Thank You For Visiting Our Blog, FEEL BETTER AND LIVE LONGER!

The purpose of our blog is to share what we have learned about nutrition, weight loss, fitness, and health, in order to help you find ways to feel better and live longer. It is amazing how much our diet and lifestyle affect our health and well-being.

Did you know that you can reduce your risk and even prevent many diseases and health conditions simply by making some changes to your diet? Check back often for valuable tips and information.


HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF:

For the first time in my life I have found weight loss success. During my adult life I have tried dozens and dozens of so-called "diets" and none of them worked over the long-haul. Oh, I was able to lose weight with some of them, but once I went off of the "diet" I quickly gained back all of my weight (plus some).

I have finally learned that losing weight has to be a lifestyle change, not a temporary fix. Crash diets and all the other crazy diets will not only cause you to fail, they are harmful to your health. To lose weight and keep it off you must NOT go on a "diet." What? Why? Because we all consider a "diet" a temporary thing. For example, how many times have you said, "Oh, I will go on this low-fat diet until I lose 20 pounds." Okay, what happens after you lose the 20 pounds? Or you simply give up? You go back to your old habits and gain that 20 pounds back.

The only way you will ever be successful at losing weight, with the added benefit of improving your health, is to make healthy changes that you can live with for the rest of your life. Period. Not for a week, a month or 3 months, but for life. For me, my initial goal was to lower my cholesterol level. I had to have a blood test for my insurance coverage and my cholesterol level had to be lower than the previous year's levels or I would have to pay a much higher premium. Well, that was a pretty good incentive for me make some positive changes.

I sat down and figured out what I needed to do. I knew I had to change the way I ate and I knew I had to exercise in some form or other every day. So, I made a list and I stuck to it. It was difficult at first. To make matters worse, I am a compulsive eater. However, as the days went by, it became much easier because my body stopped craving sweets and processed foods. For the first time in my life, I was never tempted to binge because I never felt deprived.

Use the list below and make whatever changes you need to make in order for it to work for you. FYI, my cholesterol level dropped 65 points after 7 weeks, and my triglycerides dropped 70 points!
Another benefit that I hadn't planned on was that after being an insomniac since my teen-age years, I now sleep like a baby every night!

MY LIST FOR WEIGHT LOSS SUCESS:

1. Avoid "white" Foods & Processed Foods.
These foods have no nutritional value and are "empty" calories. Sweets, anything made with white flour,and anything that comes in a package with a long list of ingredients.
Always read the food labels. Stay away from those long lists of ingredients. The longer the list, the more chemicals and additives are present. These are extremely toxic to your body.


2. Drink Lots of
Water. Water keeps your body's organs hydrated and flushes out unhealthy toxins. It helps to fill you up and reduces your urge to over-eat.


3. Eat a Healthy Breakfast.
Instead of coffee and donuts, try fruit, yogurt, grains like oatmeal or whole grain toast, and lean protein. NEVER skip breakfast. By eating a large, healthy meal when you get up in the morning, your metabolism will "rev up" and you will not be hungry by mid-morning. If you skip breakfast, your
body will go into starvation mode and store calories in your body as FAT, yes FAT! So do yourself a big favor and eat breakfast.


4. Reduce Your Stress Level.
So many of us live with too much
stress. Stress lowers your immune system, making it easier to get sick. It also makes us lethargic, tired, and depressed. There are a lot of simple things you can do and a lot of ways to feel better about yourself and your life. Take a long, hot bath, read a book, listen to music, get a massage. Do something nice for yourself. Giving yourself something to look forward to is a tremendous mental incentive.


5. Move!
Oh my gosh! There are so many ways to incorporate movement into your day, even at work. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get up every hour and walk around your floor, your hallway or your desk. Park your car in the farthest space from where you need to be. Walk or bike to work. Skate, dance, golf, jump rope, clean house, play tag. The best exercise you can do is to walk. Try to take a walk every day! The more you move, the more your metabolism will be your friend. (I walk 3 miles every day whether it is raining, snowing or freezing.)


Self Care

Do you know how to take care of yourself? What a silly question! Of course we know how to take care of ourselves, right? Mmm…not really. Most people are kind of fuzzy on what self care really is and how you practice it. How do YOU take care of yourself?

In order to love and respect yourself, you must take good care of yourself. Self-care is not just a matter of making healthy lifestyle choices. It is about having healthy boundaries, being in tune to your needs, and staying faithful to your values. Self-neglect takes a toll on your physical and mental health and your relationships.

It's important that we look for ways to nurture ourselves. What are some ways that you can take better care of yourself?

SELF CARE TIPS

EAT HEALTHY. Good nutrition is the key to a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Work towards eliminating junk food and excess sugar that can lead to emotionally extreme highs and lows. Experiment until you find what works for you, but keep in mind that any crash dieting or abrupt changes will only cause more anxiety for you. The essential ingredient for a healthy eating plan is balance. If you follow a balanced approach to your diet, you will make slow but steady changes that will carry you through for life.

EXERCISE. Take a walk. Nothing can brighten up a miserable day like a revitalizing walk. Even if you can only spare 10 minutes of walking outdoors, you can cheer yourself up and boost your mood. Take deep breaths to release tension and you will notice an immediate improvement in your spirits. You can also ride a bike, go swimming, skating, skiing, work in the garden, or play tag with your kids.


FIND COMFORT. We all need to be comforted sometimes. It’s good to recognize when we have that need and find ways to experience it. Call a friend or family member, make yourself something warm to drink, look at family photo albums, curl up with a pet, indulge in a comfort food, wrap yourself up in a blanket, write in your journal, or find a smell that brings you particular comfort like vanilla, lavender, baking bread, or coffee brewing.

FORGIVE. We are so often held back from moving on with our lives because we are hung up on the hurts from past relationships. We can’t move on because we have not forgiven another person. You can never learn, grow, or experience true joy until you learn to forgive. True forgiveness sets you free. The first step toward forgiveness is to forgive yourself.

HAVE FUN! Do you remember the simple joys of being a kid? As adults, we become so mired in our problems and responsibilities, we forget how to simply have fun. Learn how to be playful and silly again. Indulging in something so simple as going to the playground and swinging can make you, at least for a little while, forget all about the bills that need to be paid or the deadlines at work that have to be met. The more you can relax and have fun, the better you will be able to meet your adult responsibilities because your stress level will be so much lower. So, blow some bubbles, ride a bike, make cookies, do somersaults in the grass, watch the clouds, or play with your dog. You get the idea.


MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF.
This is so very important. You must do this to rejuvenate your spirit. This is your life, right now. Do you really want to spend it stressed out, always rushing around to try to get everything done, or do you want to actually enjoy yourself for a change? NEVER think you’ll relax once you get everything done. There will always be something else to do, something else to worry about. Instead, figure out what tasks and responsibilities are absolutely necessary and eliminate everything else.

VOLUNTEER. The joys you experience from volunteering are numerous. Helping others is one of the most effective ways to feel good about yourself. Your perception about your own troubles changes, usually dramatically, when you give of yourself to others who are in much greater need than you. There are so many opportunities for volunteering; nursing homes, hospitals, food pantries, mental health facilities, etc.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE TO DO? Do you enjoy crafts? Try knitting, crocheting, working crossword or jigsaw puzzles. Read books, reading is a great de-stresser as it encourages your mind to drift into the world of the story. Play board games or card games with your kids. Build model airplanes or cars, collect coins or stamps, visit museums, or travel. Do whatever makes YOU happy.

EXTRAS. Take a long, soothing bath. Light some scented candles and put on some relaxing music. You’ll feel calm instantly, and much more refreshed the next day. Another great stress reliever is to get a massage. There is nothing better to bring complete relaxation to your body than getting a good, deep body massage.

How you choose to live your life is up to you, no one else. Make the choice to love yourself and care for yourself as you would for a much-loved family member or friend. Ultimately, you are the only one responsible for you. Live your life. Don’t be a spectator. Live, love, and laugh every day with all your heart. You only get one turn.

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