1 cup palm sugar
1/4 cup pure maple sugar
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
small pinch of sea salt


INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the coconut milk, palm sugar, and malpe syrup. Bring to a boil and reduce heat medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally , for 15 minutes then remove from heat.

2. Whisk in coconut oil, vanilla, and sea salt.

3. Allow the Caramel sauce to cool for 30 minutes. There will be a thin Film layer over the top of the sauce, this is normal, just whisk the sauce before pouring it into an airtight jar. the sauce will thicken as it cools.

4. Refrigerate, can be served warm or cold, use within 7 days.




Final Product.



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