Eating veggies provides health benefits…people who eat more veggies and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Vegetables provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.
One of the main health benefits of veggies is their high nutrient content. Vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals that contribute to growth and the maintenance of good health. Various vitamins such as C and A help keep eyes, skin, teeth and gums healthy, fight infection and promote wound healing. Perhaps the most important are veggies are rich in a particular group of nutrients called antioxidants, which fight cellular damage and help prevent heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, heart attacks, and Alzheimer’s. Veggies are also generally low in fat and calories, you can eat a lot of them without gaining weight. When choosing veggies, keep in mind that in general, brightly colored veggies are higher in nutrients than less vivid colors. For example, spinach contains more vitamins than lettuce.
Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. It is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. More than 35% of people are sleep deprived. This means 1 in 3 people aren’t getting enough on a regular basis. Isn’t it funny how we dreaded bedtime as children and look forward to it as adults? If you are working, going to school, maybe both, or just have a hectic routine I am sure you can relate. We have (wonderful) things like coffee, energy drinks and tea to help us energize us on days we need a little boost but becoming dependent on these things long-term can not be ideal, especially if you are big into fitness. If you aren’t active you may not need as much sleep as the next person. When you lead an active lifestyle, your body needs rest. When you are well rested, you perform at your best capacity. We all know that feeling mid workout when you want to give up because you are so tired. And I think everyone has had that time where they have chosen sleep over a workout. The goal is to schedule your day to get in 7 to 8 hours of sleep along with time for physical activity, to balance the effects of both. If you are completing intense workouts, you may need even more than that 8 hour span in order to recover your muscles in preparation for the next workout.
Well this subject is from own personal experience this week. I will admit I am bad about getting in all my H20 in a days time. Recently I completed a marathon and although I finished I lacked drinking enough water and as a result it landed me in the doctors office. I started a conversation with the doctor and told her I drank a lot of tea , and had a few black coffees throughout the week. She informed me that was a diuretic and although it was unsweetened and the coffee was black I had better choices I could make. Too much tea is not good. It can cause dehydration if “abused”. She got my attention and as a result I am trying my best to “wean” myself off both. I have been an avid tea drinker for years. I have been pop free for 5 years now and don’t miss it….but did go through headache withdrawals as I am experiencing currently this week. I strongly advice thinking twice about the amount of liquid intake you take daily. You have a choice. Don’t become dehydrated that can also lead to other things and land yourself in the doctors office like I did this week. I am not going to admit to being a pro at this whole health thing as I am learning things daily myself but if I can put one road block up from my mistake and make someone think twice about what they are drinking every day then it will have served it’s purpose. Educate yourself about what you are putting into your body, that could go for food as well but I really wanted to speak of the importance of drinking water opposed to other things I had been doing. It’s not too late, we all have choices, and we are in control of those choices. Cheers to water with a little lemon in it or take fruit and freeze it in ice cube form to add to that water. Choices….we are challenged to make them daily.
How do we take care of ourselves? We try to eat healthy. We try to exercise daily. We try and not stress, think positive, the list goes on and on. Let’s take a deeper look in ways we can help our bodies recover or destress. #1 on my list is Epsom Salt bath. Wal-Mart sells Dr. Teals Epsom salt for around $5.00. They combine Epsom salt and menthol, both known to comfort and relieve overworked muscles, allowing for better performance. It is advised to try and soak for 20 minutes to help speed recovery time. This salt not only soothes the body but provides the ideal opportunity to relax (something a lot of us struggle with) in a warm bath, quiet the mind and destress. Studies show that meditation improves mental health, attitude, and performance. Looking on the internet I have found many different kinds of salts and many different uses for them including sunburn relief, relieves dry lips, bee stings, and splinter remedy. Destress……for such a small word it’s a big deal. Stress is one of the most damaging things we deal with regularly. The irony is that stress itself is not a bad thing. In fact, stress is an important natural response to danger and to challenge, which increases our athletic performance, our focus, and our likelihood of winning any confrontation. The problem is when stress becomes chronic. The body spends too long in this state. The immune system, digestion, and even our creativity are all suppressed when we are stressed and this leaves us vulnerable to illness and depression. It can also cause elevated heart rates and increased blood pressure. Something I am all too familiar with having to be on blood pressure medicine since age 35. There are many other things that work against us where stress is concerned. So how can we try to help ourselves? Meditate….practice concentrating your attention on your breathing, or on clearing your mind. Enroll in exercise classes. I happen to know an amazing fitness instructor I would love to introduce you to. Take up painting, read, like green tea? It’s not for me but maybe you would like it. Go for a walk, listen to relaxing music, look at the color green…..yes it has been known to relax and comfort the mind, hang out with friends, watch a comedy, spend time with a pet, get a massage, or take up yoga in the park with friends. Destressing and recovery time is just as important as challenging yourself in life with whatever it may be so take time out for you because you are so worth it.
For those of us that are doing the 80 day obsession program we are almost to the 1/2 way mark. The women in all these groups are simply amazing and how we encourage each other. Daily all of them come to the table and report how their workouts went. No one sugar coats anything…we share struggles and triumphs. We learn together. We succeed together. We build each other up instead of tear each other down. Don’t wait to reach your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take toward reaching your goal! Don’t be ashamed to tell your story. It will inspire others. Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody. The speed at which you go does not matter what matters is that you go. At any given moment you have the power to say “this is not how the story is going to end”. Remember to push yourself…life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help and brave enough to ask for it. If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent you will keep it!
I was looking up some healthy recipes for this coming week and ran across some goodies. They look delicious and thought I would try them. Wanted to share them with you.
Baked Chicken Tacos
3 chicken breasts (diced), 1 tsp olive oil, 1 can diced tomatoes or 1 jar of salsa, 1 packet of low sodium taco seasoning, 1 box of taco shells, mexican shredded cheese, top with Spinach or lettuce.
Preheat oven to 375. 2. Heat in med. saucepan 1 tsp. olive oil, add your diced chicken, cook for 10-12 minutes, add salsa or tomatoes, taco seasoning simmer for 10 minutes. Spray a glass baking dish then fill the shells with mixture. Bake at 375 for 10 to 15 minutes. Top with lettuce or spinach.