What Women Really Need to Stay Healthy

Walker Tracker is pleased to introduce you to InVite Health. InVite Health offers a variety of natural health products and also provides education on a wide range of health and wellness topics. Since May is Women’s Health Month InVite Health is sharing their recommendations on ways to stay healthy especially for women in these busy times.

What Women Need to be Healthy

Nutrition is at the core of a healthy body; what you feed your body can be the difference in how you feel, your weight, your risk of chronic diseases, and your overall health. With women constantly on-the-go, it’s important that they put their health first and make self-care a priority. By taking steps to get and stay healthy, you’ll set your body up to keep your energy high and your body strong.

 

What are nutrient depletions?

Nutrient depletions occur when your body is not receiving the correct amount of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and other important nutrients. This can be caused by numerous factors, such as following an unhealthy diet, prescription drugs and medications, and free radical damage.

“We live in an increasingly polluted environment, loaded with toxins; the soil we grow our food in is often nutrient-depleted and many consume processed, factory—made foods supplying scant nutrients. Ironically, our bodies wind up requiring even more vitamins and minerals to effectively metabolize nutrient-depleted goods. Add that depletion with less time spent outdoors, minimal exercise, prescription drugs and medications, and chronic stress, and the result is that many individuals are truly nutritionally deficient,” reports Archana Gogna, MS, CNS, MBA, Director of Nutrition for InVite® Health.

 

Balanced Nutrition

Nutrient-rich foods provide energy, this includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and protein. You’ll want to avoid excess calories from added sugars, saturated fats, and alcohol. Women have different needs than men, so there are a few nutrients and vitamins that they should take special care in consuming.

Iron-rich Foods found in red meat, turkey, fish, and kale, provide good health and energy levels for women. Iron is an essential mineral that helps transport oxygen throughout the body.

Folic Acid, one of the B-vitamins, are found in citrus fruits, leafy greens and beans. Folic acid is important as it helps the body produce and maintain new cells.

Calcium is crucial for strong bones and teeth, heart health, muscle function and nerve signaling. It can be found in in dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt, but also in seafood, leafy greens and legumes.

It has been estimated that approximately 70% of Americans have Vitamin D deficiencies. This is due to combination of factors, including low levels of sunlight, obesity and low consumption of foods high in Vitamin D like fatty fish. Vitamin D has been shown to support normal blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and promote a healthy immune response.

Be sure to include a balance of these foods in your diet in order to reap the benefits of each nutrient.

 

A Superior Multivitamin

For these reasons, healthcare professionals are advising women to begin taking a safe, reliably-made, high-quality multivitamin mineral formula on a daily basis to fill the nutritional deficits in their diet. Scientific Director and Pharmacist, Jerry Hickey, understands that women have different nutritional needs and recommends a multivitamin that contains, not only a superior base of vitamins and minerals, but four additional ingredients that naturally support women’s health.

  1. Iron Bisglycinate is a gentle iron to support energy and endurance. It does not cause nausea or constipation.
  2. Type I Collagen is needed for the maintenance of skin, nails and hair, as its production slows with age.
  3. Purple Corn Flower support brain, eye and breast health and metabolism.
  4. DIM, or Diindolylmethane, is formed from the indole-3-carbinol found in cabbage vegetables that helps support breast and cervical health.

 

With a solid base like a healthy, balanced diet, a superior multivitamin and moderate activity daily, women can help lay their own healthy foundation in order to keep their bodies as active as possible.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease.

Battling Sugar – Cravings vs Healthy Options

Growing up I always had a fondness for sweet treats. My Mom would often tease me that I was born with a sweet tooth. But today, as more research is available on sugar, the candy bar or cookie that I’ve added as a regular part of my diet is having a direct effect on my overall health. Studies have shown that sugar is highly addictive and can have negative results not only in gaining weight but also increased mood swings. Additionally, it may cause skin to age more rapidly and can cause stress or damage to various organs including the heart. For more information on sugar’s effects please see Web MD’s article “How Does Too Much Sugar Affect Your Body?

Even though it’s common knowledge that we should reduce or even avoid sugar, I find it hard to stop cold turkey when it comes to sweet snacks or desserts.  So here are a few healthy food options that I often eat to help me fight an oncoming sugar craving. Just be sure to follow the rule “everything in moderation” when choosing one of these options.Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate – A bar that is at least 70% cacao is a healthy option that is full of antioxidants. Just limit yourself to a few squares.

Coconut Oil – This healthy fat can add flavor to your foods. Try it in your morning coffee in place of sugar. It acts as a sweetener and provides you with an energy boost.fruit

Fruit – Whole and dried fruits are a great way to eat something sweet while still consuming healthy fibers and nutrients.

Liquorice Tea – It tastes like the candy but will also balance your blood sugar and cortisol levels which should prevent a craving.

Carrot Sticks – An excellent snack that also serves as a source of beta-carotene and is known to lower cholesterol levels and improve eye health. You can also dip them in hummus to make them taste even better.Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes – This starchy but sweet vegetable will help satisfy your hunger and hinder the need for additional snacking.

Beets – This sweet vegetable tastes great and also fights off inflammation which is the cause of conditions such as migraines, arthritis, and heart disease.

Chia Seeds – A great source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as other nutrients this water-absorbing fiber will feed your hunger. Chia Seed Pudding is a great dessert choice.Cinnamon

Cinnamon – This spice is known to regulate blood sugar levels which will reduce your cravings. Try adding cinnamon to sugar-free applesauce or on half a banana with crushed nuts.

Nut Butter – Almond or cashew butter gives you that sweet taste. You’ll also be selecting a healthy fat and protein option.

I do occasionally still reach for a cookie or other sweet treat, but the options above have helped me to make healthier choices and curb my sugar cravings.

Is there a healthy snack you opt for when you have a sugar craving coming on? Do you like a healthy recipe that is low in sugar or sugar-free?  Share your tips and comments with us below.

Harnessing the Power of Intention for a New Year’s Revolution

Walker Tracker would like to introduce you to Christa King the Founder of Fitlandia and 30 Days to Thriving. Christa has agreed to be a guest blogger and share some of her insights on being healthy in the New Year.  Thank you Christa!

 

You read the title right – a New Year’s Revolution v. a Resolution!

Throw out everything you grew up learning about going on a diet in the new year. We all know by now that quick-fixes and short-term diets don’t work. Yet there’s still something powerful about the intention of making a fresh start and recommitting to yourself that can’t be ignored.

The energy and spirit of resolutions can be married with sound lifestyle changes to make reaching your goals easier and sustainable for life. Let’s get your mind (and body) ready for a reset by understanding why diets fail and practical steps to making change last.

 

Diets FailWhy Diets Fail

Our Thought Patterns Are Powerful. Did you know that over 108M people in the US are currently on a diet, yet nearly 70% will fail at reaching or maintaining their goals? Why? It’s because willpower does not last. That all-powerful emotion has an expiration date and can’t be sustained. Once major stressors hit (job change, divorce, move, loss of a loved one, etc.), our primal brain kicks in to make us feel safe, taking us back to known pleasures in sugar, alcohol and refined carbs (and other things that fire up the pleasure center).

Over the years, we’ve carved some deep neural pathways to provide a temporary relief from uncomfortable. Without creating new thought patterns in response to stress, we will naturally fall back into an old pattern as our brain strives to make us feel grounded again.

It’s in Your Gut. The other reason diets fail us is because we have unresolved gut dysbiosis (overgrowth of bad bacteria) sending messages to our brain to go get its preferred food source: sugar, refined carbs, alcohol, dairy, and fruit. This can generate intense cravings for these foods, making it incredibly challenging to avoid. In fact, most “diets” allow for fruit and so most people end up removing “bad” foods, only to find they’re loading up on bananas. The bottom line is that you must first starve the bad bacteria to reduce these unmanageable cravings.

There’s so much power in knowledge so just understanding that your unconscious thought patterns drive 90% of your behavior (that can be changed!) and that you can reduce sugar cravings through a thoughtful detox can go a very long way in setting you up for a successful lifestyle change.

 

The Four Cornerstones of Fitness

There is something so very exciting and powerful about entering a new year. The hope, determination, motivation, and inspiration around us can have a significant influence on our desire to change. So, take advantage of it, but do it the right way by harnessing the four, necessary components to making a permanent lifestyle change including:

Good Nutrition1. Good Nutrition. Ready to clear up that gut, get off processed and packaged foods and start feeling great? Proper nutrition is key and it starts with a whole foods diet. That means reducing and removing (as often as possible) any food with a label on it, and instead, adopting a practice of preparing your own meals. This will ensure there are no additives and preservatives that could be messing with your hormones, robbing your body of needed nutrients, or causing you to be addicted to certain foods. Take a break from sugar, refined carbs, and alcohol, as well to starve the bad bacteria and get your body back on track.

2. Daily Movement. We were meant to move! Make daily movement a part of your everyday routine. Unlike previous dieting myths, you do not have to follow the old “no pain, no gain” mentality. You cannot out train a poor diet so no amount of pushing yourself in the gym will give you permission to binge. Instead, look to exercise as support for your brain health, releasing endorphins, relieving stress, and boosting cognitive function. And for heart health, you don’t have to put in an hour at the gym each day. Even a regular routine of brisk walking can have terrific cardiovascular benefits. If you’re short on time and want to take your workout to the next level, try a 7-minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout that you can do anywhere.

3. Positive Thinking. We are what we think. Take that in for a moment. We are, what we think. If you think you don’t have time to cook your own meals or get in exercise, guess what? You’re right. You must adopt healthy thought patterns to drive your behaviors. So, here’s what I want you to do… start catching your negative thoughts and immediately state it into a positive thought. For example, if you catch yourself saying, “Ugh, I hate exercising,” immediately restate it saying, “I absolutely love and look forward to daily movement.” You don’t have to believe it at first. BUT, I want you to attach an emotion to that new thought. Ask yourself how you would feel if you did believe it. Then repeat this practice and watch things start to shift like magic. Just try it for a week, catching yourself each time, restating it into a positive and attaching the good emotions to it. You’re creating a new neural pathway for your brain to follow and your desire and actions will follow!

Community4. Community Connection. Did you know that you’re three times more likely to reach your goals when you’re connected with a like-minded community? Harness this time of year, and find your tribe. Connect with people who you can gain and give motivation and inspiration to, as well as navigate challenges together. This is a powerful force to move you beyond the weight loss.

As you think about the New Year and your intentions for change, know this – you can reach the goals you desire. This is an incredibly powerful time to take the leap and harness the energy around you for change.

If you’re feeling unsure where to start or need an extra boost of support, you can join the next session of 30 Days to Thriving and get everything you need to start your journey of transformation off right.

 

Christa King, CEO & Founder of FitlandiaChrista King is the CEO & Founder of Fitlandia. You can learn more about Christa and 30 Days to Thriving via her website Fitlandia.

 

 

Please, share with us your ideas, revelations, and plans for your New Year’s Revolution!

Holiday Food Hacks

Cooking TogetherAs the holiday season gets fired up, so does baking, gifting and the sharing of delicious food. I’ve always been a fan of finding healthy swaps for baking and cooking, and have completely wowed my biggest food critics (aka my vegan sister and other carnivorous family members). There’s nothing quite like taking a classic recipe and making it even better and healthier by making a few quick easy ingredient swaps.

I think the biggest challenge when it comes to holidays are avoiding all of the sweets that seem to pop up everywhere. I’m a firm believer in moderation and therefore do not steer myself away from the array of holiday goodies that cross my path. However, when I go to make a baked good that will be shared, I turn to vegan treats. Most people are blown away by the simplicity of ingredients (and also effort) most of these recipes have. Below is a list of my favorite recipes for you to try out next time you try your hand at baking. There are also tons of fun vegan recipes on Pinterest.

• Quick and easy, One Bowl Chocolate Zucchini Bread 
• Check out these simple, Vegan Coconut Macaroons
• Pumpkin fans, here’s a recipe for Pumpkin Cookies

I will admit, I’ve had my fair share of vegan baking fails. Part of the fun of vegan baking is adapting ingredients depending on the type of recipe you are following. The biggest subs are for eggs, butter, oil and milk or cream. My favorite swap is unsweetened applesauce for oil (1:1 ratio). This works especially well in cakes and brownies. Eggs can be replaced by whipping up a flax egg, or chia seeds (learn how here).

Making your shopping listHere a few more ideas you can try out for a healthy alternative to everyday ingredients.

  • Sour Cream → Greek Yogurt
  • Pasta → Zucchini Noodles  
  • Milk Chocolate →  Dark Chocolate
  • Heavy Cream →  Coconut Milk
  • White Flour → Nut Flours (almond, chestnut…)
  • Cheese →  Nutritional Yeast
  • Milk → Almond, Hemp or Coconut Milks
  • White rice → Quinoa
  • Mayo →  Avocado
  • Sugar → Agave, Pure Maple Syrup, Vanilla Extract

Perks of Caffeine

Cup of Coffee

As I sit here in my favorite coffee shop, sipping a cup of hot holiday brew, I got inspired to write a quick article about my favorite beverage, coffee. There’s nothing quite like sitting on a quiet porch in the waking hours of the morning, sipping a cup of freshly brewed coffee. I love starting out my morning with this ritual, and studies show that just about 83% of all adult Americans do too. If you find yourself in that percentage, you may be wondering how a daily dose of caffeine affects your mind and body.

Here is a quick list of the benefits you may be getting from that cup of morning brew.

1. It can help you burn fat. Pretty much every over the counter “fat burner” supplement and pre-workout supplement contains caffeine and for a good reason. Due to its stimulant status, caffeine jumpstarts your metabolism and creates quicker oxidation of fatty acids (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).

2. It helps protect your liver. Studies found that a few cups of coffee daily can help reduce the risk of liver cancer by 40% (Science Direct).

3. Coffee contains loads of antioxidants and nutrients. Now we aren’t talking about white chocolate mochas here, strictly black coffee. Surprisingly, coffee has more antioxidants than any fruit or veggie in the American diet (Healthline).

4. Coffee improves memory. Much like its fat burning properties, caffeine helps improve mental acuity (National Center for Biotechnology Information).

5. It makes us happy. This is my favorite reason. Like most psychoactive brains stimulants, it boosts our mood. I couldn’t forget to mention that it’s delicious as well!

Quinoa for Lunch!

Quick, Easy and Healthy Quinoa Recipes

Cooking with Quinoa

By doing a quick search on the web, you can find millions of awesome ways to prepare your food for the busy week ahead, all the while saving money and staying healthy. I love being able to sleep in for an extra 20 minutes each morning knowing that lunch is already made and ready to go for the day. One of my all time favorite, nutrient packed lunch staples is quinoa. It is extremely versatile, you can cook it up in a huge batch, and it packs good amounts of fiber as well as protein. Try prepping a few of these recipes on Sunday to kick start your week!

Quinoa SalmonSalmon, Quinoa and Cucumber Bowls
For this meal, I typically make three days’ worth at a time. Its very simple, and only requires two cups cooked quinoa, 3 pieces of pan seared salmon, a cup sliced and halved cucumbers with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and splash of rice vinegar. I equally distribute the reviewed ingredients into 3 to go containers, and store in the fridge until I’m ready to run for the day.

Mexican QuinoaMexican Quinoa Salad
This meal is great along side slow cookers chicken, made by adding 2 chicken breasts and a 12oz jar of salsa into a slow cooker for 8 hours. Cooking chicken this way basically guarantees restaurant quality shreds without the added sodium. Combine your chicken (or any choice of protein) with three cups of cooked quinoa, a can of black beans (drained and rinsed), half a cup of corn, sautéed mushrooms, peppers, onions, or any veggies of your choice. Mix in 2-3 tablespoons of taco seasoning, and top with avocado when ready to eat

Quinoa SaladFeta and Quinoa Greek Style Salad
The combination of cucumber and feta always reminds me of summer with its fresh and appealing flavors. For this meal, combine three cups quinoa, a can of garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed), one cucumber sliced and halved, one tomato diced, half cup of feta cheese, and a quick dressing consisting of olive oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning and pepper to taste.

I hope you found inspiration within this post to switch up your daily lunch routine. As always, these are simply suggestions, and I hope that you can add your own flair to them as well! Lets us know what other ways you stay healthy during lunch hour!