July is National Blueberry Month in the United States. One cup of fresh blueberries contains 84 calories, 0.49 grams of fat, 0 grams of cholesterol, 21 grams of carbohydrates 3.6 grams of dietary fiber, 1.1 grams of protein, and meets 14% of daily requirements. In honor of the eccentric holiday and healthy fruit I am going to give ten reasons to incorporate the blue fruit more in your life—or at least when it’s in season.
- Blueberries are full of nutrients.
Iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, manganese, zinc, copper, folate, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and more nutirents important for your diet.
- Blueberries can help maintain brain function and improve memory.
In 2012, the ANA (American Neurological Association) published a study that was conducted for six years that shows blueberries can delay cognitive aging for up to 2.5 years.
- Bye, Bye, UTIs!
The compounds contained in blueberries prevent bacteria from attaching to bladder walls, including urinary-tract infections.
- Milk isn’t the only substance that can build strong bones.
Blueberries contain iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K—all of which contribute to the growth and maintenance of the bone’s structure and strength.
- Blueberries can put a stop to cancer.
The powerful antioxidants in blueberries help protect cells against cancer-causing free radicals. Blueberries also help to prevent the growth of tumor cells.
- Blueberries promote a healthy digestive system.
Blueberries contain fiber, which is how blueberries help to prevent constipation and assist with digestive regularity.
- Blueberries make you feel full longer.
One of the reasons that dietary fiber is recognized as an important factor in weight loss and weight management is because fiber increases satiety, reducing your appetite. The fiber that you digest consuming blueberries does all of that while lowering your overall calorie intake.
- Blueberries can be heart healthy too!
Fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and other phytonutrient content supports heart health, and can be found in blueberries. The fiber found in blueberries can also help to lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease.
- Blueberries can turn the negatives to positives.
Studies have proven that blueberries have “anti-diabetic” effects because it helps to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels.
- Don’t look like a blueberry!
The vitamin C found in blueberries works as a nutrient in our bodies to help prevent damage to our skin caused by the sun, pollution, and smoke. The vitamin C also promotes collagen’s ability to smooth wrinkles and improve the overall texture of your skin!
Recently I was feeling like I needed a good stretch—mentally, physically and spiritually. When I get this urge, I decide to try something new! This could be cooking a new recipe, reading a new book or experiencing a new workout! I’ve always done Yoga in the comfort of my own home by using YouTube as my yoga teacher, so when the opportunity presented itself to go to a local yoga studio and join in on a class I was ecstatic! However, I was also a tad bit fearful of doing yoga in front of real people who were probably really good at yoga. I decided to let the fear fuel me and pull me in the right direction by going to the class anyways. I’m so glad I didn’t because it ended up being a great experience and opportunity to be challenged! Yoga is a mental, physical, and spiritual exercise that originated in India. It includes breath control, simple meditation, and body movements that help your overall health and allows you to relax. Thankfully, I attended a yoga studio that didn’t push any certain kind of beliefs on me, but just allowed me to enter the studio and practice yoga with no restraints. I got the mental, physical and spiritual stretch that I was looking for and wanted to share with you guys how yoga helped me to stretch out in every area.
- Mentally- Mentally the yoga class allowed me to become focused and present. With the teacher guiding us through each move and the calming music that was playing, I was allowed to be aware of the now and push all other thoughts and concerns out of my mind for the hour class. It also allowed me to not rush to the next position or pose but rather to be still until it was time to move.
- Physically- Physically the yoga pushed me more than I was expecting! I was dripping sweat, my flexibility was being pushed and worked on, and I also learned what it meant to listen to your body and let my body sink into whatever position we were working on.
- Spiritually- Spiritually, the yoga class allowed me to be still and listen and converse with my Heavenly Father. I truly believe, no matter what religion you are, we all could use a little help in this area of listening and talking to our creator! At the end of the class the teacher had us all lay on our mats for about 5 minutes in silence and encouraged us to just listen to our spirits and our bodies. I took that opportunity to talk to Jesus and pray and listen. It was marvelous.
I hope you all are encouraged and go out there this week and find something new to do regarding your exercise regimen. I highly suggest putting yoga into your exercise regimen because it truly is a powerful way of being aware of all 3 parts of our bodies-body, spirit and soul!
With love and big smiles,
Despite popular belief, protein is not just meat. When you see the word “protein’ the first thing most people think about is meat, eggs, or nuts. While it is true that meat, eggs, and nuts are a part of the protein list, where else can you get your protein from? While the list is extensive, for the sake of this article, I will advertise a few.
These treats are low in fat but high in everything else. It has lots of protein, fiber, and micronutrients.
Kale is a vegetable that has become very popular as of late, yet it has always had beautiful benefits: it is high in iron and vitamin K.
An ounce of broiled steak or one-half cup of beans? Hmm…decisions. Not only is a better, smaller option, but it is full of fiber.
You can eat good fat that is loaded with nutrients, and it can help you lose weight. It’s a dieter’s best friend.
White-meat is an excellent choice for getting lean protein because once you remove the skin, which is nothing but a lot of saturated fat, it is better than other meat choices, such as dark-meat.
Besides the fact that almost everyone loves a bit of fish from time to time, seafood is generally heart-healthy and low in fat.
Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt:
Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, are not just good sources of protein, but it also contains sources of calcium and vitamin D.
As people become more aware of their health, new tips, ads, and products are revealed daily. To this day nothing is uniformed and each method is criss-crossed to the point what is factual and what is fiction.
Fiction: Low-carb/high-protein/no-fat diets are optimal for weight reduction.
•The truth is that you have to eat fewer calories to lose weight. Fat, out of all the macronutrients, contains the most calories per gram. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that 20 to 35% of dietary calories come from fat, 10 to 35 should come from protein, and 45 to 65% should come from carbohydrates.
Fiction: Eating late at night will cause you to gain weight.
•Generally, people who consume a lot of food late at night tend to eat more calorie-dense foods which is nothing but eating lots of calories, leading to weight gain. Whether you eat early in the morning, in the middle of the afternoon, or late in the evening—it will not cause you to put on more weight than what is normal for what you ate and any activity that you have done.
Fiction: Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight.
•Skipping one meal is not what harms you. Skipping one meal and compensating for your lost is what hurts you.
Fiction: Rapid weight loss can be maintained.
•Many diets advertise that by following their steps you can lose ten or more pounds a week. While this may be true, and you may lose that weight, it will come back and a little extra. Why? With these restrictive diets a large portion of the weight that you lose comes from water and lean tissue, leading to the eventual weight gain after you get off of it.
Fiction: You have to stop eating your favorite foods to lose weight.
• There is only one friend that is mandatory if you want to successfully lose weight and keep the weight off: Moderation. A healthy lifestyle allows for any food under the sun as long as it’s eaten in moderation! With moderation and permanent changes that include healthy eating plans and lots of physical activity, you can what you want, when you want.
The Truth: Effort and commitment is going to be a big part in losing weight and achieving all of your goals. You are going to have to make permanent changes in your lifestyle and you are going to feel discouraged at times, but do not give up. Get up and get moving and surround yourself in support at all times. Your journey may be hard, but it will be worth it.
Your life is based on you—what choices you make, what steps you take, what food you intake is all on you! Your exercise routine is not any different. What type of exercise you are able to do depends on your fitness level, the time that you have available, and the goals that you are looking to accomplish. Even if you are not a fitness expert, you know that you are supposed to exercise for thirty minutes a day, five days a week, though what a lot of people don’t know that there three things that you need to fit into your routine. You see, an exercise routine is similar to a diet. In order to get the maximum benefits of your diet, you need to be sure to eat all of your green veggies, bright fruits, and take some time to work in your protein. If your Half-Year Revolution is to begin a routine workout plan or even if you’ve been working out long before July 1st, make sure to incorporate the following: Cardio, Strength Training, and Flexibility.
It’s All About Cardio!
If you go to consult a doctor or a physician about starting a new workout plan, talk to you about cardio.
Cardio is short for cardiovascular, another term used to reference the circulatory system. Cardio exercises increases the heart rate and helps to improve the circulatory system. Examples of such exercises include, but are not limited to: running, swimming, dancing, walking, aerobics, and cycling. Cardio programs should always stay in your personal fitness level; general guidelines for cardio exercise include :
• For health benefits, do moderately intense cardio for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, vigorous cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week.
• For weight loss, you may need to do 60-90 minutes of activity several days a week.
Fitwirr, a fitness blog, states that aside from weight loss and improved heart health, cardio exercises
improve brain function and sleep, increases bone density, and alleviates depression.
While performing cardio exercise the only materials that are required are you, you, and you, strength
training requires a bit more. With strength training, you lift weights to strengthen muscles, bones, and
connective tissue. Strength training is just as, if not more, important than weight loss as cardio. With the
assistance of dumbbells, barbells, resistance bands, and any other muscle-strengthening tool you can
get your hands on, you will build lean muscle tissue which raises metabolism and reduces body fat. The
general guidelines for strength training are :
• Choose 8-10 exercises that target the major muscle groups, such as, the lower body, chest, back, etc.
• Beginners should do one set of 8-16 repetitions of each exercise to fatigue. More advanced exercisers can do 2-3 sets.
• Train each muscle group 2-3 non-consecutive days a week.
• Work each exercise through its full range of motion and use good form.
If you have ever been to a fitness class you are aware that the first thing done before the workout is
stretching, so why is it often overlooked? Stretching is a definite must-do before any cardio exercise or
strength training is to be done. Stretching is relaxing, and it helps our bodies feel good. It can be done
anytime and practically anywhere, but is most important before and after workouts. The more you
stretch, the more flexible you will become. The general guidelines for stretching are :
• Stretch your muscles when they’re warm.
• Do static stretches with a focus on tight areas.
• Stretch a minimum of 2-3 days a week, 7 days maximum.
• Stretching should not hurt. Be sure to stay within your range of motion.
• Hold each stretch for about for approximately 15-30 seconds, and repeat it 2-4 for each stretch.