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Are you tempted to eat unhealthy things while you are at work?  Whether you work at a desk, or in a job that has you on-the-go, when it comes to break time, there are often a number of options available for an affordable, fast snack.   We’re all guilty of shorting ourselves on a nutritious lunch and healthy snacks, when there are so many fast-food or vending machine options available.

If you are focused on improving your health and wellness, take a closer look at your snacks in between meals.  Even if you eat three healthy meals per day, it’s not hard to derail your progress with high calorie, fat and sodium options that taste great, and satisfy your hunger temporarily.   But did you know that nutrient deficiency can trigger hunger?

Low Nutrition Warning Signs
The human body will send messages to the brain and communicate hunger if it is dehydrated, or if the food you have eaten is not satisfying nutritional needs.   It is tricky because you can eat a large volume of food and still be convinced that you are hungry.   The next step is usually to provide your body with more food, which can include processed foods that are very low in nutritional value.   You’ve eaten, but your body will not register that it is satisfied, because the quality of food you have chosen is low.

Likewise, many people run their bodies on a state of perpetual dehydration. You think you are drinking enough water, if you count things like coffee or tea, or soft drinks and juices.  However, the amount of sodium in many flavored drinks offsets the body’s need for hydration, and do little to replenish the minimum levels of water needed for healthy functioning. 

How important is water to your health?  Consider that every cell, organ and virtually all metabolic functions within your body require water to process nutrients, discard waste and fight bacteria and viral infections.

Read: “Hydration and Healthy Living: How Much Water Do You Need Daily? When your body is running low on nutrients and proper hydration, you may notice one or more of the following signals:

  • Moodiness or irritability.
  • Low energy.
  • Irregular bowel movements.
  • Disproportionate hunger.
  • Problems focusing or with cognitive processing.
  • Low immune system functioning (you may get sick more often).

If an athlete or someone who is normally very cautious about nutrition and hydration goes even a single day with poor dietary habits, they feel it immediately.   Unfortunately for the rest of us, we may have developed a habit of poor nutrition and hydration for years, or even decades, which can hinder our ability to read the signs.   Those symptoms may have become what we determine to be our “normal”, without realizing that many of them may be addressed through nutritional changes.

How to Stop Unhealthy Snack Attacks
Part of the reason that we frequently choose unhealthy snacks is due to convenience.  Chips and candy, or packaged pastries, donuts or fast-food are all cheap and easy to acquire when we need a meal.  They require no meal preparation, but offer no value to our health.

How to Beat the Unhealthy Snack Attack
  • Prepare small snacks in portable containers at home. Vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, celery or cherry tomatoes make an antioxidant, fiber and nutritionally rich snack combination, and keep well for 1-3 days in the refrigerator after preparation.
  • Explore protein snack packs for grow-up’s. These healthy variations include cheese, dehydrated fruit (i.e., cranberries) and healthy snack nuts like almonds, walnut or pecans for a protein punch to fuel your afternoon.
  • Buy three BPA free re-usable water containers, and keep one at home, one at work and one in your bag for on-the-go. Fill and drink healthy no matter where you are, to combat excessive or unhealthy snacking.
  • Take a high-quality daily multivitamin to bridge the gap between your dietary nutrition and what you body actually needs for healthy functioning.

If you have some suggestions for healthy snacking, or a nutritionally balanced go-to snack that you love, share and leave us a comment or link below.

Fitness, Life Balance
Next time you are at a family restaurant you may observe something that is a little different.  Traditionally families that go out to dine together talk and share stories, but increasingly whether it is at home, at a restaurant or while shopping, children are figuratively glued to their mobile devices or to at-home game systems.  Things certainly have changed. Continue reading “How Parents Can Intercept the Xbox: Fitness & Offline Fun for Kids” »

Imagine a moment in your doctor’s office, where one diagnosis meant that many of your favorite foods were no longer on the list of things you could eat, without health consequences?  For people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, the diagnosis represents other intimidating, and sometimes frightening concerns that change their lives overnight. Continue reading “Type 2 Diabetes and the Original Gluathione Formula™: One Affiliate’s Story” »

There are plenty of health and nutrition articles that tell you which foods you should be eating more of.  Chances are that you already have a list of those foods in your head, which is a great start.  But incorporating more super foods into your diet on a weekly basis is an essential, positive healthy habit that all of us can achieve, with some tasty recipes and culinary inspiration. Continue reading “Three Superfoods You Aren’t Eating (But Should)” »

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) tobacco products kill approximately 5 million people annually, worldwide.  Tragically, 600,000 deaths annually are non-smokers who contract diseases or health implications from second hand smoke.   The latest data shows that tobacco kills up to half of its users; 50% of people who smoke will contract cancer, heart disease or die from other complications as a result of tobacco use, and the World Health Organization estimates that the are more than 1 billion chronic tobacco users in the world, as of 2016. Continue reading “Smoking and Vaping: Is One Healthier Than the Other?” »

Life Balance
We all sleep, but is it healthy sleep? You may be surprised to learn that according to research by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the National Sleep Foundation, unhealthy sleep behaviors of adults in the U.S. are now a public health concern. Approximately 35% of those surveyed reported insufficient sleep (less than 6 hours) and 62% said that they experience a sleep problem several nights a week. An estimated 40-70 million Americans suffer from sleep or wakefulness disorders.

Unhealthy sleep patterns increase the risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, obesity, and depression.  They have been linked to traffic accidents, occupational hazards and reduced productivity.  Factors contributing to poor sleep hygiene include 24-hour access to media and technology, unconventional work schedules, and medical issues such as chronic pain or obstructive sleep apnea.

Healthy sleep is vital to good health and emotional well-being:
  • You fall asleep easily.
  • You regularly sleep 7 to 9 hours in a 24 hour period (sometimes including a nap) without long periods of wakefulness.
  • Upon waking, you feel refreshed and alert.

During sleep, our brains are active and our bodies replenish themselves. There are five stages of sleep: stage 1 is light sleep; in stage 2 the brain waves are slower; stages 3 and 4 are deep sleep; and stage 5 is REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, when breathing and heart rate increase, blood pressure rises, and we dream.  This cycle takes 90 to 110 minutes and repeats three to five times a night for healthy sleep. Most adults experience occasional insomnia, due to stress or worry or excitement, but if you are frequently unable to fall asleep or stay asleep, or if you suspect that your sleep insufficiency is related to a medical issue (e.g., if you snore loudly or stop breathing regularly in your sleep,) your doctor may order a sleep study or other tests to determine a course of treatment. If you find yourself feeling stressed or anxious and you just can’t quiet your thinking, here are some  things you can do to promote relaxation and restful sleep.

Before bed:
At bedtime:
  • “The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise” may not put you to sleep in 60 seconds, but it really does promote relaxation and a calm feeling.
  • See: http://www.medicaldaily.com/life-hack-sleep-4-7-8-breathing-exercise-will-supposedly-put-you-sleep-just-60-332122

What are your favorite tips for improving the quality of your sleep?  Leave us a comment or share a link to some online resources, and help everyone train healthy sleeping habits for improved wellness.

Antioxidants, Probiotics, Recipes and Nutrition
Summer is here and we’re busy making plans for barbecues, picnics and outdoor fun.  As the days get longer and warmer, our activity levels often increase and our dietary needs change.  Some of the important things to remember are to maintain a balanced diet, to avoid dehydration, and to try to choose proteins and carbohydrates that require less energy to metabolize. Oh yes, and remember to use sunscreen!  Did you know that recent studies suggest augmenting sunscreens with antioxidants to boost immunity to sun damage?

Summertime offers us a wealth of choices for fresh produce, and buying foods in season provides optimal flavor and lower prices.  Visit farmers markets and roadside stands or even your local supermarket for healthy fruits and vegetables that are perfect for summertime meals and snacks.  Some of the best at this time of year are summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, apples, pears, plums, grapes, strawberries and melons.

Have you ever tried frozen grapes on a hot summer day?  They’re sweet and refreshing, and so good for you! Here are some more summer treats that offer health benefits along with great taste.
  1. Sweet summer corn contains the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help to protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays.
  2. Watermelon is about 90% water and helps to keep you hydrated while satisfying hunger with minimal calories.
  3. Tangy and refreshing, raspberries are a great source of dietary fiber and they contain pectin, which helps lower cholesterol.
  4. Tropical fruits contain vitamins, antioxidants and enzymes. Pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme that helps to digest proteins. Oranges are a good source of potassium, which can lower the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.
  5. Cauliflower is the new superstar in healthy foods. You’ll find it in everything from cauliflower fried “rice” to cauliflower pizza dough, and pureed, it’s a wonderful substitute for mashed potatoes.
  6. Iced coffee. Yes, really. While caffeinated beverages act as diuretics and in quantity can lead to dehydration, a single cup of coffee each day may reduce the risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer by about 10%. And a frosty glass of iced coffee on a hot day is heavenly.
  7. When grilling burgers, try using lean ground meat and whole wheat buns; add unexpected toppings such as guacamole, pineapple slices and feta cheese. These substitutions can reduce fats which require more energy to digest and lead to increased body temperature.
  8. Instead of meats, there are other wonderful sources for proteins such as nuts, seeds, sprouts, beans, soy products, yogurt and cottage cheese.
  9. Adult beverages seem to go hand in hand with summer parties, but alcohol is a powerful diuretic. Alternating drinks with water or fruit juice can prevent dehydration.
On the subject of picnics and barbeques, it’s important to remember hot weather safety tips. Food spoils more quickly in the warm temperatures, especially on sun-filled patio buffets. Make sure grills and prep surfaces are cleaned often and foods are not left out in the sun.

Here’s to summer fun and great seasonal foods. Bon appetit!

Affiliates, Recipes and Nutrition, Thrive! Newsletter
In our May, 2016 edition of ‘Living Well’, we share tips to help you keep your health and wellness resolutions. Get some of our favorite health and wellness inspirational Instagram channels, and find daily inspiration to help you stay on track to achieve your personal goals. We also share a delicious ‘healthy swap’ Asian inspired recipe to try, and our special upcoming free training webinar on social media marketing tools for Affiliates. Please double click the newsletter to view in full screen size.