3 Easy Steps to Begin Eating Right

1      Eat More Whole Grains

Eating whole grains instead of refined grains can lower the risk of many chronic diseases including:

  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease

It also can help with better weight maintenance. Making simple switches in your diet can make all the difference.

Replace THAT                                                 With THIS

White bread Whole-wheat bread
White rice Brown rice
Flour pasta Whole-wheat pasta
White-bread bagels 100% whole-wheat bagels

2      Stay hydrated

Our bodies depend on water for survival. Water actually makes up over half of our body weight, so it is crucial to keep ourselves hydrated in order for our bodies to continue to function properly. Without hydration, our bodies would not be able to maintain temperature, remove waste, and lubricate our joints. Remember, “8-by-8.” Aim to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day. Fluid can include juice, tea, coffee and milk, but remember that water is the purest source of hydration.

3      Make sure your veggies and fruits are nutrient-rich

As a general guideline, the richer the color of your fruits and veggies, the better they are for you. Give these a try next time you go to the grocery store.

  • Cherries
  • Red bell peppers
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
  • Spinach
  • Kiwi
  • Blueberries
  • Eggplant

(Source: coreperformance.com)

Superfood Series: Lower Your Cholesterol

High cholesterol becomes more common with age and family history. If you know you run the risk of developing high cholesterol or already have high cholesterol, try integrating these superfoods into your diet to help reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.

  • Soy
    • Soy foods help your heart by reducing the amount of saturated fat that you ingest.
    • Foods: Tofu, soy nuts, soy flour, enriched soymilk.
    • Recommended Intake: 25 grams of soy protein daily.
  • Beans
    • Beans are very rich in fiber. Their soluble fiber can lower high cholesterol.
    • Foods: Black, white, kidney, fat-free refried, etc. Adding beans to dishes is simple and health benefitting.
    • Recommended Intake: Eat beans 5 or more time a week. 25-30g of fiber a day.
  • Salmon
    • Cold-water fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, which helps lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol.
    • Foods: Salmon, white albacore, tune, rainbow trout, anchovies, herring, sardines, and mackerel.
    • Recommended Intake: At least two servings of fish every week.
  • Avocado
    • Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fat. It can potentially raise “good” HDL cholesterol.
    • Foods: Avocados are high in calories, but mix with healthy greens to not go over your daily-calorie recommendation.
  • Garlic
    • Garlic has been proven to lower cholesterol, prevent blood clots, reduce blood pressure, and protect against infections.
    • Foods: Add garlic to pizza, soups, or sauces. Or sauté your veggies with garlic for a flavorful side dish. Recommended Intake: 2-4 fresh cloves a day.

Expand your cooking horizons with these delicious new options to help make yourself happier and healthier.

CrossFit 101: Function, Fitness, Community

This post courtesy of guest expert
Josh Newton, MS, PES, CH-L1 Trainer
Manager, DMH CrossFit Enhance

CrossFit is an evidence-based fitness program. Meaningful statements about safety, efficacy and efficiency — the three most important and interdependent facets of any fitness program — can be supported only by measurable, observable, and repeatable facts, (i.e. data). The CrossFit methodology depends on full disclosure of methods, results and criticisms, and it has cultivated a strong online community to support these values. This open, collaborative charter allows coaches, athletes and trainers to be developers and evolvers of this program. CrossFit is factually driven, scientifically tested and collectively developed.
Crossfit classCrossFit employs a constantly varied approach to training and focuses on functional movements at maximum intensity. Intensity is essential for results – the more work you do in less time, the more intense the effort. And that’s what leads to dramatic gains in fitness. Thought some people are scared off merely by the word CrossFit, it doesn’t have to be a source of fear and trepidation. All movements can be scaled to each individual’s physical and psychological ability. Life is unpredictable, so real world fitness must be broad, both in terms of duration and type of effort.

The goal of CrossFit is to make you a fitter and healthier human being. The aim of CrossFit is to forge a broad and inclusive fitness that prepared participants for anything life throws at them – expected or unexpected, unknown and unknowable. We want you to be well-prepared physically (and mentally) for every facet of life, from lifting a laundry basket from the ground to putting a box on the top shelf of the closet or even getting out of the car and everything in between.

The magic is in the movements. All of CrossFit’s workouts are based on functional movements. These are the core movements of life, found everywhere, and built naturally into our DNA. They move the largest loads the longest distances so they are ideal for maximizing intensity.

In CrossFit, trainers and trainees work together to cultivate an atmosphere of hard-work, dedication and encouragement. Finishing first or last in a workout does not matter. You will find your peers and coaches cheering and encouraging you to be better than yesterday. That is what we thrive on and what the CrossFit spirit is all about.

Superfood Series: Better Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (or hypertension) occurs when the blood pumped from the heart throughout the body pumps with too much force. This causes the veins to stretch to allow blood to flow easily. If this continues for too long, the arteries can become weak and stretched to function at their best. High blood pressure can lead to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and can complicate other health conditions. High blood pressure can be a risk for anyone, but there are specific risk factors that increase a person’s chances of developing high blood pressure.

These include:

  • Family history
  • Age
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Excess weight and obesity
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Stress
  • Poor diet

In addition to integrating heart-healthy habits into your life, try integrating these better blood pressure superfoods into your menu to lower or prevent high blood pressure.

Berries contain natural compounds called anthocyanins that protect against hypertension.

Whole-grain, high fiber cereals (oatmeal, oat squares, bran flakes, or shredded wheat) can reduce chances of developing high blood pressure. Top cereal off with berries to double health rewards.

Potatoes are rich in potassium and magnesium. Both these minerals can help lower high blood pressure.

Beet Juice
Beet juice can lower blood pressure within just a few hours. Nitrates in the juice are similar to those in a nitrate tablet.

Skim Milk
Eating low-dairy products can reduce a women’s risk of hypertension. Indulging in yogurt and other low-fat products can reduce risk of high blood pressure.

Dark Chocolate
One-ounce of dark chocolate daily can help lower blood pressure and especially in individuals suffering from hypertension.

Weekly Health Roundup – May 12-16

We cover all the corners of health in this week’s Weekly Health Roundup!

Today is Going to be Awesome

Mental and emotional health is one corner of the overall health triangle that is often ignored or forgotten completely in our culture. In reality, it is an essential part of our total health and the way we see and experience the world. Mental/Emotional health, especially through positivity leads “to greater joy, fulfillment, and happiness (and just as important, help[s] eliminate or reduce negative thinking, which reduces unhappiness),” says Examiner’s Jimmy DeMesa. From reducing negative thoughts to promoting positive thoughts, he offers 10 simple tips to develop a “positive thinking” habit. Take one tip per week and watch your outlook change.

Attention tech nerds! This is the article for you. Natasha Baker of Reuters has investigated music apps for runners that track your pace and match the music to your step counts. “The app uses the device’s sensors to detect the runner’s steps per minute and then automatically adjusts the music’s beats per minute to match the step count,” writes Baker. Makers of apps like DjRun (Android), RockMyRun and TempoRun (iPhone) claim that this system not only increases motivation but also increase enjoyment of the sport, leading to better, more sustained exercise plans.

For transformational fitness this season, don’t be afraid to push yourself harder. You always have more in you than you think you do. “The truth is, you need to be constantly improving your fitness level, most trainers say. That means cranking up the speed, adding one more rep, and pushing past your comfort zone,” says FitSugar’s Leta Shy. Just be sure that while you’re pushing your body during some workouts, you strike a balance with moderate and easy workouts as well. Trainer Michelle Bridge says its best to “schedule six workouts per week, making sure that three of them are intense, two moderate, and one easy.” Your body will thank you.

What are the best words to hear when talking about cooking at home? CHEAP and HEALTHY. The Greatist has come to the meal rescue.  Each recipe in their list of 400+ Healthy Recipes (That Won’t Break the Bank), “requires eight of fewer ingredients and takes less than 20 minutes to prep.” They cover it all, heart breakfasts, nutrient-packed lunches and dinners, lighter snacks and sides, and even a few indulgent (and still healthy) sweet treats. Chefs, start your ovens!

Do you get intimidated by the pictures of human pretzels that are the yoga pros? Does the simple thought of clearing your mind of all thoughts to meditate send your mind reeling in every direction imaginable? These assumptions of what yoga is or “should be” deter many people from the practice. However, Greatist’s Taylor Wells says the most important part of yoga is to show up and breathe. “I believe that emotional, mental, and spiritual flexibility are virtuous and life-enhancing, and when it comes to yoga practice, paramount,” Wells says.  It’s about setting an intention and analyzing your reaction to changes. “Think of it as a journey, not a judgment of yourself,” Wells continues. He also offers 6 easy steps to let yoga practice saturate your life and improve your days.