How to Stay Motivated in the New Year

Find the Motivation for the New Year and New You!

New Year is a perfect time to revisit your goals and get some new motivation to get you going. Check out these simple tips to stay motivated after the craziness of the holiday season.

How to Stay Motivated in the New Year

  • Confidence - The more you accomplish, the more you’ll believe in yourself.
  • Fit in Your Goal Dress or Jeans – You may already have this article of clothing hanging in the back of your closet, or you just saw it in the store… What ever it takes get motivated and do that extra mile and stay on track. Before you know it you will be wearing that perfect outfit.
  • Brake up the Week – Sometimes it feels like the week can take forever. Make simple, small goals and make the week go faster while reaching your goals.
  • Give Your Days a Healthy Purpose – Start your day with a healthy breakfast. Have a new workout, get moving, take a walk with friends, play with your kids.
  • Stay Motivated for Your Kids – Be healthy and motivated for your kids and your grandkids. The healthier you are, the longer you’ll be around to watch your kids grow. They’ll want you to be around as long as possible.
  • Stay Motivated for That “Wow” - “Wow, you look great!” By sticking with your goals, this can happen all you need to do is work on it.
  • Keep Gaining Experience - The more you do, the more you will learn and understand. You’ll discover which tactics work best for you and which ones don’t.
  • Motivate Others – By staying motivated you can motivate others too. Family, friends, your online buddies will see how well you are doing and be motivated to follow in your footsteps.

Share with us How do you stay motivated?

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Dairy Free Calcium Sources

No Dairy? No Problem! Try These Foods Instead.

Don’t like dairy, or you shouldn’t have it? No worries. You can get your calcium elsewhere like these dairy free foods. You can find calcium in many plant-based foods, from almonds to tofu. Here is a list of some calcium-containing foods that are dairy free, with the amount of calcium you’ll find in a single serving.

Calcium rich foods:

  • Collard greens – 1 cup, boiled 357 mg calcium
  • Fortified soy milk – 1 cup 368 mg calcium
  • Black-eyed peas – 1 cup, boiled 211 mg calcium
  • Firm tofu (made with calcium sulfate) – 1/2 cup 204 mg calcium
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice – 6 oz 200 mg calcium
  • Blackstrap molasses – 1 Tbsp 172 mg calcium
  • Baked beans – 1 cup, canned 154 mg calcium
  • Kale – 1 cup, cooked 94 mg calcium
  • Chinese cabbage – 1 cup, raw 74 mg calcium
  • Oranges – 1 cup 72 mg calcium
  • Almonds – 1 oz 70 mg calcium

How to incorporate many of these foods into your diet to increase your calcium intake:

  • Cook a vegetable stir-fry and toss in diced tofu made with calcium sulfate.
  • Add steamed and minced greens like collards and kale to casseroles, soups and stews.
  • Use calcium-fortified non-dairy milk (like soy or rice milk) instead of water in recipes such as pancakes, mashed potatoes, pudding and oatmeal.
  • Stir a drizzle of blackstrap molasses into your oatmeal.
  • Use almond butter instead of peanut butter.
  • Add calcium-rich beans like black-eyed peas to soups, pasta sauces, salads and burritos.
  • Enjoy canned baked beans as a side dish, or mix them into your favorite recipes.

If you’re not regularly eating enough of these foods to meet your calcium needs, you may want to consider a calcium supplement. After you consult your doctor to make sure this is right for you, your next step is choosing a supplement. Here are some guidelines that will help you:

  • Choose a brand you trust. Generic supplements might be a lower quality and might not be absorbed as well.
  • When comparing the potency of two different types, compare them by the amount of elemental calcium they contain, which should be listed on the label.
  • Choose one with the abbreviation “USP”, which means that the supplement has met the standards of the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) for quality, purity and tablet disintegration or dissolution.
  • Do not use calcium supplements made with unrefined oyster shell, bone meal or dolomite as they may also contain toxic substances like lead, mercury and arsenic.

In addition to eating the right foods or supplementing, there are a few other tips everyone should follow, whether eating dairy or not, to keep their bones strong:

  • Reduce your sodium intake. Increased sodium in the blood can cause your body to compensate by pulling more calcium from your bones to maintain balance. Cut back on your salt intake and your bones will stay strong.
  • Eat your veggies. In addition to their calcium content, many vegetables and fruits are good sources of potassium. According to the NIH, this mineral may help decrease calcium excretion in people who eat high sodium diets— particularly in postmenopausal women.
  • Don’t overdo the protein. As with sodium, the body’s reaction to excess protein can weaken bones. If you’re on a high-protein diet, be doubly sure you’re getting the recommended amount of calcium daily—at least 1,000 mg.
  • Exercise. Weight bearing exercise, like walking, step-aerobics, running, and hiking put stress on your bones, causing your body to respond by making them stronger.
  • Get ample amounts of Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps improve calcium absorption. Food and sunlight are your two sources for vitamin D. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “for bone health, an adequate intake of vitamin D is no less important than calcium.” Food sources of vitamin D include cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna, and fortified breakfast cereals. According to the NIH, ten to fifteen minutes of sun exposure at least two times per week to the face, arms, hands, or back (without sunscreen) is usually sufficient to provide adequate vitamin D.

Save Big on Healthy Groceries

Save big on healthy groceries and eat better!

Groceries are expensive, especially these days, when many of us are struggling to make ends meet and food prices continue to rise. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money on your grocery bill without giving up on your desire to eat healthier.

  • Have a Plan – Make a list before you shop. Plan your weekly menu or list a few main dishes that you can eat throughout the week. This will not only save you money, but also time and fuel by making less store trips throughout the week.
  • Eat Before you Shop – Shopping on an empty stomach will only make you buy junk food you don’t need. Have a good protein and/or fiber rich snack before your trip or doing.
  • Shop Alone - Sometimes this just isn’t possible, but if you can shop alone, you’ll be able to focus on finding the best deals and taking as much time as you need to make it through the store. Plus you will stick to your list and no one will ask for things that are not on it.
  • Bring a Calculator - Sometimes the largest container of something isn’t actually the best deal. Unless you like to do long division in your head, consider toting a pocket calculator when you head to the store.
  • Buy Generic - Held to the same standards as name-brand versions, store-brand products are usually just as good, and less expensive. In no time you will feel the savings on your grocery bill.
  • Buy Whole Foods – The less processed food is, the cheaper it is per serving. Apples may cost less than applesauce or apple juice. Canned black beans will be cheaper than re-fried beans. A block of cheese costs less than shredded cheese and so on.
  • Make Smart Substitutions - Think about what you eat, and then think about what may be a cheaper at equally healthy substitute. Like breakfast cereal? Oatmeal is usually cheaper than other kinds. Love soda? Try sparkling water with a little fruit juice mixed in. Snack on chips? Pop some popcorn kernels on your stove top instead.
  • Don’t Get Stuck - Packaged foods have been condensed, salted, refined, sweetened, or otherwise processed. They may seem like a good deal, providing more calories for less money, but those calories usually aren’t very nutritious. Resist the lure of the middle aisles and stick to the perimeter of the grocery store. You’ll save money and wind up with bags full of whole foods.
  • Buy in Bulk - Long a staple of natural food stores, bulk or bag and weigh sections are now appearing in traditional stores. Items like flour, beans, rice, nuts, and dried fruits are available for less than prepackaged versions of the same foods.
  • Read Ads and Clip Coupons - Take advantage of these deals when you see them, but remember, a good deal is only good if it’s on something you’d normally buy, not just something you’re buying because it’s on sale.
  • Get Your Protein from Foods Other than Meat - Try substituting one meat meal per week with a vegetarian meal to save money and benefit your health. Beans, eggs, and tofu all provide high-quality protein for a fraction of the cost of meat.
  • Eat Seasonally – Seasonal produce costs less, thanks to the law of supply and demand. You might miss having tomatoes in the heart of winter, but the fresh, perfect tomatoes of summer taste better, cost less and are more nutritious.
  • Pack your Lunch – Packing your own lunch, snacks, drinks and other meals are usually less expensive and healthier than eating out. It will require more planning, but the dollars you save will be worth your time in the end.
  • Make it Yourself – You can make it from healthier ingredients and spend less.
  • Have a Garden - Plants are cheap, and seeds are even cheaper. Plus you will love growing your own fruits, veggies and herbs.

Eat Your Veggies Everyday

Simple Ways to Help You Eat More Veggies Everyday

In order to benefit from a high fiber diet, you should add as many vegetables into each of your meals as possible.

Here are some easy ways how you can eat your veggies everyday and more of it:

  • Cut up peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach or other favorite veggies and keep them in sandwich bags in your fridge. This way you can grab them in the morning (or throughout the day) and throw them into your eggs, stir-fry or any other veggie dish.
  • Always keep frozen veggies in your freezer. The microwave veggie bags are great and you can get a big variety for just a dollar a bag. Having frozen veggies on hand is perfect for days when you run out of the fresh ones.
  • Add veggies to every meal. Best way to do this is either by starting your meals with a salad or adding a cup of streamed veggies as a side.
  • Keep baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, cut up celery or peppers for a quick snacks you can enjoy anytime. Add a bit of hummus as a yummy dip.
  • Enjoy roasted veggies like zucchini, squash, carrots, peppers and so on. Just throw them on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, add a bit of sea salt and pepper, some herbs like basil, oregano or parsley and roast in your oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Divide them in portion sizes and keep in plastic containers in your fridge to have to enjoy throughout the week.
  • Make veggie soup by adding different kinds of frozen or fresh veggies. Use half water half low sodium veggie broth and make a good soup that you can use over a week or freeze for when you need it.

Share with us Your tips on how to eat more veggies everyday?!

Weight Loss Mistakes to Avoid

Avoiding these mistakes will get you to your goal!

Many dieters tend to make similar mistakes when trying to lose weight. But being aware of these mistakes and making small physical and mental changes will help you lose the weight and keep it off for good.

  • Slow is Better – Most weight loss programs are set up to help you safely lose between half a pound and two pounds per week. Studies show that individuals who rapidly lose weight are more likely to gain it back. If you’ve lost a few pounds this month that is excellent! Don’t discount that because you see someone on TV losing 15 pounds or more in two weeks. Your weight loss will change from month to month.
  • Everyone is Different - While some people lose a lot of weight in the first few weeks, others might not lose any weight at all for a few weeks. This of course is not a reason to give up, even though it can feel frustrating when you are trying so hard. Don’t forget that your hard work will pay off and not just with weight loss but also with many health benefits like more energy, less stress, better sleep and reduced risk of many diseases.
  • Every Week Will be Different - Many people lose a lot in the first few weeks and then their weight loss slows down considerably. It’s normal to have weeks when you lose more than expected and weeks when your weight remains the same despite your consistent efforts.
  • Weight Loss Can’t Happened Immediately - Cutting calories today through diet and exercise will not necessarily show up on the scale at the end of the day or even by tomorrow. Your weight can fluctuate from day-to-day for reasons that have nothing to do with your diet and exercise program. This is a good reason to not weigh yourself more than once a week.
  • Everyone Has Setbacks - No one is perfect. You can expect to hit some bumps in the road, no matter how hard you’re trying. The important thing is not to let those bumps get you totally off track, but to learn from them and move forward.
  • Eating Less is Not Better - A lot of people assume that the less you eat, the faster you will lose. One of the biggest mistakes dieters make is not eating enough. Your calorie range is based on your current weight, goal weight, how aggressive your goal is and how much exercise you are doing. Your recommended calorie range might seem like a lot of food, especially if you are accustomed to fad, restrictive diets, but it is the right amount for you to help you reach your goals.

Hopefully these tips will help you avoid many of the common pitfalls dieters face. Remember, don’t give up because you can do it!

Smoothie Delight

Delicious Smoothie Delight

Perfect any time of the day. It will bring a smile on your face and make you feel all special! It is that good!!!

This recipe is originally by Healthy Happy Life website. Enjoy!!!

Smoothie Delight

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana (for a thicker smoothie use a frozen banana)

1/2 cup frozen pomegranate seeds

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 1/2 cups soy milk (original recipe used vanilla soy milk)

Directions:

Add all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Makes one serving!