Trust Your Gut – as seen on Women’s Health & Fitness

imagesLast night I dreamt that I was driving an out of control sports car at top speed and I could not slow down. Swerving into oncoming traffic I was somehow able to manoeuver the car out of harm’s way and eventually came to a screeching halt in a ditch. The door was completely jammed so my only exit was through the driver’s seat window that I was able to roll down.  As I crawled out of the window, my adrenalin was pumping like a heavy bass sound from an oversized speaker. Relief washed over me as I kissed the ground after such a wild ride. Is this what it feels like to stop counting calories?

In my dream I was the driver of the car. According to my not-so-scientific Google searches on dream analysis, if you are the driver of the car, regardless of the journey, it means you are making a conscious decision to move in a certain direction in your life and taking responsibility for your own actions.  Yes I felt out of control in the dream as I did when I stopped counting calories but in reality during my calorie counting of over a decade, I was never in control; I was the mercy of a sense that to be okay, I needed to deify an arbitrary number based on one or other historical moments and strive like hell to keep my nutrition within its parameters.  When I ate less than my calorie quota, I congratulated myself and when I exceeded it, I tormented myself by reveling in guilt.  You could show me any food and I could tell you the approximate calorie content – such is the deeply entrenched ritual and data instilled by repetition. I told myself it was fine because, hey, it’s not like I was starving myself. But in many ways I was; I was starved of the freedom to choose what I ate based on what I wanted to eat and what by body felt it needed; every food choice followed strict calorie criteria to ‘fit in’ my budget. The cruel part is that while sometimes I lost a little bit of weight, although not enough for anyone to notice, most of the time my weight remained stable despite my suffering. (That’s a no to impromptu parma night). Worse, I’m convinced that my most rigid arithmetic periods coincided with weight gain – perhaps because the calorie counting mentality engenders episodic overeating driven by both appetite neuropeptidies and the ‘last supper’ mindset that says ‘you’ve blown it, so you might as well’.

Calorie counting had its place in the beginning for me. I was eating doughnuts, bagels, cheesecake and super sized chocolate chip muffins washed down with sugary, milky extra-large lattes and my weight crept up. I didn’t realise how many calories, fat and sugar were in these foods and how they were negatively affecting my metabolism.  My mood, energy levels, and hunger signals were out of whack. All these foods had sugar in common. The effect of high-glycemic index foods, for which processed foods often qualify, is rapid release of glucose into the bloodstream and concomitant blood sugar drop, colloquially known as the ‘sugar crash.’  The corollary is cravings for more quick hits, perpetuating a vicious cycle. One type of sugar, fructose, has been found to bypass the satiety switch by sneaking past the fullness hormone leptin. Many obese people are leptin resistant, meaning they literally don’t have the built-in sense of when they have eaten enough (the word comes from the Greek word, leptos, which means to be thin).  For most of us, however such a glitch is likely caused by processed foods rather than flawed physiology, so in effect we are creating a self fulfilled prophecy that we can’t trust our bodies.  My preference for sugary foods led to weight gain and believing that my body was insatiable. When I learned the caloric and nutritional content of foods, I started making healthier choices and reducing processed foods. Calore counting was a useful training drill – not a long-term solution.

Eventually I got sick of counting because I was no longer enjoying my meals, as they turned from delicious nourishing sustenance to bland numbers. What’s the point of having taste buds and cooking delicious dishes if food only amounted to numbers? Being in control my calorie allowance was the grandest illusion of all because in the end I realised it was the calorie counting that controlled me. The energetic manifestation of not trusting my gut spread into other areas of my life where I ultimately felt out of control. Only when I made the conscious decision to stop counting did the windfall of all that head space I was using up to occupy my mind with arbitrary numbers help me to gain something greater in return.

One of my favourite quote is, “Insanity is doing the same thing again and again yet expecting different results.”  Could not counting calories have unlocked something that was dormant in me for so long?  I decided to continue my experiment of not counting to see where it led and the results were not as I had anticipated.  Changing the strategy completely changed my life – transforming it in other positive and unexpected ways.

I now find myself trying to persuade clients who have become convinced that they need to count calories to lose and maintain weight that this is not the case. Tellingly, even the most disciplined aren’t underweight and most are looking for answers – calorie counting is supposed to work. And it does. While it doesn’t promote sustainable weight loss or afford control over anything that matters, it is something consistent in an ever-changing world – and many people become dependent on that in the same way a chile drags a blanket around.  When I tell people that I don’t count calories and eat what I want, they look at me like I have two heads. Can you recall a time when you were a healthy weight and didn’t have to think about what you were eating and how many grams of fat, carbs or sugar it contained?

Science supports the case for swan-diving off the calorie wagon – both due to the physiological effects that occur when one eats fewer calories than their body needs and the psychological tumult of the starve-binge cycle.  In fact while I don’t want to promote intuitive eating as a weight loss method per se, abandoning my inner abacus caused me to lose weight because without the preoccupation – and I didn’t quite realise how much head space it consumed until I gave it up – I was able to focus on things that really mattered; and without food occupying a leading role, I was surprised to find myself stopping eating before I finished because despite what I believed while calling muffins a food group, I just knew when I’d had enough. What’s more, I did still say “yes” to office cake when I felt like it, which meant I wasn’t compelled to go on baked good benders.

If your goal is weight loss and you just want to free yourself from the limitations imposed by what is akin to a second job for the brainpower it demands, stop thing about weight and start thinking about healthy eating. Nourish your body, take care of it and truly love it, for it will love you back. As a result of not counting calories I healed my metabolism by eating foods my body needed and eventually got leaner, stronger, more energetic and my bloodshot eyes cleared up.  My mood improved and I started making conscious decisions about my life to move it a direction that I wanted.  In feeding my gut with as much fantastic and nourishing food as it so desired it thanked me and steered me in new and exciting directions no doubt my decisions were sharper without competing for brain space). I started trusting myself and I got outside of my head. In not counting calories I embraced being “uncomfortable” and achieved more than I ever thought possible.

I still have days where I over think what I have eaten and worry that I am overindulging. Old habits die-hard.  Ultimately what really matters is getting up and starting fresh every day.  New habits take time to form until they become ingrained, much like brushing your teeth.  Accomplishing this goal inspired me to motivate my health coaching clients even more with their personal goals.  Being in the present and enjoying my food was the first step in showing up for life in general.  There is no reason why you can’t do the same – although I know you won’t believe it until you do it.

Stephanie Siemion

Certified Health Coach

www.nutritiongal.com

Demystifying Diets

imgres.jpgWe all do it. The holidays happen and before you know it you’ve creeped up a few pounds or your favourite pair of jeans doesn’t quite fit the way they used to. Perhaps you have to lie down to button them up and before you know it you’re Googling “waist training” only to find out that it has nothing to do with strengthening your abs. You come across the low carb and 5-2 diets only to get caught in the cross-hairs of high carb, low protein lifestyle.  First you need to stop eating carbs and then you are told to stop eating meat. It seems like you cannot eat anything. We are surrounded by an abundance of food only to feel guilty and shamed for eating it. How did we get here?

I won’t bore you with a summary of all the various diets you can go on, as well as the pros and cons because I’m just not going to go there. Why?  Because the second you start a “diet” are you already stuck in a mindset where an unhealthy relationship with food is starting to develop. Eat carbs, eat meat, don’t eat meat. Do it because that is what you want to do but not to lose weight. The second you do it to lose weight it becomes about the weight and not about your health.

They say if you have health you have everything. Why compromise it to fit in a pair of jeans? The minute you go on a diet your “change” in lifestyle becomes something that is temporary to get the fastest results in the shortest amount of time. You have to keep on doing the diet to maintain those results. Otherwise the weight creeps back, and then some.

The lasting change you seek in order to accomplish your fitness and weight loss goals has to be something that you can continue to do for the rest of your life – not just 6 weeks. Can you stop eating your favourite foods for life? Why would you want to do that? Shouldn’t we be able to enjoy what we eat?  I think we should, especially since so many people cannot. We just need to eat healthier and learn to enjoy those foods too.

You don’t have to achieve your goals without structure. Working with a health coach will give you the tools you need to develop your own structure without the diet and maintain that for years to come. Think of us as your personal trainers for the pantry.  Everyone needs one from time to time. I had one too and she inspired me to carry on coaching myself. I have helped a lot of people achieve their fitness and weight loss goals and I can help you too. Schedule a free consultation with me HERE.

Happy New Year to you all.

Nutritiongal

 

Recipe : Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Fall is here for those of you residing in the Northern Hemisphere, which is a perfect time for a delicious and hearty soup. Even if you are in the Southern Hemisphere like me, pumpkin soup is always is season! Rich in vitamin C, beta carotene and tons of fiber, pumpkin is a “go to” food for those of us who love our vegetables or want to eat healthier. With delicious metabolism boosting spices, such as chili flakes, who could resist this dish?

IMG_1806

RECIPE – Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients
1/2 Acorn Squash or Pumpkin cut into square inch pieces
3 Garlic Cloves
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Onions Diced
700 Ml of Vegetable Stock
1/2 Tsp Chili Flakes (can use more if you like it extra spicy)
1/2 Tsp Tarragon
Salt and Pepper to taste
Directions
Bake the diced pumpkin and whole garlic cloves in 2 Tbsp olive oil until soft at 200 degrees celsius for approximately 40 minutes. Stir fry onions in 1 Tbsp of olive oil until golden. Add vegetable stock and chili flakes, baked pumpkin and garlic. Bring everything to a boil, then simmer for approximately 10-15 min. Blend with a stick blender or any any method of your choice.
Serves 4
Find out more about how you can improve your health and fitness HERE

Recipe: Breaded Eggplant

Nutritiongal Health Coaching

Eggplant is a versatile vegetable that is great to add to stir fries or as the main event of a meal. It can be a bit tricky at first to find the right way to prepare it and it takes a bit of trial and error. I found that this recipe suited my palate.

It’s important to get vegetables from all colors of the rainbow onto your plate so that you can get the maximum amount of flavonoids, which are antioxidant rich pigments.

Eggplants are rich in fiber, vitamin B1, copper and manganese.  They are a great vegetable for weight loss as they increase satiety due to their fiber and vitamin content. Although they play a central part of many vegetarian dishes their protein content is modest 1 g per 100 grams.  If your protein requirements are higher due to illness or increased physical activity it is recommended that you add some protein to this meal whether it is vegetarian or meat based.

Breaded Eggplant

Ingredients12032965_10153637996266369_2272964744339429661_n

1 whole eggplant

1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt

1/2 Cup Cornflour

1 Tbsp Paprika

1 Tsp Sea Salt

4 Tbsp Olive Oil

Directions

Dice eggplant lengthwise into medallions.  Spread the greek yogurt onto a plate and coat each side of the eggplant medallions with it.  Add the cornflour, paprika and sea salt into a ziploc bag and shake.  Add the coated eggplant medallions to the bag and shake until the sides are coated with the flour. Coat a large pan with 2 Tbsp of olive oil and lightly fry the eggplant medallions until they are golden brown on each side. Repeat with the rest of the olive oil until the entire eggplant has been cooked.  Serve with roasted vegetables and enjoy with fresh ground pepper.

3 Simple Steps to Complete a 1/2 Marathon

runningThe journey of 21.2K begins with the first step. Training isn’t hard. The hard part is deciding to do it. Once you’ve laced up your tennis shoes and stepped outside all you have to do is take the first step. Whether it’s the scorching heat, the brisk cold air, hail, rain or shine get out there and give it a try – even if you don’t feel like it.  You may surprise yourself and find that you enjoy it. Hate running outside? No problem! That’s what treadmills are for. No excuses if you want it, right?

Do you have a goal to finish a full or 1/2 marathon? You can do it! Find how to complete one with these 3 simple steps!

1.) Consistency, consistency, consistency is key. Get out there and do it! Any effort is one step towards achieving your fitness goals – even a 1K run. Don’t give up. Keep on training. You don’t have to train every day. A consistent effort of 1-3 times per week is a great start as you slowly build your mileage. Check out these free training plans! Here. I don’t live in the gym and neither should you – unless you want to. Most people don’t run a marathon without training. Nor do you get results instantly.  I slowly built up my mileage over a period of time. You can gradually chip away at any goal you choose with consistent effort. A sculpture is slowly crafted by the gradual chipping away of a stone. Every effort you make is a win because you are working towards your personal goal. Giving up isn’t an option if you truly want it. You will get there.

2.) Eat to compete. You don’t need to be a health nut. Nourish yourself with healthy, satisfying and delicious food. Some great runner’s power foods are hard-boiled eggs, whole grain bread, pasta, brown rice, quinoa, chicken breast, almonds, lentils, fruits and vegetables… I could go on. The list is long. Running a race isn’t license to binge eat and unfortunately fatty foods are not a runner’s friend.  I remember eating a double portion of fettucine alfredo the night before my first 1/2 marathon and being sick the next day.  Simple carbs are best as they are the body’s preferred source of fuel.  Check out my pre-race smoothie recipe Here. That being said there’s no harm in enjoying treats too!  Food should be enjoyed. My favorites on a very long list of guilty pleasures include chocolate, potato chips and the occasional glass of red. Find out more about the health benefits of wine Here! I also recommend eating jelly beans throughout the race to keep your glucose levels up.

3.) Stretch it out. In my opinion a running program isn’t complete without a stretching regime. Pair up yoga with running to ensure your muscles get a good stretch and toxins, such as lactic acid are released. Yoga, Pilates or any stretching regime of your choice is really helpful in preventing injuries and getting rid of muscle tightness. I like to do yoga at least once per week. If you don’t have time its easy to find a quick 10-15 min yoga session on YouTube. Make time for yourself.

Now that you are armed with some tips for completing your first race go out there and do it!  Frequently I wonder why I’m crazy enough to do a race, especially when I have to get out of bed in cold pitch darkness but there’s something enticing about crossing that finish line.  I feel like I can accomplish anything. What a great way to start the day! Our nomadic ancestors walked on average 40K per day! I think I can do a 20K every now and then and so can you! Go out there a rock it!

Sincerely Nutritiongal

AADP Certified Health Coach – Sign up for your free nutrition consultation Here

Top 5 foods for beautiful skin, hair and nails

Recently I noticed a friend of mine had extra radiant skin while she was visiting. She mentioned her consistent skin care regime and healthy eating. She is almost 30 and looks like she could be 25! It got me to thinking about how important it is to nourish your body from both the inside and out. You don’t have to get plastic surgery or a face lift to look radiant at any age. Why not try some foods that give your skin that natural glow without the plastic look. Enjoy my top 5 foods for fantastic skin, also great for hair and nails!

1. Carrots – High in Vitamin A and Beta Carotene, consuming them has sun protecting qualities because they increase the collagen, which is the elastic part of your skin that gets depleted with years of sun exposure and ageing. Please use sunscreen if you plan on spending more than 20 minutes outside. Unfortunately, carrots do not render your skin completely invincible to UV rays.

2. Leafy greens – Rich in Vitamin A, B, C and K, you can also add iron, fibre and calcium. As if there weren’t enough reasons to eat those dark, leafy gems, add gorgeousness to your list! Yes dark leafy greens are good for you for so many reasons! Look for the ones that are darkest for the highest vitamin content. Try different flavours and find your favourite. Mine is arugula or rocket as they call it in Australia. This bitter green is wonderful for cleansing your blood and lungs. You body converts the Beta Carotene found in greens into Vitamin A, which is responsible for turnover of dead skin cells, producing smoother looking skin. Try your salads with different toppings to balance the bitterness, such as dried cranberries, nuts, chopped celery, cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes etc. The options are endless!

3. Fish Oil – Omega 3′s found in fish oils are anti-inflammatory, preventing loss of moisture in the skin. Eat that salmon, mackerel and tuna and you will reap the benefits of beautiful, lustrous hair and suppler skin. Fatty fish do tend to contain higher levels of mercury. If consumed in moderation, 2-4 times per week it is perfectly fine to have and it’s great for your heart as well! If you don’t like the taste of fish try odourless fish oil tablets sold at your local chemist.

4. Oysters – High zinc content nourishes your hair. Did you know that hair can grow anywhere from 1/4- 1/2 inch per month and in some people; I swear it grows about 3 inches per week! All kidding aside, what are these people eating that I’m not? Maybe the secret is visiting the oyster bar from time to time. Oysters are also rich in selenium which is considered a basic building block for healthy skin, hair and nails. If you are feeling squeamish about eating the little critters refer to the other items on this list. You don’t have to eat something you find unappealing just to look hot.

5. Kombu – This edible sea vegetable from East Asia comes in all different varieties such as miso, soup stock and seasoning for rice that is used to make sushi. Kombu is rich in, iodine, which is essential for normal growth and development. It is touted for its hair growth stimulating properties. Remember that it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Kombu is meant to be eaten as a seasoning. Dousing it on every morsel will only lead to iodine overload, which could disrupt thyroid functioning.

At the end of the day, what really matters when it comes to beautiful looking hair, skin and nails is a healthy, well-balanced diet. Eating as many nutritious foods as you can that appeal to your taste buds will get you is where you want to go for health and beauty. Not only will you look better but you will feel better too.

Sincerely,

Nutritiongal – AADP Certified Health Coach
Schedule a free consultation for your personal nutrition plan at http://www.nutritiongal.com/

Cranberries, Cucumbers and More!

Here’s the scoop on some nutrition packed favorites and why you won’t want to leave home without them!

Let cranberries enhance your health!

Cranberries
These vitamin C packed berries don’t have to be pigeonholed as a side dish to a roast turkey dinner.  First discovered by the Native Americans, cranberries were used to fight infections and treat wounds.  Their high antioxident content helps fight cancer and prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s).  Cranberries contain a chemical called proanthocyanidins (PACS), which prevent bacteria, which cause UTI’s from adhering to the urinary tract.  Cranberries are not always easy to come by but you can find them in pill form at your nearest chemist.

http://www.cranberries.com.au/the-story/history.aspx

Cucumbers
Biologically they are classified as a fruit but regardless of what you call them cucumbers are your friend.  They are 96% water and contain silica, which helps hair, skin and nails stay radiant.  Cucumbers are great to apply topically to the skin or ingest internally to reduce water retention and swelling.  If you are suffering from a kidney infection, cucumbers help flush toxins out of your system due to their diuretic effect. They also contain an enzyme called erepsin, which assists with protein synthesis in the kidneys. They are delicious in salads or on their own.  Try my favorite tzatziki recipe to get some extra cucumbers into your diet.

http://www.organicfood.com.au/content_common/pg-cucumber-information.seo

Creamy, delicious tzatziki!


Tzatziki Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 (8 ounce) containers plain yogurt
  • 2 cucumbers – peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled

Directions

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, dill and garlic. Process until well-combined. Transfer to a separate dish, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour for best flavor.

http://www.suite101.com/content/why-to-eat-cucumbers-a268338

Serve and enjoy!


Schedule a free consultation for your personal nutrition plan at http://www.nutritiongal.com/

Sincerely,

Nutritiongal – AADP Certified Health Coach
Find your bliss. Find your balance

Missed a Nutritiongal newsletter?  Find them all on My Nutritiongal blog.

https://blog.nutritiongal.com/

Natural Ways to Increase your Calcium

Build a strong foundation to support your body through the years with calcium.

Did you know that Fosamax, a popular drug used to increase bone mass in individuals who have been diagnosed with low bone density, has been linked to increased cardiovascular health risks?  Several studies have claimed that taking Fosamax can lead to blood clots and irregular heartbeat.  A study of 719 individuals taking the drug demonstrated an 86% increased risk of irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) versus those who have never taken the drug.  Because osteoporosis can seriously decrease the quality of life and Fosamax has shown to be effective in increasing bone mass, doctor’s caution that risks need to be assessed before the drug can be prescribed.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7371644.stm

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just pop a pill for any ailment without negative side effects and never have to eat a vegetable again? I am waiting for the study that says that french fries help you loose weight!

Because we don’t live in a perfect world we need to come up with ways we can fight the odds of losing bone mass.  Your body stops building its calcium stores by the time you reach the ripe old age of 30.  The bank account has reached its limit but you must replace what you withdraw to reap the benefits of having strong bones or your account will have a negative balance.

Whether you are a Fosamax user or not everyone can benefit from Nutritiongal’s top 7 ways to increase your bone mass.

1.) Do weight bearing exercises at least 2-3 times per week.  You don’t have to start taking protein supplements and bench pressing 200 Lbs to increase bone mass. Simple resistance training such as doing push-ups, using a kettle ball or elastic band will help. You can Google resistance exercises or check in with your personal trainer to get a fitness plan designed especially for you.  It’s never too late to start and you will be amazed at how easy it can be!

2.) Decrease caffeine intake.  Did you know that caffeine depletes your body’s calcium stores? If you take vitamins be sure to take your calcium supplements after you have had your morning dose of caffeine.  Better yet, swap out your usual caffeinated beverages for decaffeinated beverages.  If you choose to drink decaf coffee be sure to look for Swiss Water Decaf, which is decaffeinated with water rather than cancer causing nitrates, found in standard decaf coffees.

3.) Increase your intake of leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale and asparagus are the most popular cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetable and leafy greens are loaded with calcium and decrease acidity in the stomach.

4.) Decrease your intake of animal products such as dairy and red meat. Contrary to popular belief, high consumption of animal products results in higher acidity in the stomach. Your body must deplete its calcium stores in order to balance this acidity.  The alkalizing nature of vegetables means that your body isn’t depleting its calcium stores to balance the acid in your stomach.

5.) Eat Almonds.  Almonds are not only delicious and versatile but they are loaded with calcium and essential fats to help regulate your body’s metabolism. Cook them in couscous, or add them to cereals and yogurts. Almond butter is a wonderful spread to add to sandwiches and desserts. Make your own creamy almond milk at home or buy some at the store to add to cereals and smoothies.

6.) Sardines are your friends! Did you know that canned sardines contain 688 mg of calcium per 80g serving? That’s more than twice as much calcium as a hunk of cheese?  Not only are sardines delicious but they are also rich in Omega 3’s which are essential for heart health.  They are great in Greek salads or on toasted bruchetta.  You can get creative with this canned gem.

7.) Try Figs! Remember those dried, purplish vegetables in the snack section of your nearest grocery store? Time to stock up if you enjoy the flavor.  Just four figs contain 500 mg of calcium!  They also contain potassium which is great for maintaining sodium balance in the body.  Whether you like them dried or fresh, figs are delicious in most cereals, yogurts or just by themselves.

Check out this complete list of calcium rich goodies to add to your diet!

http://www.iofbonehealth.org/patients-public/about-osteoporosis/prevention/nutrition/calcium-rich-foods.html
Schedule a free consultation for your personal nutrition plan at http://www.nutritiongal.com/

Sincerely,

Nutritiongal – AADP Certified Health Coach
Find your bliss. Find your balance
Missed a Nutritiongal newsletter?  Find them all on My Nutritiongal blog.

https://blog.nutritiongal.com/

Love your Bones – that little Sunshine Vitamin

Capture some sunshine when you can to bump up your vitamin D levels.

Recently after a trip to the doctor I was surprised to find out that I was, in fact, deficient in that little thing we call vitamin D. I was shocked! With all the great nutrition and thinking I was doing the right thing, how could I be missing such an important nutrient?  It turns out that I was in good company.  Vitamin D is becoming one of the most popular vitamins to be deficient in and I can promise you it won’t get you on the red carpet or any recognition. Essentially it is difficult to tell whether or not you are deficient. I have been told I am the picture of health but blood tests do not lie.  What is the big deal with this little vitamin and how can we get more of it?

http://www.naturalnews.com/003205.html

Deficiencies in vitamin D can result in rickets or malformation of bones in children and bone density loss in adults.  Additionally it has been known to be a cause of seasonal affective disorder or SAD, depression, PMS and fatigue.

Vitamin D levels can increase in two ways : vitamin D synthesis in the body is produced from exposure to sunshine and vitamin D can be supplemented from food sources.  It is a fat soluble vitamin that is best absorbed in your skin, the largest organ in the body, through sunlight.  Most physicians recommend 10-15 minutes of unprotected sun twice per day for light skinned individuals and 30-40 minutes for dark skinned individuals. As long as the hours of 12PM-3PM (generally) are avoided during peak summer months (check the times for your area).  That makes things difficult for those of us who work at desk jobs and break for lunch right smack in the middle of the heightened UV index from 12PM-3PM where risk of skin cancer is higher. What’s one to do to get that little vitamin infused in your system?  I recommend parking 15 min away from your office so you get your dose of sunshine before and after work. When you go out during lunch during Summer please use sun protection.  Not only does it keep you looking young, but you also get the added benefit of lowering your risk for skin cancer. You can also download a free app on your iPhone called “Sun Smart” which determines when the UV index is highest in your area.  When it’s highest, that’s the time to lather up with some sunscreen.

The second  best way to get your vitamin D is through supplementation or diet. One of the highest dietary forms of vitamin D can be found in foods such as eggs, liver, fatty fish and mushrooms. If liver, which has one of the highest amounts of dietary vitamin D,  isn’t something that finds its way to your plate often, vitamin D supplementation and consuming foods fortified with vitamin D are the best way to go.  You can get vitamin D tablets or take cod liver oil supplements. One of the great things about cod liver oil is that is also contains Omega 3 fatty acids so you can kill two birds with one stone 🙂

http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/bones

Sounds like a great deal, doesn’t it?

On a personal note once I got my vitamin D levels up I noticed improved mood, way less PMS and more energy.  Have you had your vitamin D levels checked lately?  It is well worth your while.  Not only do adequate levels of this vitamin result in all the above great benefits but it also lowers your risk for overall cancer.


Sincerely,

Nutritiongal – AADP Certified Health Coach
Find your bliss. Find your balance

Visit www.nutritiongal.com and fill out a health questionnaire for a free consultation today!

Nutritiongal’s Top 7 New Year’s Resolutions to Inspire You

Don't let another year pass you by, before striving to make your dreams come true.

We hear it every year, “What’s your New Year’s resolution?” We may even make them but when it comes to New Year’s resolutions why do we let them drop by the wayside? I am as guilty as the next person. Mine has been “to not make a resolution,” for the past 10 years. Why should we make them if we never keep them? What is the point and does anyone ever keep a New Year’s resolution that they make? The short answer is, “Yes”. It is never too late to make changes in your life if, in fact, change is what you intend for yourself in the new year. Every year we have a new opportunity to start fresh, to make a change and to accomplish goals that we have laid out for ourselves, but, perhaps, have not had the courage to make them a reality. It’s OK to admit this and it’s OK to start fresh even tomorrow. We don’t need to ring in the New Year to make resolutions. We could do them in the next minute. Why delay any further?

One of my favorite quotes is, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” by Albert Einstein. Where there are things in our lives that keep on repeating and the outcome is always the same but never what we have intended, it may be time to interrupt the pattern. Where can we change the patterns and shake things up a bit? In my personal experience, no matter what maps or GPS devices I have at my fingertips I ALWAYS end up walking in the wrong direction and end up late to whatever event or meeting I have scheduled. The other day when I exited the public transit system I arrived on a street disoriented. My instinct was to go left but, instead, I decided to go right because whenever I follow the route I think I should go it is always in the wrong direction. Surprisingly I found that using the method opposite to what I normally used (which always got me lost) took me in the right direction and I arrived at my destination in the nick of time.

This is a very basic example but we all have unfinished goals or things in our lives that we would like to have turn out differently but somehow we keep on going in circles. Where can we interrupt these patterns and try a new method? If Einstein hadn’t followed his advice where would we be in science today? Would he have developed the theory of relativity and gone on to be one of the greatest legends in science?

Are you looking for ideas for resolutions to ring in the New Year? Here are Nutritiongal’s top 7 New Year’s resolutions you may want to add to your list or perhaps to inspire you to come up with your own.

1.) Get a piggy bank and save your loose change every week. After about 6 months take a tally of how much you have collected and treat yourself to a massage or vacation.

2.) Speaking of vacations, is there a place that you have always wanted to visit but somehow it seems like a distant pipe dream? Go to your favorite online travel site and make a booking. You can save the booking without purchasing it. If you start to visualize yourself booking a trip there you may be closer to setting foot in your dream destination.

3.) Is there someone out there who you care about that may not know it? Write them a letter telling them how you feel about them. You don’t have to send it but if you can if you feel inspired. That person may be very surprised and touched by your sentiments. It always feels good to get things off your chest.

4.) Do you fear speaking or singing in public? It’s time to get some friends together and do karaoke. The worst fear that most people have with public speaking/singing is sounding terrible. With karaoke it is expected that people sound terrible and, in fact, it is more fun. When you give yourself a break you may be pleasantly surprised at how good you sound!

5.) Are you stuck in a career that you do not like and wish for a change but, somehow, keep on getting the same kinds of jobs? Start looking in a field that you are passionate about and apply, apply, apply. Don’t have any experience? It doesn’t matter. Persistence will get you everywhere. You may have to start at the bottom for a bit but recruiters are not only looking for resumes. Cover letters that explain your passion and that are written with enthusiasm set your resume apart from the rest. Bosses are looking to hire people who are there for the long haul. Nothing is more frustrating than having to hire someone new and train them all over again. Life is short. Think about where you want to be 5-10 years down the line and if it is the job that you are currently at then bravo! If it not then it may be time for a career change.

6.) Do something that you have never tried before that scares you. It doesn’t have to be something that risks your life but perhaps baby steps. Are you terrified of cutting your hair? Have you ever tried sushi? Did you ever want to learn a new language? I am sure you can come up with even better ones for yourself. Do it!

7.) Are you feeling bored and uninspired in your life? Donate or volunteer at your favorite charity. Personally I like World Vision because they have an online catalogue. You can buy a family a goat or education for a child. In a way, giving is almost selfish because it makes you feel so good about yourself! 🙂

Australia Site

http://trans.worldvision.com.au/Smiles/GiftCatalogue/Gifts.aspx

US site

http://donate.worldvision.org/OA_HTML/xxwv2ibeCCtpSctDspRte.jsp?section=10389

The Nutritiongal wishes you a very happy and healthy New Year! May you be filled with prosperity, joy and inspiration in the coming year!