Posts tagged with "diets"

health, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

Plant-Based Diet Benefits

Plant-based eating provides a number of health benefits (and it’s good for the environment too). It’s important to ensure that with a plant-based diet, you can get the recommended amounts of all nutrients. Taking the time to plan will also make plant-based eating achievable.

James Collier, head of nutrition at Huel, the world’s best-selling complete nutrition brand, has put together some easy tips to make sure that anyone on a plant-based diet gets the protein and vitamins they need:

Eat a variety of foods, especially different colored foods as these contain different levels of nutrients. For example, the phytonutrient lycopene, which is an antioxidant that protects against cell damage and gives tomatoes its red color. Other carotenoids also act as antioxidants and give fruit and vegetables their orange and yellow colors; for example, carrots.

Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in helping the body produce red blood cells and is perceived as tricky to get enough of with a plant-based diet. The good news is it need not be. As a start, try incorporating plant-based milks that are that are fortified with B12, as well as calcium and vitamin D. Cereals, meat alternatives, and some soy products are often fortified with B12 too. Taking a B12 supplement also rids any concerns.

Ensure adequate omega-3 consumption. If oily fish is not part of your eating plan, then foods such as walnuts, soy products, and flaxseed are ways to obtain a good intake of omega-3s. Flaxseed is one of Huel’s six main ingredients and is rich in the omega-3 essential fatty acid ALA. Omega-3 fats are generally low in a Western diet and adequate omega-3 consumption is crucial to support cardiovascular health.

Keep your intake of iron up. Iron is not just found in meat food sources. Dark leafy greens, nuts and dried fruits are great sources of iron. Iron is crucial for oxygen transport, cognitive function, and the immune system. Iron from plant sources can be harder to absorb, but again, there’s no need to worry: iron absorption can also be increased by the presence of vitamin C which is found in lots of fruits and vegetables such as oranges and peppers. It’s where the idea of having orange juice with breakfast comes from – to increase the absorption of iron that is in breakfast cereals.

There are many protein-rich foods available to a plant-based diet, for example beans, lentils, soy products, hummus, nuts, and seeds. There are misconceptions about plant-based proteins in that people claim that they are inferior to meat, eggs and dairy proteins, which isn’t the case. Although the amino acid profile of a single plant-based protein source may be inferior to an animal protein, this is easy to get around simply by combining more than one source of plant protein in a meal. For example, beans and rice both contain good amounts of protein.

More information on Huel can be found at Huel.com

The Cravings Solution

Great taste meets good health in a decadent line of low-carb, sugar-free Good Dee’s baking mixes. Born out of a love for baked goods and a passion for healthy living, Good Dee’s proudly uses only the highest-quality, innovative ingredients to deliver low-carb mixes with all of the flavor and no added sugar. Safe for gluten, soy and dairy-free diets, one woman’s lifelong quest to “have her cake and eat it, too” results in a KETO friendly solution the whole family will gladly devour.

For years, Good Dee’s creator and founder Deana Karim searched high and low for the perfect cookie. A lifelong struggle with weight gain and a family history of diabetes limited Karim to low-fat options, which lacked the full flavor of traditional baked goods while hiding some undesirable ingredients of their own. Unable to find an alternative that could satisfy sweet cravings and help maintain a healthy lifestyle, Karim resolved to create her own.

“I realized that if I kept depriving myself and thinking I was on a diet, I would fail,” explains Karim. “I embraced going low-carb and sugar-free and looked up alternative sweeteners. Through months of trial and error, I made a cookie that, after numerous taste tests, got a giant thumbs up.” With overwhelming approval by eaters of all different diets and lifestyles, Karim knew she had something special.

After the birth of Karim’s second child, she set to work launching Good Dee’s. The company featured a variety of baking mixes, from brownies to pancakes to cookies. A first-generation Middle Eastern immigrant who grew up watching her father start and run a successful business, Karim immediately took to entrepreneurship. Now with an expanded collection offering everything from cracker biscuit and grain-free cornbread to blondies and chocolate chip cookie one-bag mixes, Good Dee’s proves that a healthy lifestyle and good eats really do mix.

Shop the full line of mouthwatering grain, wheat, gluten and sugar-free mixes, including all-new coconut and lemon snack cake flavors, just $11.99 each at GoodDees.com. Also try the nut-free collection of brownies, cakes, and muffins. Learn more about this fast-growing company and its founder, Deana Karim, at GoodDees.com. Get inspired by innovative recipes and baking ideas to satisfy every craving on Instagram @GoodDeesMix.

About Good Dee’s:

Created and founded by native Texan-turned-New Yorker Deana Karim, Good Dee’s proves that health-conscious living and decadent indulgence really do mix. Give in to cravings guilt-free with Good Dee’s complete collection of baking mixes designed for low-carb, restricted, and special diets. The tasty solution to a lifetime of deprivation and struggle with weight gain, Good Dee’s offers innovative, full-flavor mixes free of gluten, soy, dairy, wheat, and added sugar. Also available in nut-free brownie, blondies, chocolate snack cake and muffin mix. Learn more and shop all flavors and varieties, priced at just $11.99 each, online at GoodDees.com. Find inspirational recipes and baking ideas on Instagram @GoodDeesMix.

Four Prediabetes Predicaments

The Common Obstacles

You May Encounter(and Solutions for Overcoming Them)

When prediabetes threatens your healthy future, it’s up to you to reset your lifestyle.

But unforeseen obstacles could derail your progress. Here, I explain the HURDLE method and offer solutions for four obstacles you might face along your journey to better health.

Jill Weisenberger, author of Prediabetes: A Complete Guide

If you have prediabetes or have been told that you’re at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, you probably know that now is the best time to take action to improve your health. And hopefully you are already working on developing some habits and setting goals to get your health under control. But new habits are tenuous and can be easily broken. It’s normal to worry that an obstacle could derail your progress and send you back into your old unhealthy (and potentially dangerous) routine.

Obstacles are always lurking anytime you’re trying to adopt healthier habits. To be successful with your lifestyle reset, you will need to anticipate obstacles and have a plan to overcome them.

To do this, I advise brainstorming as many solutions as possible, including thinking of out-of-the-box solutions.

Eventually, looking for impediments to your success will become second nature. But when starting out, I recommend using the HURDLE method to overcome obstacles.

The HURDLE method is defined here:

H: How is your upcoming schedule different? Think about your day and look at your calendar for appointments and activities. Is there something unusual or at an unusual time?

U: Understand how these events, appointments, or obligations could derail you from your healthy lifestyle goals. Will something prevent you from eating a meal, getting to exercise class on time, or getting to bed at the usual hour? Will someone else be in charge of your meals or your schedule?

R: Record your options. Brainstorm and write down every possible solution, even the silly ones.

D: Decide on a solution. Pick one or more realistic options from your list of possible solutions.

L: List the steps. Record everything that you must do to make this solution work. Include if you need to buy things, wake up early, change your schedule, ask for help, etc.

E: Exercise your choice and Evaluate it. Carry out your selected option. Make notes about how it went, what you learned, and what you will do differently next time.

Often, the best solutions to problems are the ones you figure out on your own. At the same time, there are some common obstacles most of us run into, and it can be helpful to have some time-tested solutions for how to tackle these obstacles. Here are some common roadblocks and solutions for overcoming each.

OBSTACLE: You’re Too Busy for Breakfast

Eating a healthy breakfast can kick-start your good eating choices for the day and give you the energy for physical activity. But between getting the kids ready for school, taking the dog for a morning walk, trying to get out the door, running your morning errands, and getting to work, you may struggle to find time to eat a nutritious meal. Here are a couple of suggestions:

Find a few grab-and-go options. Some options include:

Whole-wheat tortilla with reduced-fat cheese heated in the microwave

Whole-wheat waffle with peanut butter

Greek yogurt and fruit smoothie

Overnight oats with strawberries and blueberries

Tuna sandwich

Cook oatmeal or egg-and-vegetable muffins on the weekend. Grab a single serving each morning.

Take a week’s worth of breakfast food to the office on Monday. Prepare and eat your breakfast at work. A few good choices are cottage cheese with fruit and muesli, yogurt with fruit and dry cereal, and an English muffin with almond butter and banana.

Ask a family member to prepare your breakfast. Maybe someone in your household has a little extra time in the mornings or they’re already making themselves breakfast.

OBSTACLE: There’s Too Much Tempting Food at Work

You’re working to take control of what you eat but find yourself backsliding at the office. It’s a common problem. Many people stay stressed-out or frantically busy at work, and they cope by reaching for unhealthy treats. Maybe you’ve had a rough day and your manager just bought a whole box of doughnuts to share with the team. Or perhaps it’s your officemate’s birthday and everyone brought in delicious treats to share (with very few healthy options). How can you resist?

Create a rule with exceptions. An important purpose of establishing “food rules” is to free you from an internal argument of should I or shouldn’t I. But occasionally allowing for an exception to the rule helps you stay on track. These exceptions need to be created in advance and not on the fly. Making exceptions in the moment is the same as breaking your rules.

My own simple rule is that I do not eat office junk food unless it is so unusual that I’ll miss a unique experience. I had another rule for eight years in a different office that I dipped into the candy jar only on Wednesdays. I always had Wednesday to look forward to, and I never argued with myself on the other days.

Limit temptation to one area. Ask your officemates to keep tempting foods in only one spot. Try to avoid that one spot.

Ask coworkers if they also want to eliminate certain types of food from work. You might be pleasantly surprised. After all, you aren’t the only one who cares about what you eat.

Pack your coffee in a thermal container. By bringing your coffee with you, you can avoid the junk food in the office kitchen when you need a coffee refill.

OBSTACLE: You’re at a Party Full of Unhealthy Foods and Drinks

You don’t want to blow all of your progress at a party. Success starts with intention, so avoid the temptation to simply wing it. Do some planning and strategizing in advance. Also, resist the temptation to avoid parties altogether just because you fear that you will lapse from your health goals. Here are a few tips for staying on track.

Determine your trade-offs. Will you skip appetizers and starchy sides to enjoy a piece of birthday cake, or do you prefer a cocktail and an appetizer? It helps to make these decisions before heading out the door.

Be cautious with alcohol. Alcohol has a way of leading people to greater food temptations. Start with a low-calorie, non-alcoholic drink and have a second non-alcoholic beverage after you drink a cocktail or glass of wine.

Take the edge off your hunger before going to the party. There is usually no reason to pre-eat, which often results in eating too much overall. But if you feel uncomfortably hungry when you’re teased with an abundance of party food, you will likely find it hard to hold control.

It’s okay to enter a party with a normal appetite. But if you need a small snack first, choose something healthful and filling like an apple, an orange, or a glass of vegetable juice. At the party, take your first bites of lower-calorie foods like fresh fruits and veggies or steamed shrimp.

Be active. If dancing or playing games is part of the party, join in.

Bring a healthful dish to share. If you know you’ll be tempted by a table full of cakes, cookies, and glazed meatballs, opt to bring a healthier dish that you can share with the group, like a veggie tray with hummus or fruit skewers.

Distract yourself. Keep yourself occupied with conversation and other non-food activities.

Avoid the buffet. When you’ve had enough to eat, position yourself far from the food.

Remind yourself of your new habits. Remember that just because you’ve always indulged in party food, it doesn’t mean that you can’t change that.

OBSTACLE: Vacation Disrupts Your Healthy Routines

Vacation doesn’t mean that you should give yourself a free pass. Avoid the mentality that you deserve unhealthful eating because you’re on vacation. Really, no one deserves unhealthful eating. Everyone deserves to eat healthfully, and everyone deserves just a bit of not-so-nutritious food tossed into the mix for a little extra fun.

Pack food for the trip. If you are traveling by car, use a cooler and fill it with fruit, veggies, yogurt, low-fat cheese and cottage cheese, vegetable juice, hard-boiled eggs, and a turkey or tuna sandwich. Whether you have a cooler or not, you can still carry nuts, dried fruit, some fresh fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, whole-grain crackers, and granola bars or fiber-rich cereal bars.

Be prepared for plane travel. If you are traveling by plane, pack a small amount of perishable food in a plastic bag. Keep it cold with ice in a separate plastic bag. Airport security will probably want you to get rid of the ice before you go through screening. Once you’re through security, stop by a food vendor and kindly ask to refill your plastic bag with more ice.

Stock up on healthy choices. Once you’re at your destination, stock up on additional wholesome options. If you don’t have access to a refrigerator, keep a small amount of perishable food fresh with ice and an ice bucket. Or pack a collapsible vinyl cooler in your luggage for use while away.

Snack only on fruit.

Apples and bananas are great choices to carry in your purse or backpack. Or you can find fresh fruit at any grocery store and even at many convenience stores, gas stations, or coffee shops while you’re on the road.

Search for healthy dining options.

Ask locals for restaurant ideas and search menus online before going out to eat.

Walk whenever possible. Opt for a walking tour instead of a bus tour.

Stay hydrated. Carry a refillable water bottle and be sure to sip from it frequently.

Find a local gym. You may be able to get in a gym workout even while on vacation. Call around to gyms in the area where you’ll be staying and ask if they have any weekly membership offers. Or stay in a hotel that has a gym.

Decide in advance what amount of treats is reasonable for you.

Is it a glass of wine a day? A couple of desserts over the week? Create your rules and exceptions, so you have a working blueprint to follow.

By using some of these tips when you find yourself facing one of these common obstacles, you can help guard yourself against a full-blown relapse and protect your health.

If you do have some setbacks along the way, shake them off. We all have them from time to time. Note them for what they are—little lapses that won’t have a big impact if they are few and far between. Recognize all the little changes you’ve made that add up to something bigger—better health and wellness. So pat yourself on the back and soldier on.