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Healthy Lifestyle

Are you ready to live the life you’ve always wanted & learn how to incorporate the skills to maintain a healthy lifestyle forever?  It’s time to get started with my award winning techniques in my nutrition & fitness book, Healthy Lifestyle – Inside Secrets to Transforming Your Body and Health.

Inside the book I share my story, and several of our clients’ transformation stories…along with some facts and revelations about what it means to get in shape.

My hope is to use the book to inspire more people to take control of their health and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

Watch our social media pages for up to date nutrition & fitness information.

If you’d like to get a copy, please click the following Pay Pal link to have one sent directly to you! $9.99 plus tax and S/H




If your live outside the US, email me for shipping information.

Coach Connie

Everything you need to know to ensure a good night’s sleep

Around 40% of American adults don’t get a full seven hours of sleep per night, according to a 2013 Gallup poll. An estimated 50 to 70 million adults in the United States have chronic sleeping disorders. And about 40% of adults in the United States report falling asleep by accident during the day at least once a month, according to the NIH.

Want some help with that?

 

https://www.buzzfeed.com/carolynkylstra/how-many-hours-of-sleep-should-you-get?utm_term=.um2xlO6eR#.ui4Ky4ZAj

 

Brain Enhancing* Benefits of The Irresistible Cocoa

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Ok, there are a few, but they’re far and few between. Ha-ha…. I am the first to admit…. I am a chocolate lover. I’m not going to lie- this is one of my favorite subjects to talk about. So, if this is your favorite subject as well, all you have to do is keep on reading and discover more information on cocoa benefits.

As you will see, when it comes to the benefits of cocoa, there are quite a number of interesting facts to discover – for example, did you know that cocoa is rich in antioxidants and thus can enhance* the functioning of the brain? Cocoa brain benefits are plenty, as you will be able to read below.

So what is it that draws us to chocolate, well for many of us, it’s telling us that our body is lacking essential nutrients such as magnesium. That’s why at meal times, it’s recommended that we consume unprocessed, whole foods (recommended), including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, meat, poultry, fish, and dairy.

Let’s not forget, the key component to finding the right chocolate is one that is in its purist form, called raw cacao, also known as “cacao, the food of the gods” in the Greek language. It has a surplus of health benefits that may contribute to weight loss* due to its natural ability to suppress* the appetite. Another important factor is that chocolate has antioxidants along with essential vitamins and minerals, that boost* the metabolism, and therefore, the calories are more in balance.

And to think, I’m now convinced I need to add more chocolate into my daily diet. Then researchers come up with even better news… that chocolate can keep us thin. Yes, they have my attention and here’s what I found out!Scientists from the University of California of San Diego studied nearly 1,000 individuals and found out that those who regularly eat chocolate are thinner than those who just sparingly eat cacao. Of course, they are not saying that eating a few bars a day will help you drop lbs., but due to the antioxidants and ingredients in cacao, can boost* weight loss* and they show lower BMIs.

Chocolate Diet

Then to find out there was such a thing as “The Chocolate Diet”. I thought I had gone to heaven. So what’s behind the so-called “Chocolate Diet, well by allowing yourself just a few chocolate bites per day – can actually make you feel more satisfied and therefore, lead to less chances of binging on those unhealthy treat* options. This leads to reduced* snacking that can aid in weight loss* benefits. According to a small study by the University of Copenhagen, dark chocolate may even reduce* cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods.

The essential minerals include calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese. They contain polyphenols called flavonoids, with antioxidant properties that can offer skin protection against UV damage, along with the following vitamins- B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, and E. It also carries essential heart-healthy fat called oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, along with protein and fiber.

Raw chocolate has many amazing nutrients that most of us had no idea that our sweet tooth led to creating an abundance of the following healthy attributes Just, remember, there are many benefits of cocoa to discover. The most important ones that you need to keep in mind are the cocoa brain benefits – as cocoa is rich in amazing ingredients, it should come as no surprise that it can stimulate brain health and the overall cognitive function.

1. It can promote cardiovascular health by lowering LDL cholesterol and lowering plaque buildup on the walls of the arteries along with lower risk of heart disease. This is reflected by the benefits of dark chocolate being so heart-healthy and inflammation fighting perks.

2. It may fight diabetes. According to a 2005 Italian study, they found regularly eating chocolate increases* insulin sensitivity and therefore; reducing* the risk for diabetes.

3.It can reduce* blood pressure and enhance* circulation by aiding in the strength of dilation and health of blood vessels.

4. It supports digestion while the cacao moves the production of digestive enzymes in the body.

5. It can balance the free radicals from sun exposure, or pollution by protecting the body through the high level of antioxidants in cacao.

6. It enhances* mental and physical well-being by improving* mood, lowering stress and reducing* depression.

7. It reduces* stroke risk.

Raw Cocao Info

So, How Does Chocolate Boost* Our Brain?

1. It can make you smarter- According to a British study, the cocoa’s flavanols increase* the brain’s blood flow, which seems to make people feel alert and more awake and therefore; perform more efficient on counting tasks and improve* thinking skills. “From laboratory studies, we know that flavanols smooth the way for brain cell connections and survival, and protect brain cells from toxins or the negative effects of inflammation,” says Dr. Miguel Alonso-Alonso, a neuroscientist at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

2. It improves* vision due to the improvement in the blood flow caused by the benefit of chocolate, may increase* blood flow to the retina and therefore; improving* vision.

3. It can quiet a cough, due to the theobromine, an ingredient in chocolate that seems to lower activity of the vagus nerve, the part of the brain that provokes hard to shake off coughing.

4. It can prevent blood clots, and fight cell damage, due to the flavanols in chocolate.

Chocolate Boost* Our Brain

Of course, keep in mind chocolate is high in calories, so according to news out of England, the middle aged to older adults can eat up to 3.5 ounces of chocolate per day to aid in lowering heart disease rates than those who turn down chocolate. Really, who turns down chocolate? The 3.5 ounces are actually more than 2 standard Hershey bars….. According to the European Food Safety Authority, it is suggested that 200 mg of cocoa flavonoids per day is a good target for the general population.The higher the cocoa content of the bar, the more health benefits it will provide, usually bars with 70% cocoa or more.

In summary, knowing the many health benefits that chocolate offers to aid in our goal of being healthier, it’s a win-win. But as I always say, all in moderation. As always, consult your health professional before starting any diet to ensure you are on the right track. When it comes to cocoa benefits, think about its rich content in antioxidants and how this can help your brain to work more efficiently.

Discuss with your family physician about the benefits of cocoa and how you can incorporate it into your daily meals and/or snacks. Ask about the cocoa brain benefits and he/she will certainly confirm these as well.

I hope this article finds you in good health.

Sources:

  • Sweet dreams: eating chocolate prevents heart disease www.health.harvard.edu
  • Cocoa: a sweet treat* for the brain www.health.harvard.edu
  • 2017 Integrative Nutrition, Inc. Learning Library under Dietary Theories
Image CreditsFeatured Image: Shutterstock

In-Post Images: Shutterstock & onegreenplanet.org

The benefits of drinking more water

Feeling thirsty? Then it’s already too late. Your body is already in the early stages of dehydrated.

The Benefits of Drinking more Water

So, what does this mean? Why should we drink more water?

  1. Lose Weight. Water plays an important role in weight loss and weight maintenance in a number of ways. Keeping hydrated decreases food cravings. Often we think we are hungry, when actually all we need is a big drink of water. Along with containing zero calories, drinking water also increases our energy levels and metabolism. Don’t just take my word for it, though, here’s the research done on over 18,000 adults.   It’s Nature’s ready mixed diet drink.
  2. Reduced Allergies. Your lungs are moistened by water. Water helps you breathe. When dehydrated, your body will restrict the width of your airways to conserve water loss.  When you don’t drink enough water, your histamine levels increase as the body loses water. This can lead to increased allergy reactions and asthma.
  3. Prevent cancer. Research suggests that staying hydrated can reduce the risk of colon cancer by 45%5, bladder cancer by 50%6, and possibly reduce breast cancer risk as well.7  Keeping our cells hydrated means that they can effectively transport nutrients in and toxic waste out of our body.
  4. Be less grumpy. Your brain tissue is 75% water. When you’re not properly hydrated, your brain operates on less fuel and efficiency. You can feel drained, or experience fatigue or mood fluctuations. Research says dehydration can affect your mood and make you cranky and confused. Hmm. I think  I may know a few people who  live their life in a permanent state of thirst.
  5. Perform better. Dehydration can lead to weakness, muscle fatigue, dizziness, and electrolyte imbalance. Keeping our body hydrated means an increase in energy and plays an important part in maintaining muscle tone and increasing the production of new blood and muscle cells.
  6. Get Smarter. Drinking 8 – 10 cups of water a day can increase your cognitive abilities by as much as 30%. The reason for this is that the more water your brain has, the more oxygen it can receive – which is what keeps it functioning at its best.
  7. Save Money. Save money by not having to buy soda and other sugary drinks.
  8. No more Cavities. It’s better for your teeth and that means fewer fillings and fewer dentist bills. All of my children are cavity free. As in NO CAVITIES at all. The only thing I put it down to is the fact that we don’t drink soda, but we all drink water every day.
  9. Pain free Joints. Drinking water can reduce pain in your joints by keeping the cartilage soft and hydrated. The leading supplement taken for joint pain is glucosamine. This works by aiding in cartilage’s absorption of water.
  10. Detox Our digestive system needs water to function properly. Our body flushes out waste by urinating and sweat. Both of these processes only work with hydration. If we don’t flush out waste and bacteria, these toxins collect in our our body.
  11. Youthful looking skin. Forget expensive face creams.  Regular and plentiful water consumption can improve the color and texture of your skin by getting rid of toxins and improving the flow of blood to the skin. Our skin cells have a 2 – 3 weeks lifespan. We are constantly making new cells to replace the dead ones. Keeping our body hydrated means that the new cells can be built properly. Water plays an important role in keeping cells firm, allowing for firmer, tauter youthful looking skin.
  12. Pimple free face. If your teenager has a problem skin with breakouts and redness, you will be amazed at the difference this little change will make. Watch this video on what 30 days of drinking water does to this woman’s skin. 

 

http://www.cleaneatingwithkids.com/dehydration-making-sick-fat/

New findings may explain the advantages of polyunsaturated fat

Written by Coach Connie,

Lifestyle Health Mentor

 

When we think of the word “fat”- We remember back to our parents and grandparents using lard for everything they made or putting a huge slab of butter on bread. Back then, we didn’t think anything of it when we were eating fat, whether it was good or bad for us. We just thought it was part of our diet.

Today, no matter where you look – you see news reports saying eat this fat but don’t eat this fat. We’re always trying to find the lowest fat diet. It almost seems as if we all need to be scientists just to figure out what should we eat. So let’s take a look at what polyunsaturated fat is, why it’s good for us and what should we consume to achieve the full benefits.

So, what is polyunsaturated fat and how does it affect our health? It is found in animal and plant foods, which is known as one of the healthier fats, together with monounsaturated fat. The biggest thing to remember is that we want to add in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, which will be replacing saturated fats, commonly found in red meat, butter, cheese, and ice cream; and trans fat, which are unhealthy fats found in partially hydrogenated oil, that could increase health problems such as risk for heart disease. When you reduce the red meat and butter intake, substitute them with fish, beans, nuts, and healthy oils rather than refined carbohydrates. That’s why adding polyunsaturated fats into your diet can help lower your bad cholesterol (LDL), which causes your arteries to become blocked or clogged. It can contribute vitamin E to your diet, which is an antioxidant. By adding more of this healthier fat into our diets, it can boost your overall body, mind and soul, along with your waistline. Now isn’t that a bonus.

This type of fat includes omega-3 and omega-6 fats (EFA’s), which are essential fatty acids that helps our brain function and cell growth. We need to supplement these EFA’s through our food, since our body does not produce this on its own. They protect our heart because they contain EPA and DHA. They lower the risk of fatal heart attacks and sudden cardiac death caused by electrical problems that occur in the heart. By consuming fish, it may reduce the risk of stroke too and keep in mind, it contains vitamin D, healthy proteins, selenium, and other nutrients. It is recommended that you consume at least two 3-4oz servings of fish and seafood, including one serving of oily or dark meat fish per week. As for vegetable oils, it is recommended that you consume 5-6 teaspoons per day, which includes oil found in foods.

Lately, all you hear about is coconut oil or palm oils. Are they really better for you? Well, according to the AHA, there is no real known evidence as of now so, they recommend to stick to vegetable oils, because of the overwhelming evidence they are good for the heart.

So, how does the omega-3 and omega-6 fats work to our benefit?

  1. Lower triglycerides and lowers the risk of having an irregular heartbeat, known as arrhythmia.
  2. Cuts down the buildup of plaque in our arteries and decreasing our blood pressure
  3. It can regulate our blood sugar and lower our diabetes risk
  4. Lower inflammation and contains beneficial phytochemicals from the oil seeds

There are several foods that are recommended as part of the polyunsaturated fat category:

  1. Fish, including salmon, herring, trout, albacore tuna, anchovy, sardines, bluefish, mussels, halibut, bass, oysters and mackerel
  2. Vegetable, Safflower, Corn, Flax, Olive, Canola and Soybean oil
  3. Sunflower, poppy, chia and flax seeds
  4. Eggs and avocado
  5. Walnuts, soybeans, almonds, pine and brazil nuts
  6. Fresh, raw pork sausage, pork, roasted turkey, roasted chicken wings and duck
  7. Quinoa, toasted wheat germ, raw oat bran, dry chickpeas, millet, tahini and firm tofu

So, what if you don’t care for fish or have a fish allergy? According to the American Heart Association, you may want to supplement with over the counter fish oil capsules. Keep in mind, they are not regulated by the FDA. Most capsules carry about 200-400 mg of EPA plus DHA, which should be sufficient for most people. As always, consult with your doctor on a higher dose requirement. Some capsules leave an aftertaste or cause burping, so it’s best to choose the burp free option when choosing the right fish oil capsule.

Please note: As I always say, all in moderation, because eating too much of this type of fat can lead to weight gain, which contains 9 calories per gram. Carbohydrates and proteins carry half of that amount of calories, so just be aware of your consumption amount.

So, how does this compare to my daily healthy plate regimen? It is recommended to allow no more than 25%-30% of fat in your daily calories, of which should be from the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated groups. Keep in mind, limit the other fats, such as saturated fat to less than 6% of your daily calories.

Should we really have to read every label to see what type fat is in the product? Yes, because as stated, there are good and bad fats, so by knowing what to look for when purchasing the product will only benefit your health in the long run. Of course, keep in mind, that when food manufacturers lower fat, they usually substitute it with carbohydrates from sugar, refined grains, or other starches. These are digested faster in our bodies, which affects our insulin and blood sugar levels. This can result in weight gain and diseases.

As always, consult your health professional on any health concerns or questions.

I hope this article finds you in good health.

Sources:

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000747.htm

https://healthyforgood.heart.org/Eat-smart/Articles/Polyunsaturated-Fats

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/choosing-healthy-fats.htm

http://www.anneshealthykitchen.com/top-30-foods-high-in-polyunsaturated-fat/

https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/healthy-eating/food-and-nutrition/fats-and-cholesterol/monounsaturated-and-polyunsaturated-omega-3-and-omega-6-fats