Top Tips for Your Diabetes-Friendly Holidays

Diabetes-Friendly Holidays Tips

Have you been diagnosed with diabetes? Then you might find it really difficult to eat right during the holidays. Well, we’re here to help. Check out some tips below to enjoy diabetes-friendly holiday meals without having to worry.

If You Need to Take Meals with You, Do It 

There is absolutely no shame in making your own meal and taking it with you to a holiday gathering if you are at all concerned that there won’t be anything healthy enough for you to eat. Let your party host know that you are going to be bringing some food with you, and that the rest of the guests can certainly enjoy the meal as well. This can apply to dessert too, so if you know that there is a sweet treat that you can prepare to enjoy guilt-free at a holiday get-together, go ahead and make it and pack it to take it with you.

Enjoy Every Course, but Watch Your Portions 

You can enjoy every course of your dinner, from the appetizer to the dessert, but just be sure that you keep your portions in check. You don’t want to overdo it by eating too large a portion, and too many calories and sugar. In fact, according to Farm and Dairy, you can certainly enjoy dessert, provided that you don’t have a lot of it. You might even consider sharing the dessert with a family member, friend, or significant other so you can indulge in the flavors without having to worry about your blood sugar level.

Watch Out for the Carbs 

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you prepare for a holiday gathering, particularly when it comes to the consumption of carbohydrates, which are everywhere you turn during this time of year:

  • Think about how many carbohydrates you typically consume in a day in order to manage your diabetes successfully. Then, keep that number in mind as you feast at the holiday.
  • Avoid skipping your usual snacks and meals before a holiday gathering. This is not a good idea because, once you start eating at the party, your blood sugar can become even harder to keep in check.

Final Tip: It Might Be Hard, but Staying Active Is Necessary 

Stress can really take its toll on your health and weight, and the holiday season is known for being a major contributor to stress. Because stress causes the release of hormones that can affect your glucose level, it is really important to keep your stress level in check. The good news is that exercise can help you reduce your stress level. So, by staying on course with your physical activity, you can also take steps towards managing stress. Doesn’t get much easier than that!

Simple but Fancy Looking Guilt-Free Snacks

Simple Guilt-Free Snacks

Few things are more frustrating than being on a diet and getting a craving for something really tasty. Fortunately, it’s possible to get your fix and still get slim – or stay that way if you’ve already reached your goal.

The trick is to make wise choices instead of simply grabbing the old favorite chips or family sized chocolate bars. Regardless of whether your craving is for something creamy, sweet, or chocolaty, there is a snack that will give you just what you need to feel satisfied without hurting your weight loss efforts.

To help you get started when it comes to generating smarter snack ideas, we’ve compiled a list of some simple, yet fancy looking, guilt-free snacks that you can enjoy. Add these to your plan, whether you are trying to eat better for your waistline or for your health.

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Healthy Fats Eliminated in Non-Fat Diet

Understanding Healthy Fats

Unhealthy and myth-based diets of the past have given fat a bad name that has had a negative lasting impact on the weight loss. Fat should not be considered a deep, dark enemy. It is not a dieting “F-word”! In fact, you need a good amount of the right types of fat in order to make sure that you can effectively lose weight, maintain a healthy immune system, improve your mood, and look great (with healthy hair, skin, and nails).

The Problem with Diets That Eliminate All Fat, including Healthy Fats

So here’s the scoop: there is a destructive dieting myth that is misleading all too many dieters, suggesting that if you want to lose fat, you shouldn’t eat fat. As it turns out, though, if you try to achieve a non-fat diet and always pick fat-free alternatives, you could be working against your own efforts. Fat, as it turns out, can actually be an important friend when you are trying to lose or maintain weight.

Your body requires healthy fats to achieve its best function levels:

  • They are vital for the absorption of vitamin A (an antioxidant), vitamin D, vitamin E, and other nutrients.
  • They are also a critical part of the health of your nervous system, including your brain, spinal cord, and nerves.

An Explanation of Healthy Fats vs. Unhealthy Fats

What fats are considered unhealthy?

First off, saturated fats are the type that you should work to avoid from now on. They come with the increased risk of heart disease and obesity, and make it very difficult to lose weight, while also increasing your bad cholesterol levels.

These unhealthy fats can be found in:

  • Meat and poultry
  • Dairy products like cream and butter, as a couple of examples
  • Palm and coconut oils

What about trans fats? According to the American Heart Association, these should be avoided as best as possible because they can reduce your good cholesterol level, while increasing your bad cholesterol level. Plus, they can contribute to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Yikes!

What are some of the foods that contain trans fat? Well, there are trans fats that are naturally occurring, and you would get these from animal products like meat and dairy. In addition to that, however, there are artificial trans fats, which are also known as trans fatty acids. These are made through a process that takes vegetable oil and adds hydrogen to it. This process makes the oil more solid, and it creates what’s known as “partially hydrogenated oil.” If you come across a food that lists this ingredient on the label, do not buy it!

The bottom line is simple: avoid unhealthy saturated fat and trans fat, and pack your diet with foods that are high in beneficial fats, such as the following:

Monounsaturated Fats

The key is to choose the right, healthy fats. Focus on eating monounsaturated fats. They will not only help with weight loss and overall health, but studies have also shown that they have considerable benefits in lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke. They are also known to help to lower bad cholesterol levels while increasing good cholesterol levels, lowering your risk of built up plaque in your arteries. And, they can help with the maintenance of the health of your cells. Plus, research even suggests that good fats help to prevent fat from being stored in your belly area!

Some of the foods that are high in monounsaturated fats include:

  • Sesame oil
  • Nuts
  • Sunflower oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Peanut oil

Polyunsaturated Fats

In addition to monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat is also considered one of the healthy fats that you should aim to get from your daily diet in order to maintain wellness. That’s because this type of fat can help reduce your bad cholesterol. Also, because polyunsaturated fats include omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, your cells, heart, and brain can use this type of fat to maintain proper function.

Some of the foods that are high in polyunsaturated fats include:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Soybean oil
  • Flax oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Corn oil

The Right Amount of Healthy Fat, and Where to Get It

You should also pay attention to the amount of fat you’re eating. After all, while there is a great deal of benefit to healthy fats, they still contain a large number of calories. Therefore, try to make up about 25 to 30 percent of your daily caloric intake with fats.

So where do you find these elusive healthy fats? In very flavorful foods that are affordable and easy to find. They include:

  • Olive oil and olives
  • Almonds
  • Canola oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Avocados
  • Sesame seeds

You’ll also find walnuts, flaxseeds, mackerel, salmon, and herring to be high in the types of fats your body loves. Those foods also contain omega-3s, which come with another whole range of health benefits.

It’s All About Balance!

When it comes to consuming a healthy diet, it is all about balance. Focus on getting all of the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) that your body needs to thrive. And, when it comes to fat, in particular, don’t be so afraid of it anymore. Instead, just use your new knowledge about healthy fats versus unhealthy fats to make wiser choices when it comes to what you eat on a daily basis.

Escape to a Paradise of Orchids on Your Next Luxury Mexico Vacation

Luxury Mexico Vacation Jungle Garden

If you’re headed to the Riviera Nayarit on your next luxury Mexico vacation, don’t miss out on the Lo de Perla Jungle Garden.  It’s known as an “orchid paradise”, but it is much more than that.  It is tucked away in Sierra de Vallejo and is one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever see in your life.

Lo de Perla isn’t difficult to find.  It’s only five minutes away from the town of San Pancho if you’re driving on federal highway 200.  At its core, it’s a botanical garden, but it’s an experience unlike any other gardens you’ve visited.  Orchids are found throughout its massive 32 acres and are naturally watered by the ocean’s mist, which is carried over to them by the wind.

See More Than Flowers on Your Luxury Mexico Vacation

If you want to get the most out of this part of your luxury Mexico vacation, it’s a good idea to take the tour offered there.  Don’t be daunted by the fact that it is three hours long.  It is extremely interesting, and the time will pass much more quickly than you’d expect.

While it’s a good idea to wear shoes that are comfortable for walking, don’t worry if you’re someone who needs to rest on occasion.  The pathways are simple to walk on and offer regular spots along the way where you can rest.  You’ll also enjoy a cabin, a wooden bridge, and a very unique spot built as an altar with monoliths raised to honor the people behind the garden’s founding.

Experience the Jungle Comfortably and Safely

Just because you’re on a luxury Mexico vacation, it doesn’t mean you need to feel like you’re roughing it if you want to experience the jungle.  This location certainly provides you with the feeling of being a jungle, only in a safe place and one that is comfortable to navigate.

The trees provide a kind of labyrinth that will give you a feeling of being lost without ever stepping away from the safety of a clear path that will bring you to where you want to be.  These trees include vine-covered palms, among others.  They reach up to 130 tall in some areas, where their canopy forms thick natural domes even the sun struggles to peek through.

Your guide will help you to spot gorgeous varieties of flowers and orchids as well as breadnut trees, fig trees and other fruit trees, coconut palms, and papelillos, otherwise known as paper bark trees.  These provide homes to macaws, parrots, carpenter birds, magpies, pigeons and chachalacas.  Among them, you’ll also find roses, mushrooms, cacti, bromeliads, and of course, orchids.

What Difference Does an After Dinner Walk Make To Your Weight Loss Outcomes?

After Dinner Walk for Weight Loss Outcomes

Will walking after dinner actually improve your weight loss outcomes? The simple answer is, yes, it can! Continue reading to learn more.

Burn Off Calories After the Last Meal of the Day 

To lose weight, you need to burn more calories, and one of the ways that you can go about doing that is by incorporating a daily walk into your routine. Walking after dinner can help boost weight loss outcomes because you are adding that extra physical activity into your day. While a short walk after dinner won’t necessarily replace a rigorous exercise routine that really gets your heart rate up and your muscles burning, it can be a nice way to burn off some calories that would otherwise be stored in your body if you were sedentary after dinner.

Note: If you are worried about cramping up by going for a walk so soon after having your dinner, just keep in mind that all of that cramping is more likely to happen when you are doing strenuous exercise. Therefore, simply taking it easy and going for a little stroll can be just enough to keep the cramps away, while ensuring you burn calories.

How to Improve Your Weight Loss Outcomes with an After-Dinner Walk 

According to Times of India, you don’t need to go for a long walk to get results. An easy 15-minute walk can be a great place to start. Doing so might even help support your digestion after dinner, which is also a great thing.

The key is consistency, so if you are the type of person who will likely give up if it’s too much for you, start with just walking for 10 minutes at a slow pace each evening after having dinner. Slowly and gradually, you can increase the amount of time that you spend walking, if you wish. You might, for example, end up walking 30 minutes per evening. The longer you walk, and the more steps you put in, the more calories you can burn.

Get Started Today! 

To see if walking can boost your weight loss outcomes, get started today! Head outside for a short walk after dinner. You’ll get some fresh air, get some extra steps in for the day, and burn more calories to slim down.

Eat Healthier with These 2020 Food Trends

Healthy 2020 Food Trends

With the year well underway, you may be interested in keeping up with a resolution to eat more healthfully or you may simply be wondering what 2020 food trends have to offer. Either way, with an obesity epidemic plaguing such a large percentage of the population, the way people eat is starting to look less toward adding bacon to everything and more toward a heart- and weight-friendly style of dining.

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5 Nutrient Rich Vegetables

5 Nutrient Rich Vegetables

The vast majority of people know that the healthiest foods can be found and consumed unaltered in Mother Nature’s garden. Fruits and vegetables are, by far, the most nutrient rich foods that have been known to rid our bodies of toxins, repair our cells, and essentially strengthen our immune system. Continue reading “5 Nutrient Rich Vegetables”

3 Herbs That Will Make Any Meal Healthier

Healthy Herbs to Add to Meals

When you want to add more than flavor to the meals you love the most, try the following three healthy herbs that are filled with antioxidants that help to fight disease, as well as vitamins and minerals that enhance overall wellbeing.

What Are the Benefits of Using Healthy Herbs When Cooking? 

There are many great reasons why you should be adding some tasty, healthy herbs to your recipes. Plus, with so many delicious recipes out there that you can try, even if you haven’t ever used herbs in your cooking before, you don’t even have to worry at all about where to begin.

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How Can a Nutrition Journal Clean Up Your Eating Habits?

Nutrition Journal Eating Benefits

Are you searching for an easy, yet surprisingly effective, way to boost your weight loss efforts and clean up your eating habits at the same time? Then it is time to start keeping a nutrition journal.

Keep reading to learn about what the latest research into food diaries has to say, and how you can start keeping your very own nutrition journal to start seeing great results.

The Benefits of Keeping a Nutrition Journal Have Been Proven

According to Ladders, researchers have discovered that there are many benefits that you can derive from keeping a food journal.

Basically, experts looked at the effects of keeping food journals, compared to not keeping one, and they found that individuals in a study who wrote down what they ate every day were able to lose more weight than those who didn’t track what they were eating.

Why Keeping a Nutrition Journal Is So Effective

By now, you might be wondering why a nutritional journal is so effective in helping people shed excess weight.

First off, if you are keeping a closer eye on what you are eating throughout the day, you might realize that you need to clean up your eating habits. You might realize that you are consuming more calories than you previously assumed, and you might also recognize areas where you need to improve what you are eating, particularly if you are hoping to follow a specific eating plan, such as the Mediterranean Diet or a plant-based diet, as a couple of examples.

Think you might be emotionally eating? A food journal can even help you make connections where you didn’t see them before. Are you eating certain foods when you feel:

  • Depressed?
  • Anxious?
  • Stressed?

You might be surprised by how your emotions dictate the snacks that you reach for when you want to feel better.

You Don’t Need to Spend a Lot of Time Journaling!

If you haven’t yet kept a food journal because you think that it would be too time-consuming, it turns out that, according to experts, you only need to set aside around 15 minutes every day to keep track of what you are eating. That alone might help you improve your eating habits and your ability to lose more weight. And, if you’re using an app and logging your food throughout the day, checking in several times from breakfast all the way to dessert, you can make the process even easier and more effective.