5 Healthy Ways to Support Your Immune System

Do you ever wonder why we have a “cold and flu season”? Of course, many factors contribute to this annual phenomenon, but staying indoors during cool weather is certainly one factor. Our bodies lack vitamin D due to lower levels of sunlight, and we’re cooped up indoors sharing germs with each other. On top of that, we tend to indulge in starchy or sugary foods during the winter, which can contribute to inflammation in the body. So, it’s no wonder routine illnesses tend to flare up during the winter.

On the other hand, once you begin following a weight loss plan you should be eating healthier foods overall. So your general health should improve and you might find that you get sick less often. If you’d prefer to encourage that effect (and most people do) then you can support your immune system even more by including these five healthy foods in your regular eating plan.

Yogurt with manuka honey. Yogurt contributes probiotics to the gastrointestinal tract, and manuka honey helps to fight off viruses.

Brazil nuts. Most people never think about selenium, a trace nutrient that is vital to thyroid function and detoxification. Luckily, you can get all the selenium you need from a single Brazil nut each day!

Green tea. Tea provides a warm and comforting morning ritual, and makes a healthier substitute for coffee. But it also contains vital amino acids and antioxidants that help you fight stress and inflammation.

Seasonal produce. Eat fresh seasonal produce like sweet potatoes and pumpkin to obtain your recommended daily allowance of vitamins A and C, which serve to support your immune system.  Cook them with immune-boosting spices like ground coriander or cumin for even greater benefits.

Nutrient-dense snacks. Instead of chips and dip, try apple slices with pumpkin seed butter, or veggie sticks with hummus.

You might have noticed that these snacks are not only great for your immune system; they fit right into your weight loss plan, too. For more help with balancing your nutrients, call us to schedule an appointment and we’ll discuss your health and lifestyle priorities.

5 Food Swaps That Make for Healthier Eating

You’ve heard all the tips and tricks, but a successful weight loss plan really boils down to one thing: You must change your habits if you want to change your health. So, a weight loss plan actually becomes an exercise in psychology.

What we know about habits is that’s it’s easier to change a habit into something beneficial, than it is to drop it entirely. So keeping your weight loss plan in mind, we suggest that you make these five trade-offs as you renovate your eating style.

Trade up your rice. Stir-fried veggies and meat over rice can be an easy, nutritious meal solution. But because rice does pack a few carb-heavy calories, we suggest swapping traditional rice for vegetable options like cauliflower rice.

Dump the salad, and opt for soup instead. If you’re bored with salads, try a hearty bowl of soup instead. Soup can contain plenty of important veggies, and helps you meet your hydration requirements. Plus, it’s simply warm and comforting.

Change up your snacks. If you tend to snack on cheese or other calorie-dense items before dinner, you’re probably consuming quite a few calories before you even get to the main course. Gnaw on raw veggies instead, and you can benefit from the filling qualities of fiber. Plus, you’ll get closer to your daily quote of vegetables.

Break up with starch, and replace it with more nutritious veggies. Many of us grew up believing that every meal must include starchy vegetables like potatoes. But those options often pack many more calories. Get the starch off your plate, and replace with steamed broccoli or other nutritious veggies.

Switch up your morning beverage. You might love those indulgent lattes or cappuccinos, but each coffee drink can contain hundreds of calories. Opt for plain black coffee, or sprinkle it with a bit of cinnamon if that idea seems boring. Warm herbal tea might also hit the spot.

Make one adjustment at a time, and then move on when that new practice becomes an easy habit. If you prefer more one-on-one support, give us a call to discuss your weight loss plan. We can help you analyze your daily routine and identify easy changes that you could make to achieve better health.


Avoid This Mistake When Changing Your Lifestyle

If one of your New Year’s resolutions involves following a weight loss plan, you’re probably in the process of putting together a strategy. You might receive a variety of advice from well-meaning friends, or perhaps you’re working with us to pursue this goal in a medically sound manner (we sure hope so). But whatever weight loss strategy you choose, we definitely advise you to do one very important thing: Define your goals.  

Research on human behavior has repeatedly demonstrated that we find it much more difficult to reach vague goals. Our minds simply don’t respond to a plan of action that isn’t, well, a plan! Rather, something about our psychology helps us to latch onto very specific and well-defined goals. Vague goals just don’t translate into decisive actions, and it becomes easier to procrastinate when we set vague goals.

Another thing to remember is that most people function better when focusing on goals that seem attainable. When the finish line is too far away and we don’t feel that it’s within reach, we become tempted to give up altogether.

So, considering those two concepts together, we recommend this strategy when setting your weight loss plan intentions: Set clearly defined goals, and create a reasonable series of them.

For example, “I want to lose weight” is a vague goal. Most people will work toward that for a few weeks and then abandon their efforts, because they don’t have a clear idea of exactly what they’re doing. Also, there is no payoff when the goal is so far away, so it becomes difficult to stay motivated.

Instead, set a goal of losing one or two pounds per week. You could even set other goals, such as adding time or distance to your daily workouts, so that you don’t focus too much on the numbers on a scale (which can sometimes be discouraging).

Now, you’ve set a schedule of goals that are specific and attainable. Your subconscious mind accepts these much more readily, and you feel motivated by weekly or bi-weekly successes.

If you need more motivation and support, give us a call. We can help you put together a weight loss plan that is both attainable and motivating.

10 Tips for an Effective Jump Rope Routine

If you’re bored with walking or jogging, and aren’t thrilled with your gym options, a jump rope routine might be right for you. Jumping rope can provide an excellent, calorie-burning aerobic workout that supports your fitness goals or weight loss plan. And best of all? All you need is a jump rope, a bit of space, and a few minutes of spare time. You can pursue a jump rope workout just about anywhere! Read more

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