If you start each day motivated but find your energy tends to fade throughout the day, a few simple and easy-to-implement changes to your routine could make all the difference. Minor adjustments to your eating habits, exercise routine and mental attitude can help boost energy levels so you can power through the day feeling fully charged.
5 Ways to Avoid an Energy Crash
(Family Features) If you start each day motivated but find your energy tends to fade throughout the day, a few simple and easy-to-implement changes to your routine could make all the difference. Minor adjustments to your eating habits, exercise routine and mental attitude can help boost energy levels so you can power through the day feeling fully charged.
Tune in. Take the silence out of a dull morning with some of your favorite music to help ensure you’re starting the day on a positive note. Turn on the radio while you’re showering, plug in headphones while preparing breakfast or set a “wake up and get ready” playlist on shuffle during your commute.
Start with breakfast. It’s fairly common to skip breakfast if you’re in a rush to get out the door, but those few minutes you save in the morning can end up costing you as the day wears on. That’s because breakfast quite literally breaks your overnight fast and sends signals to your body that it’s time to kick back into gear for the day. With a convenient option like the Nescafé Coffee Protein Smoothie, you can hack your morning routine so that you can get more out of your day. Made with real 100 percent Colombian Arabica coffee, oats and almond butter, this ready-to-drink smoothie contains 15 grams of plant-based protein and as much caffeine as one cup of coffee to help you prepare for the day ahead.
Get creative. If you typically spend your mornings focused on routine tasks, give your brain some creative freedom. Carving out time during the day for an activity you enjoy, such as sketching or coloring, watching inspirational videos, meditating or even brainstorming outside-the-box ideas for a fictional client, can help increase productivity when you turn your focus back to the task at hand.
Shake up your afternoon pick-me-up. Mornings can go by in the blink of an eye, but afternoons sometimes seem to drag. A little boost may be all you need to keep going. Reward your hard work with an option like a Nescafé Cold Whipped Latte and enjoy a perfectly indulgent afternoon treat. Give it a quick shake and the chilled blend of coffee, creamy milk and coffee or French vanilla flavors create layers of barista-inspired froth and foam to deliver a coffee-shop experience right at your desk.
Prep for the next day. If you’re apt to take your work home with you, consider jotting down any end-of-day work thoughts and tasks for the following day before you leave for the night. Keeping a physical to-do list or journal can provide a starting point for the next morning. This can help prevent forgetfulness, reduce stress and potentially aid in getting a better night’s sleep because your brain isn’t buzzing from trying to keep a mental checklist.
Find more inspiration to energize your morning and shake up the afternoon at Nescafe.com/us.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (employees in meeting)SOURCE:
Here are five common resolutions transformed into small, healthful changes that can become part of your life — for good.
(BPT) - How are this year's resolutions doing? Chances are, you may have fallen off the resolution wagon, especially if you were overly ambitious. Fear not — it’s never too late to make small, sustainable changes in your lifestyle that result in big health improvements. Review your hardest-to-keep resolutions and adapt them into goals you can easily maintain.
Here are five common resolutions transformed into small, healthful changes that can become part of your life — for good.
1. Your resolution: Exercise one hour every day
Realistic goal: Add movement every day in 5- to 10-minute increments. Take a short walk around the office, stroll outside during the lunch hour or after dinner, jump on that exercise bike in the basement for a spin each morning or dance to music while you’re getting dinner ready. Sticking to a short period of movement a few times a day is a great way to boost energy and start building the exercise habit. While most of us find it hard to commit to big chunks of time, it’s tough to say no to 5 or 10 minutes. Arrange to walk with a friend if that helps keep you on track.
2. Your resolution: Drink eight glasses of water every day
Realistic goal: Increase water consumption by one glass at a time — when you first wake up, or before lunch and dinner. Drinking water before meals helps you feel full and aids digestion. If water doesn't entice you, make it easier for yourself by finding a water bottle that’s easy to carry around. Add a splash of lemon or lime for flavor. Once you’re in the habit of drinking water before one meal, it will be easier to add a glass before other meals as well.
3. Your resolution: Cut out all sugar
Realistic goal: Find healthy alternatives to reduce your sugar cravings. Try Monk Fruit In the Raw, a zero-calorie sweetener made from the vine-ripened monk fruit, which is native to Southeast Asia. This certified vegan, naturally gluten-free product is available in packets and a Bakers Bag and adds light sweetness to foods. Add it to your favorite baking recipes, smoothies or add a sweet touch to unsweetened beverages.
4. Your resolution: Cut out all snacking
Realistic goal: Find healthy, easy-to-prep snacks to stave off cravings for junk food, and to prevent you from overeating at mealtime. Small handfuls of nuts, raw veggies and fruits are obvious choices. Limit your snacks to 2-3 times per day. If your sweet tooth is your downfall, use a natural sweetener to sprinkle or drizzle on berries, or add a spoonful to your tea or coffee.
5. Your resolution: Stick to a specific diet
Realistic goal: Examine the diet you’re trying, whether it’s keto or paleo or something else, to identify the most important elements, and don’t go cold turkey. The keto diet is mostly about cutting carbs and sugars, plus highly processed sugar-free diet foods. The paleo diet also emphasizes proteins, cutting all dairy and sugar. Because both of these trending diets recommend eliminating both sugar and any artificial sugar substitutes, a sweetener such as Monk Fruit In The Raw is a great alternative. Cutting all carbs or dairy can be too challenging for most people — try reducing the “forbidden items” gradually to wean yourself from your usual eating habits.
Don't give up on those resolutions, even if you’ve slipped a little already. Adjusting your expectations will help you adapt more healthful habits you can stick with for a long, healthy life. And that’s a resolution worth keeping.
Nutty Grain-Free Granola and Yogurt Parfaits
4 Servings | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In large bowl combine Brazil nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almond meal, flax seeds, chia seeds, egg whites, coconut oil and monk fruit. Mix until thoroughly combined. Spread mixture on baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant. To serve, divide a few blackberries among 4 parfait glasses. Top with a spoonful of yogurt and 2 tablespoons of granola. Repeat layering once more, finishing with granola on top. Store leftover granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
After more than a century of debate over the role of salt in human health, new medical evidence suggests that reducing salt in the U.S. diet may pose a greater risk of harm to the average person. Consider these four common myths about salt.
(BPT) - After more than a century of debate over the role of salt in human health, new medical evidence suggests that reducing salt in the U.S. diet may pose a greater risk of harm to the average person. Consider these four common myths about salt:
Myth 1: Salt consumption leads to hypertension
According to the Mayo Clinic, “For most adults, there's no identifiable cause of high blood pressure [hypertension].” Dr. Jan Staessen, head of the Research Unit on Hypertension at the University of Leuven in Belgium, has written that, “The evidence relating blood pressure to salt intake does not translate into an increased risk of incident hypertension in people consuming a usual salt diet.” Having a temporarily elevated blood pressure is not the same thing as having hypertension, as blood pressure varies normally throughout the day depending on a variety of factors.
Myth 2: Americans could massively reduce their salt consumption without any negative health consequences
Dr. Andrew Mente, of McMaster University in Canada, and his team conducted the largest ever epidemiologic study of the impact of sodium intake on blood pressure, cardiovascular disease risk and mortality. “We found that regardless of whether people have high blood pressure, low-sodium intake is related to more heart attacks, strokes and deaths compared to average intake,” he said.
Myth 3: The U.S. population would gain significant health benefits from major population-wide salt reduction
The FDA recommends a maximum daily limit of 2,300 mg of sodium per day and a maximum of 1,500 mg for people with certain conditions. Salt is 40 percent sodium. According to Dr. Michael H. Alderman of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, “Sodium consumption around the globe has a mean of about 3,600 mg/day, and a range from 2,600–5,000 mg/day. This mid-range describes about 90 percent of the world’s population. ... Optimal survival is realized by those whose intake is between 2,800 and 5,000 mg/day. Specifically, there is no evidence of a superior health outcome at intakes less than 2,000 mg/day compared with those in the usual range.”
Myth 4: Americans eat more salt than ever
Military records from the early 1800s up to WWII show that the average soldier was consuming between 6,000 and 6,800 mg/day of sodium. We eat about half of that today, and that number has remained consistent since WWII. The advent of refrigeration meant that we could preserve food with less salt, but salt remains a critical ingredient for food safety and preservation.
Sodium chloride (salt) is a nutrient that the body cannot produce, and therefore it must be consumed. The average American eats about 3,400 mg per day of sodium, according to The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, right in the middle of the healthy range.
Sometimes making small changes can have a positive impact on your health – including heart health. Here's an easy way to start your day "heart smart!"
Simple Ways to be Heart Smart
Discover recipes chock-full of heart-healthy pecans
(Family Features) Sometimes making small changes can have a positive impact on your health – including heart health – like drinking more water, taking the stairs instead of the escalator and adding nutritious ingredients to your snacks and meals.
Incorporating nutritious ingredients is an easy way to step up your mealtime – for example, American Pecans can super-fy nearly any recipe by adding flavor and nutrition.
It’s always a good time to include heart-healthy ingredients on your shopping list. Certified by the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check*, American Pecans and their unique mix of unsaturated fats, plant sterols, fiber and flavonoids add up to help promote a healthy heart. In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration, research suggests but does not prove that eating 1 1/2 ounces of most nuts, such as pecans, each day as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may help reduce your risk of heart disease. One serving of pecans (28 grams) contains 18 grams unsaturated fat and only 2 grams saturated fat.
Boosting the heart-smart punch of your favorite recipes can be easy with pecans. Whether topping a salad, sprinkling into bread batter or using them as the foundation of a portable snack, there are few things America’s native nut can’t do.
Discover more ways to create heart-healthy meals with pecans at AmericanPecan.com.
Banana Pecan Cherry Oatmeal
Cherry Pecan Energy Bites
Makes: 10-12 energy bites
Note: To make gluten-free, substitute 1/4 cup of certified gluten-free old-fashioned oats.
*Heart-Check certification does not apply to recipes.SOURCE:
American Pecan Council
From committing to healthier habits like eating better, drinking more water and sticking to a workout routine to discovering new ways to be your best self and giving up a bad habit or two, some simple tips and products can help you take action toward boosting your overall well-being and reaching your resolutions.
Better Yourself in the New Year
(Family Features) A new year is the perfect opportunity to take a fresh look at your life and re-evaluate what you’d like to accomplish – both physically and mentally – during the coming year.
To find more tips and tricks for improving your life this year, visit eLivingToday.com.
When considering a New Year’s resolution to drink more water, a commitment to drinking cleaner, healthier and great-tasting water is essential. Consider using the easy-to-install PUR Advanced Faucet Filtration System to fill up a reusable water bottle, make smoothies, wash fruits and vegetables and more. It’s certified to reduce more than 70 contaminants, including 99 percent of lead – more than any other brand, according to NSF. Learn more at PUR.com.
Be Your Best Self
If you feel as though you aren’t truly who you want to be, or if you dream of a better life, now is the time to turn your dream into reality with “Best Self” by Mike Bayer. Chock-full of revealing quizzes and provocative questionnaires, the book can empower you to embrace your authenticity, acknowledge what is holding you back and help you break through to live a passionate life to the fullest. Find more information at CoachMikeBayer.com/Book.
Sized for a Snack
Put a plant-positive twist on new year’s resolutions by snacking on nutritious foods like Kale and Quinoa Bites from Yves Veggie Cuisine. Ideal for sharing with friends and family or as a quick snack, just pop in the oven for 10 minutes to enjoy a crispy, tasty bite that’s gluten-free, low in fat and a good source of fiber. With two superfoods joining forces, the bite-sized treat can help keep appetites at bay without sacrificing flavor. Find additional healthy snacking ideas at yvesveggie.com .
Sip a Protein-Packed Shake
One of the difficulties in healthy eating is getting great-tasting lean protein. For an easier nutritional choice, consider Premier Protein’s 11-ounce shakes, packed with lean protein ideal for breakfast on-the-go, an afternoon snack or a post-workout boost. They contain 30 grams of protein, 160 calories and 1 gram of sugar. Available in earth-first packaging, the shakes feature a resealable plant-based cap derived from sugarcane. Visit premierprotein.com for more information.
For a protein- and fiber-rich snack low in sugar, Atkins Protein Wafer Crisps provide a light and crispy texture for a surprisingly filling treat. Whether it’s for a grab-and-go snack or afternoon pick-me-up, the wafer crisps boast 10-11 grams of protein, 4-5 grams of fiber and 1 gram of sugar with three flavor profiles to choose from: Peanut Butter, Chocolate Mint and Lemon Vanilla. Find additional nutritious snacking options at Atkins.com.
Main image photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Yves Veggie Cuisine
Behind the label: Decoding certifications in the shopping aisle
(BPT) - When we visit the grocery store, we’ve become accustomed to a dizzying array of options. There are labels touting everything from food safety to environmental and ethical standards. Making the best decision for your family, your health and the good of the planet is important, but how can you possibly keep track of what all these labels really mean?
Voting with your wallet
Today’s wired world allows us to be more conscious of the impacts of our choices than ever before. Shopping isn’t just about putting food on the table. It’s a daily opportunity to support the kind of world we want to live in. Our actions and what we choose to buy can impact not only the planet’s future, but our social economy as well.
A 2017 study by Cone Communications reported that 60 percent of Americans believe businesses can be key drivers for social and environmental change. Whether it’s phasing out plastic bags and straws or carrying more ethically traded products, businesses are showing consumers that they are listening.
Businesses aren’t doing this just because you asked; they’re doing it because it’s the right thing. Many of them are putting their values on full display in the form of labels that make it easier for you to navigate the shopping aisle.
“As shoppers we are often in a hurry, so much so that we might not even be aware of how quickly we make a decision. That’s where clear labeling can help,” said Rebecca Walker Reczek, professor of marketing at Ohio State University. “Without it you’d need to research each product and the time can add up.”
The truth behind the labels
So what gives? Are organic and natural the same thing? Does a green label mean it’s better for the environment? What does "fair trade" really mean? These are just some of the questions many consumers are asking when they make their way down the grocery aisle.
Most of us are aware of those little labels on our food, but we often don’t understand what they mean. Like any choice, the key is education. To shop in accordance with our values, we must understand what the label stands for and how it’s been verified. And yes — verification matters.
Marketing savvy and great design can create convincing packaging and badges that represent a company’s promise, but often they aren’t based on rigorous standards.
On the other hand, certification labels mean that an independent organization has audited and checked that a company is following a standard set of rules — whether it’s fair trade, responsible fishing, GMO avoidance or better treatment of workers.
For example, the USDA organic label means that an independent organization has audited the farmer to make sure they abide by national organic standards. On the other hand, the term ‘natural’ has no set definition or standards. Neither the FDA nor the USDA has set rules for this term. Pure, natural, green, direct trade — all these terms conjure an image, but are not audited and don’t refer to any established standard. Essentially, they are just words.
A guide to the goods
Everyone has a right to know what is in their food and where it comes from. Look to these certifications to guide your next shopping trip:
* Fairtrade — The Fairtrade certification ensures safe and fair working conditions, prohibits child labor and provides farmers and workers with a fairer price or better wages. Fairtrade products originate in developing and least developed countries where farmers and workers are often marginalized.
Where found: Coffee, chocolate, bananas, sugar, avocados, tea and more
* MSC Certified — By choosing seafood with the MSC blue fish label you are supporting independently certified sustainable fisheries. Their good management practices help ensure fish stocks and habitats are healthy and fishing community livelihoods are secure.
Where found: Wild caught fish and seafood, fish oil supplements, pet food
* Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured — The EFI-certified label indicates that the workers who harvested your food are treated with respect, compensated fairly and engaged to identify problems that impact the safety of your food.
Where found: Fresh fruits and vegetables
* Non-GMO Project Verified — The Non-GMO Project Standard is North America’s most rigorous and reliable standard for GMO avoidance, set apart by its transparency, trustworthiness, ongoing testing and third-party status. The best way to avoid consuming GMOs is to look for the butterfly.
Where found: Dairy and meat products, fruit and vegetables, snack foods, vitamins and supplements, oils and more
Food is a basic necessity, but it is also a conscious choice shaped by our values and our lifestyle. Shop your values on your next shopping trip. To learn more about these certifications and continue the conversation, visit www.fairtr.de/TruthBehindLabels.
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