Herbs That May Help Knock Out Pain

Pain is the leading reason that people end up turning to natural remedies. This may be
out of a need to find something they may already have in their home. It may be a
financial need because the prescription medicine is too costly or the combined doctor
visit and prescription is too costly. It may also be due to the avoidance of putting
chemicals into the body and wanting a simple natural tried and true solution to their
pain. Regardless of the reason, the key aspect of pain and natural medicine is to find an
herb that is readily available or easy to grow and has high potency equal to that of over
the counter pain medications. Here are four of herbal options that fit all of those criteria.

White Willow Bark

White willow bark is an easy to find herbal supplement both online and in local stores.
This herb is usually found in a ground up brown colored powder. It can be found in
most health food stores in the form of a capsule or as a powder that can be used in
teas, tinctures, and vegan capsules. You can also add it to foods and drinks. White
willow bark is actually the base for what lead to some of the most popular and widely
used pain medications on the market today. When you buy this herb to help your pain,
you need to consider the potency of the herb. For example, a powdered commercially
processed herb may not have the potency of a tincture of the same herb. If you want the
most potency for your pain, go with a tincture that can be absorbed quickly. You also
want one that is not mixed with other herbs as this may reduce the potency of the white
willow bark, which is actually for the pain and not a filler.

Valerian Root

When people hear the term valerian root, they generally think of sleep. The truth is,
valerian root can be used for a variety of pain including body aches and headaches that
are caused by stress and inflammation. Valerian root should be taken on its own in the
form of a tea or tincture when it is being used as a form of pain management or pain
reducer. If you are using it at night for pain that occurs overnight or for overnight
inflammation, then you will need to use a capsule form. The capsule is not just to help
deliver the root easily to the body. It also helps to form a time release of sorts to
increase the potency of the root over a longer period of time.

Capsaicin

Heat is often used as an application for topical pain. For example, if you have sore
muscles or bruising that is causing pain then heat packs and applying heat may help.
This helps to reduce the pain in the area and helps the muscles in the surrounding area
to relax. One way to get natural heat to the area for a longer period of time than heat
packs can provide is to use capsaicin. This is the very thing that gives peppers their
heat. Keep in mind, if you are using capsaicin for heat, you will need to use a carrier for
it. Even in over the counter versions of this herbal treatment, the capsaicin is mixed with
different carriers to reduce the heat and chance of burning the skin. One popular
method of using capsaicin is to mix it into a salve and apply it to the infected area,
allowing the heat to work until it has worn off.

Clove

You can’t mention pain and herbal pain management without touching on face and
mouth pain. One of the easiest to find sources of oral pain relief is clove. You can either
use whole cloves that have been ground up in an herb or coffee grinder and then
applied to the infected area, cloves that have been placed in a tincture, or clove oil. The
clove is applied directly to the infected area and will numb the area for several minutes
to several hours depending on the potency of the clove. Keep in mind, clove can burn
so you will need a carrier oil of some kind. Coconut oil and olive oil are the most
common carrier methods.

These are just a few of the most common herbs for pain. You can find most in whole
forms or dried forms at herbal shops in your local area. If you find these methods work
for you, you can buy them in larger amounts and store them or create your own
tinctures for later use.

 

Disclaimer:

This website does not provide medical advice.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention.

©2016 WendyWeighsin

All rights Reserved

 

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Flour Swap!

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Heart Healthy

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5 Tips To Improve Mobility With Arthritis

For many people, espeically the elderly, arthritis is a debilitating illness. Arthritis causes increased inflammation around the joint that can lead to immobility and pain.
While there are conventional medical treatments that are available for people with arthritis, many wonder what can be done along with medication to help improve mobility with their arthritis. In fact, there are many natural methods to help manage pain and improve mobility.
This article will show you five different alternative therapies and treatments that can help you manage your daily arthritis symptoms and mobility issues.
Hydrotherapy
Web M.D. recommends hydrotherapy as a form of exercise for those with arthritis. Hydrotherapy is similar to exercise and a pool, however, the pool tends to be warmer than a traditional swimming pool. With hydrotherapy, participants can get all of the benefits of regular exercise without any of the impact on joints.
This may be especially beneficial to those with arthritis because the joints are particularly affected. Having an option for exercise that has zero impact on the joints can increase mobility as well as range of motion. Many times hydrotherapy is considered a form of physical therapy and may be covered by insurance.
Range of Motion Exercise
Many sufferers of arthritis keep the affected joints in a tightened position to alleviate pain. Unfortunately, this has the unintended side effect of increasing pain because it shortens ligaments and muscles around the affected joint. This means that instead of decreasing pain over the long-term keeping the joints in a tightened position will increase pain.
The Cleveland Clinic recommends all arthritis sufferers participate in range of motion exercises. The range of motion exercises typically includes stretching and extending the joints to their full ability. Some range of motion programs may include yoga or tai chi.
Lose Weight
Because arthritis causes pain and immobility many sufferers of arthritis have excess weight. The excess weight increases pressure and damage on the joints. The increased pressure and damage on the joints increases pain which causes decreased mobility. It becomes a never ending cycle of increased pain and decreased mobility.
Mayo Clinic recommends that if you have arthritis, you maintain a healthy body weight. If you’re currently overweight and have a difficult time moving a healthy body weight can be maintained through proper diet.
A meeting with a dietitian can help you start a healthy diet if you are not sure where to begin. The dietitian or nutritionist may also have ideas on foods that can help decrease inflammation in the body and reduce pain from your arthritis.
Hot and Cold Therapy
One of the benefits of hot and cold therapy is that it can be done at home. The second benefit to hot and cold therapy is that it is very inexpensive. Heating pads and ice packs are easy to have on hand and don’t cost a lot of money. Healthline suggests that arthritis sufferers try alternating hot and cold therapy to affected joints to decrease pain.
You may find that some days cold therapy works the best on your arthritic joints while other days a heating pad may be better. Having both on hand to use is going to be the best way to ensure that this therapy is effective at increasing your mobility and decreasing your pain.
Massage
The arthritis foundation notes that one of the most beneficial treatments for mobility in arthritis patients is massage. Massage can help increase range of motion simply by relieving tension on stiff muscles and ligaments that surround the arthritic joints.
The arthritis foundation says that the best types of massage for people with arthritis are either deep tissue massage or Swedish massage. If you are having a high amount of pain deep tissue massage may be difficult to tolerate because of how deep into the muscle massage therapist will go. Either way, massage therapy is an easily accessible treatment to help increase your range of motion when you have arthritis.
While arthritis will not go away no matter how well you take care of your body, you can manage your symptoms and stop the progression of the disease. If you combine medication with these holistic approaches to treatment, you are sure to have a happier and pain-free life.

 

Disclaimer:

This website does not provide medical advice.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention.

©2016 WendyWeighsin

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THE MANY HEALTH BENEFITS OF CINNAMON & HONEY

This was shared with me from a friend!
Drug companies won’t like this one getting around.
Facts on Honey and Cinnamon:

It is found that a mix of honey and cinnamon cures most diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Scientists of today also note honey as very effective medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey can be used without side effects which is also a plus. Today’s science says that even though honey is sweet, when it is taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm even diabetic patients. Researched by western scientists:

HEART DISEASES: Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, put it on toast instead of jelly and jam and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol and could potentially save one from heart attack. Also, even if you have already had an attack studies show you could be kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of cinnamon honey strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as one ages the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and the veins.

ARTHRITIS: Arthritis patients can benefit by taking one cup of hot water with two tablespoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. When taken daily even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research conducted at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon Cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week (out of the 200 people so treated) practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain — and within a month, most all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis now started walking without pain.

BLADDER INFECTIONS: Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder….who knew?

CHOLESTEROL: Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water given to a cholesterol patient was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, when taken three times a day, any chronic cholesterol-could be cured. According to information received in the said Journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.

COLDS: Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and, clear the sinuses, and it’s delicious too!

UPSET STOMACH: Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also is said to clear stomach ulcers from its root.

GAS: According to the studies done in India and Japan, it is revealed that when Honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.

IMMUNE SYSTEM: Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacterial and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of Honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles (where DNA is contained) to fight bacterial and viral diseases.

INDIGESTION: Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food is eaten relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals

INFLUENZA: A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ‘Ingredient’ which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.

LONGEVITY: Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the ravages of old age. Use four teaspoons of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder, and three cups of boiling water to make a tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans increase and even a 100 year old will start performing the chores of a 20-year-old.

RASPY OR SORE THROAT: When throat has a tickle or is raspy, take one tablespoon of honey and sip until gone. Repeat every three hours until throat is without symptoms.

PIMPLES: Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it off the next morning with warm water. When done daily for two weeks, it removes all pimples from the root.

SKIN INFECTIONS:Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin Infections.

WEIGHT LOSS:Daily in the morning one half hour before breakfast and on an empty stomach, and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water. When taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.

FATIGUE: Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton, who has done research, says that a half tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, even when the vitality of the body starts to decrease, when taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3:00 P.M., the vitality of the body increases within a week.

BAD BREATH: People of South America, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water first thing in the morning so their breath stays fresh throughout the day.

**I HAVE NOT TRIED THESE REMEDIES THEY WERE SHARED BY A FRIEND**

Disclaimer:

This website does not provide medical advice.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention.

©2016 WendyWeighsin

All rights Reserved

 

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5 Natural Ways To Improve Your Sleep

5 Natural Ways To Improve Your Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep can be refreshing and rejuvenating. For millions, though, a good night’s sleep seems just out of reach. People of all ages across the globe suffer from occasional to chronic insomnia.
Insomnia is a condition that interrupts your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. If you are suffering from this sleep disturbance, you may be hesitant to turn to harsh medications to help you fall asleep. Here are 5 ways that you can help improve your sleep naturally.
Eliminate Caffeine
The morning cup of coffee seems to be a staple beverage for many people. However, caffeine is not just in coffee. Caffeine can be hiding in the cola you drink, the tea, and even some of the foods you eat. While eliminating caffeine out of your diet 100% may not be possible, try to limit your consumption of caffeine to the mornings only.
Exercise
Not only does exercise help you maintain a healthy body weight and better mental outlook but a Sleep Foundation study found that those who exercised were less sleepy during the day and slept better at night.
While a new exercise routine may leave you a little tired at first, regular exercise will give you more energy and help you fall asleep at bedtime. This may have to do with the chemicals released by the body when you exercise. The neurotransmitters released by the brain during exercise have all sorts of beneficial properties and improved sleep is one of them.
Meditate
Meditation has a restorative effect on the brain. There are all sorts of benefits that meditation can have for a person. Many of the benefits of meditation include reduced stress and a better ability to cope with difficult issues in one’s life.
Meditation is also great for insomnia. A Harvard study found that mindful meditation helped combat insomnia. It invokes a relaxation response in those who participate helping them relax enough to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep through the night. If you are not familiar with how to meditate there are many guided meditation audio programs that you can buy or check out from your library.
Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene is a practice to help you sleep better at night. It has to do with environmental cues. Alaska sleep notes that these environmental cues should be taken into consideration if you aren’t sleeping.
• No electronics
• Keep the room dark and quiet
• Keep your room cool
• Have a good mattress
• Set your alarm clock away from your bed
Get Up Every Morning
Getting up at the same time every day and avoiding naps helps your body follow a circadian rhythm. According to Verywell we need this to sleep well at night. There are two really important elements to this step.
1. Stop hitting the snooze and train yourself to get up at the same time every day. If you hit the snooze button once or twice (or 6 times), you are not really training yourself to get up at the same time every day. If you know you do not need to get up until a7:30, stop setting your alarm for 7. Save yourself the 30 minutes of interrupted sleep and set the alarm for 7:30, get up the first time it rings.
2. NO NAPS. If you are not used to getting up in the morning, then this may be the hard part for you. Napping can throw you off for sleeping at night because you simply are not tired enough to get to bed on time. Skip the nap (and the caffeine), and stay up so that you can get a good nights sleep.
Now you have an arsenal of information that should help you fall asleep faster at night. Remember, finding what works well for you may take some playing around. So, if you don’t get it right the first night or two don’t give up.
These sleep strategies are proven to work. They just take time. Give them a few weeks and you should be sleeping soundly.

Disclaimer:

This website does not provide medical advice.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention.

©2016 WendyWeighsin

All rights Reserved

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17 Refined Sugar Substitutes For Recipes

Refined sugars add unnecessary calories to the body that are converted to fat reserves stored around the body as flab. They may also contribute to cavities in teeth that could keep you awake in pain.

Sugar has also recently been linked to heart disease in a study published on JAMA Internal Medicine found that the majority of adults in the United States eat more sugar than is recommended and a significant relationship between sugar consumption and increased risk for heart disease mortality exists. Therefore, it is necessary to find healthy sugar substitutes to use while preparing your meals.

Some of the most recommended sugar substitutes include:

1. Honey – It is full of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. It can be applied on whole meal bread or added to oatmeal to satisfy the craving for sweets first thing in the morning. Honey comes in different flavors depending on the type of flowers in that locality.

2. Artificial Sweeteners – Artificial Sweeteners can be used in baking, for sweetening drinks and in any recipe to replace processed sugar.

Brands Include:
• NutraSweet
• Equal
• Sweet ‘N’ Low
• Splenda
• Sweet One
• Truvia (Stevia Plant)

3. Applesauce – It is said that an apple a day can keep the doctor away; therefore substituting no sugar added apple sauce with sugar in your baked goods will ensure your enjoy your treat without consuming extra calories.

4. Dates & Figs – Both add flavor, dimension and tons of nutrition as a sugar substitute to a many recipes. Baked goods such as cakes, muffins, even hearty breads will soon become a staple in your breakfast, lunch or dinner regimen using figs and dates as a substitute for sugar.

5. Lemon – Squeezing half a lemon in a pitcher of water will enable someone to drink the recommended amount of water. Besides the tangy taste of lemon in oatmeal will allow one to enjoy it without the need for unhealthy sugars.

6. Cinnamon – This is a must have sweet spice in your home as it can be added into your tea or baked goods. It has a delicious aroma that will increase your appetite without adding extra calories to your meals.

7. Raisins – These can be eaten on their own as a treat for your sweet tooth; they are full of fiber and antioxidants. They can be blended or just added into your batter when baking for a delicious treat.

8. Cranberries – Add them to your cereal and skip the sugar for a good start in the morning.

9. Cranberries: If you love cranberries this is the sugar alternative for you. They’re tart and sweet at the same time. Enjoy delicious multigrain pancakes, scones or muffins loaded with cranberries instead of sugar. Cranberries, too, are loaded with antioxidants, so give your taste buds a treat and remember cranberries aren’t just for the holidays.

10. 100% Pure Maple Syrup – Full of antioxidants; it can be drizzled on your waffles or pancakes to satisfy that sweet craving when it occurs. It can be added to a glass of cold non-fat milk to quench thirst on a hot afternoon.

11. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Cocoa is full of antioxidants and has a delicious flavor when added to a glass of milk. It can be combined with vanilla for a delicious treat that does not require refined sugar and used in baking recipes in leiu of processed chocolate.

12. Pureed banana – Very ripe bananas are very sweet and can be pureed to be added to milk shakes or in baked goods. A bowl of oatmeal with added ripe bananas is full of fiber beneficial for digestive health.

13. Apricot Puree – Apricots contains vitamin C and iron; they are sweet to the palate making them ideal for a delicious spread on your baked items.

14. Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice – This is full of vitamin c that boosts your immune system. You can have it first thing in the morning to improve your mood and give you a shot of quick energy to face your busy day and use it in recipes to substitute white sugar.

15. Sucanat – This is obtained from natural cane juice that has vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients; it can be added into your beverages and baked items to cater a sweet tooth.

16. Molasses – Made from a combination of sugarcane, beetroot and grapes. It has a delicious aroma full of vitamin c, iron and calcium for healthy baked items. Try drizzling it on your fruit salad to tantalize your palate.

17. Agave Nectar – High in fructose; therefore must be used in moderation. It can be added to cold or hot beverages and to pie recipes to substitute white sugar.

Disclaimer:

This website does not provide medical advice.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention.

©2016 WendyWeighsin

All rights Reserved

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Spiral Your Health Upward with Vegetable Spiralizers

 

There are certain times in your life when you just feel that your health isn’t all that it could be. You may feel sluggish and catch every bug that comes along. If you feel that your health isn’t up to par, take a close look at your diet.

 

Are you consuming all of the vegetables that you need? Most of us don’t. We snack and drive through fast food establishments to save time and effort and end up avoiding the veggies that could make us healthier.

 

Kids especially are notoriously wary of vegetables on their plates. But what if you could make them appetizing and fun? Try a vegetable spiralizer to put some fun and health back into your veggie servings.

 

A vegetable spiralizer can sensationalize a boring meal, letting you and your family enjoy all your favorite foods such as pasta with only a small amount of calories – but all of the nutrition that veggies can bring to a meal.

 

Most families have pasta at least once a week. It’s delicious and comforting, but it can contain too many calories and carbs for a healthy diet. If this sounds like your family, consider using a vegetable spiralizer as a kitchen accessory that can make a difference.

 

The spiralizers create pasta-type lengths of such veggies as carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and zucchini that will blow your mind and make you and your family think differently about including healthy vegetables in your meals.

 

The benefits of spiralizing also include the fact that it’s quick and easy, taking mere seconds to prepare and less time to cook than ordinary pasta, noodles or rice. After you spiralizer a veggie, you can cook it immediately – no more waiting for the water to boil.

 

If you’re watching your weight, a spiralizer is almost a necessity in your kitchen arsenal. You can make vegetable or fruit noodles and concoct incredible meals that are light in calories, fat, sugar and carbs and can eat more of them without suffering the consequences.

 

Since vegetables are significantly higher in water content, you’ll also help detox your body when you eat more of them through spiralizing. It also keeps you feeling fuller, longer and aids in digestion.

 

Eating spiralized veggies and fruit rather than heavy and high-in-calorie pastas will leave you energized rather than feeling stuffed after a meal. And a small, seemingly insignificant vegetable can reap mounds of healthy, spiral vegetables.

 

Spiralizers come in a variety of shapes, sizes and prices. Check them out online and choose one that’s best for the way you cook – and how many you cook for.

 

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Corporate Fitness and Health Programs for Employees

 

Many businesses have begun to understand that investing in the health and fitness of their employees is a wise move. They are also beginning to realize the effects that it has on their bottom lines. Because of this they have begun to teach their employees the concepts and practices of overall fitness and health. Teaching employees good health and safety principles and practices will not only give them an edge on success but also reductions in healthcare payouts for their employees in sick days.

The benefit of health and fitness education for employees is two fold. The employee will gain lower levels of stress, an increase level of self esteem and improved physical fitness with increased stamina. The employer gains employee productivity increases, decreased rates of illness, and develops employee leadership skills. There is one other benefactor in this whole process-the community. The community will become or stay a competitive player in the market place.

Today companies look to including worksite health care facilities or health and wellness programs to help them to alleviate their profit margin. This has proven a successful investment with the return being healthier longer working employees, less turnover, and protection of the most important asset in any company, which is the employees.

Employers want to keep the people who can do their job as good as possible, and these people need to have healthy minds and bodies to be able to get everything done. While everyone should take initiative on their own to stay healthy, unfortunately many people don’t.

When your employees get wrapped up in the day to day life of work, children, and other chores and tasks they forget to take time for fitness and health care concerns themselves. An employer who handles reminders and consultations of health related information is an employer that quality employees will want to work for and stay with for a very long time.

As we all age physical and mental fitness is sometimes taken for granted and before we know it there is a problem that possibly could have been rectified in a proactive manner instead of a reactive manner. Using a proactive approach could prevent loss of income of the employer and the employee and family if handled with care and respect for the wishes of both parties. Encouraging employees to live a healthier lifestyle outside of work is a behavior that will transfer into the workplace and make for a good or better environment for all concerned.

Some companies have bought into this idea by including memberships to gyms as incentive bonuses, or even as new hire bonuses. They are using fitness and health as a motivating factor to get promotions and raises. So if you are a company, large, small, or otherwise, it will be to your benefit to incorporate a health and fitness education plan.

Maybe a health and fitness program, or incentive for your employees to better care for them and your bottom line in business is the answer. Find a plan that fits your company needs and watch out for your return on your investment. Even if it does not improve your bottom line noticeably, it is still a good idea to keep the plan around for general morale and well-being in your business.

 

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Choose Steamers for Smart and Healthy Meals

 

Some methods of cooking can extremely negatively affect the nutrients contained in healthy foods.

A good steamer is a  nutritious way to cook food from vegetables and rice to fish, chicken and other meats. And steamers don’t use as much energy and are quick to clean up.

There are several types of steamers you can choose. The Chinese have been using bamboo steamers for centuries – and besides providing healthier fare when steamed, your food retains its fresh color and flavor – and those all-important nutrients.

Don’t confuse rice cookers with steamers. You can cook several layers of food items with steamer baskets, whereas rice cookers are more suitable for one layer. The lower levels of a steamer cook foods more rapidly and the steamer doesn’t require any fats at all.

Simply season your foods by adding them to the water or marinating them before steaming. The lower levels of a good steamer will cook your veggies or other items more rapidly, whereas the upper levels take longer and are perfect for larger food items.

Cooking a variety of foods at the same time in the steamer makes for easy cleanup and perfect timing for your meals. Choose from a variety of food steamer types. For example, bamboo steamers can cook food with very little water (no oil) or you can choose a stainless steel steamer that’s BPA-free and dishwasher-safe.

There are certain things you may want to remember when choosing and using a steamer. First, choose a steamer which doesn’t let steam escape. To get the job done perfectly, the steam should remain within the pot.

Always use fresh ingredients when possible and if you’re steaming in one layer, make sure that you cook foods of the same size at the same time. Use as little water as possible (look at instructions for the steamer for guidance) and don’t let it touch the food for perfect steaming.

Also, allow enough space between the food items in the steamer so the steam can circulate to do its job. The instructions for the steamer will recommend certain cooking times, but use your own judgment and consider how much or little you like your food cooked.

Most of all, have fun with your steamer. Add spices and herbs to your food for flavorful seasoning and use your favorite wine or beef, chicken or vegetable broth in place of the typical water for your steamer.

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The Benefits of Cooking with Barley

 

Name a health benefit and chances are it’s a benefit which can be found in the barley grain. Cultivated over 10,000 years ago, first in Ethiopia and then in parts of Asia, the earliest man used barley for food, making alcoholic beverages and for medicinal purposes. Cooking with this power-packed whole grain offers the following benefits to boost your health and fill you up:

 

  • Helps weight loss – Barley acts as an appetite suppressant. When you consume it, you’ll fill up and keep that feeling for a long period of time. It also helps to remove fat from the body.
  • Antioxidants and nutrients – There are nutrients and antioxidants galore in just a cup of barley. It’s also high in manganese, lutein, copper and zeaxanthin—all of which play a huge role in your continued good health.
  • Cholesterol – Lowers LDL cholesterol in your blood by provided “beta-glucan,” a fiber that can effectively reduce the bad cholesterol causing devastating health problems such as heart attacks and strokes.
  • Fiber – One of the most potent sources of fiber (soluble and insoluble), barley is also rich in minerals, antioxidants and vitamins. The soluble fiber helps to detoxify the body and soluble fiber helps to release fats from the body.
  • Prevents colon cancer – You can protect yourself from colon cancer by adding barley to your diet. It’s a grain that contains the good bacteria keeping the large intestine functioning properly.
  • Blood glucose levels – Keep your blood glucose levels stabilized by consuming barley. Those with diabetes improve by ingesting barley since it causes the stomach to digest food more slowly and also slows down absorption of carbs.
  • Protects against atherosclerosis – This grain is a good source of the B-vitamin, niacin. Niacin protects against cardiovascular risks, reduces bad cholesterol and provides fiber for additional health benefits.
  • Post-menopausal health for women – Consuming whole grains, such as barley, can prevent high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease that sometimes occurs in post-menopausal women. It slows the progression of plaque that narrows the blood vessels and the progression of stenosis (narrowing of arteries).

Barley has a wonderful, nutty flavor and a pasta consistency, so it adds variety to your recipes besides having some of the best health benefits of any grain. You can sprout barley too. Sprouted barley is high in maltose, a sugar used (when fermented) as an ingredient in alcoholic beverages such as beer.

 

A big pot of soup with the addition of barley is an especially good meal for a cold winter day and it can improve the nutrition in whatever soup you’re cooking. Its robust flavor and texture can improve almost any dish.

 

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Sustainable Living: What Does it Mean?

Recently, you may have been hearing a lot of buzzwords such as “green” or “sustainable” living. The truth is, however, that these are more than just buzzwords. Sustainable living and green living are interchangeable concepts, which both mean living a lifestyle that does not harm the environment, but encourages its health and stability.

For the last few hundred years, mankind has been living unsustainably, simply meaning that we are using the earth’s resources faster than the earth can produce them, and many of these resources can’t come back once they’ve been used.

Due to this, we’re creating a world where nature is being thrown sharply out of balance, which can spell disaster for the entire planet. Fortunately, we can turn things around by changing our habits—one of which would be changing our lifestyles from those of constant consumption to those that are more conscientious about the safety and health of the environment.

Sustainable Living: A Definition

Sustainable living refers a lifestyle that strives to reduce one’s carbon footprint. This simply means living in such a way that preserves instead of consumes the earth’s natural resources, as well as preserves their own personal resources.

The point of sustainable living is break the cycle of overconsumption seen throughout the world. So many people commonly consume and consume until nothing is left when they should be learning to conserve their resources in order to make them last longer as well as share them.

There Are Some Extremes

When some think of sustainable living, they may envision individuals who take things a little far. Some examples may include urinating in a jar to preserve water in the toilet, reducing showers to once or twice a month, or shutting off power despite the needs of the house or family.

While this may work for some individuals, for most, it can make life unnecessarily difficult. With this in mind, it is important to remember that moderation is a good rule of thumb.

Living sustainably can be done by making small changes to your everyday life that will not only benefit the environment, but also perhaps change your lifestyle for the better.

Great Ways To Live Sustainably

Try these simple lifestyle changes to integrate “green” habits into your everyday routine.

• Organic Eating: One of the easiest changes you can make is to switch to organic foods. By helping sustain organic markets and farms, you’re helping reduce the use of chemicals in our food and soil. Some say that organic eating can be expensive, and while this can be true, it doesn’t have to be. You can shop at local farmers markets as well as do your own farming. Many people have taken to creating their own fruit and vegetable gardens as well as housing chickens for fresh eggs. This option may take some money to get started, but once you’ve got a garden going, it’s easy and inexpensive to keep it running.

• Be Mindful of Your Water Usage: Instead of reducing showers or abstaining from flushing the toilet, there are other ways to preserve water. Set a timeframe for your shower, shut off the water while brushing your teeth and washing your face, and water your lawn in the evening when it’s cooler and there’s a higher chance of all the water absorbing into the soil.

• Turn of Lights When You Leave the Room: The best way to conserve energy is to turn of lights and some appliances when you leave the room. If you’re typically leave lamps or the television on when you’re not in a room, train yourself to always turn these things off when you plan to vacate a room for an extended amount of time. A quick run to the bathroom doesn’t require shutting off all lights and power, but if you’re in your bedroom and decide to go spend some time in the backyard, don’t leave things up and running.

• Walk/Ride More: If you typically drive a lot and would like to reduce your carbon footprint, cut down the use of your car (if able). Instead, take walks or ride a bike, skateboard, scooter, or even rollerblade to your destination. If you’re unable to give up driving, maybe invest in a “green” vehicle that uses less gas and doesn’t give off toxic emissions.

• Save Your Own Resources: Another great way to live sustainably is to preserve your own personal resources. This means being smart about how much you use and how much you save. For example, when it comes to food, eat smaller portions and wrap up leftovers. Eating your food quickly can only mean you’re spending more on groceries which, let’s face it, can be pretty expensive. Similarly, things like toothpaste, paper plates, paper towels, body wash, lotions, and so much more can be used up quickly. It all circles back to the consumer-thought process of using more than there is and not thinking ahead. Instead, look at these things practically and do what you can to make them last. Use the smallest necessary amount of toothpaste to get your teeth clean, stick to a dime sized amount of body wash or shampoo in the shower, don’t overuse paper plates and paper towels just because they’re there.

One of the best ways to get into a mindset of living sustainably is to remember that nothing is set in stone. We often use things quickly without regard to preservation because we know we can always get more. If we run out of crackers, we can run to the store and get more.

If we’re running low on lotion, there’s a market just down the street. Need food? There are plenty of restaurants all over. While this is technically true, it does not mean that these things will always be there.

Things can change, and problems can arise, making it important to prepare for the unforeseen by living smart. Preserve food, don’t overuse water and power, and consume in moderation. It’s the best way to live for both you and the environment.

Disclaimer:

This website does not provide medical advice.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention.

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Organic Foods Basics

Organic Foods Basics
Synopsis
Organic foods have become very popular. However, knowing the maze of organic food benefits, labels as well claims can be confusing. In fact, there are many people who asked if organic foods are really healthier or not. But, why you should consider organic foods? Are they beneficial to your health? Well, whatever your questions are, it is important to know about organic foods.
Organic foods, as its name implies, are produced through organic farming. Nowadays, many countries promote organic farming as more and more people are seeking for organic foods that would provide them long-term health benefits.
Healthy eating can offer you healthier life. But, for you to achieve this, you should eat more vegetables, fruits, good fats, and whole grains. However, some have questions about the safety, sustainability and nutrition of organic foods. So, what does organic means?
Organic Foods Defined
Organic refers to the process on how products are produced and grown. Particular requirements should be maintained and met so that products will be labeled as organic. The organic crops should be grown in safe soil. They should have no modifications and should remain separate from the conventional products. When it comes to producing organic foods, farmers are forbidden to use bioengineered genes or GMOs, synthetic pesticides, sewage fertilizers, and petroleum-based fertilizers. In terms of organic livestock, this should have access to outdoors and must be given organic feed. They will not be given growth hormones, antibiotics or any byproducts.
What are GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms?
GMOs or GE foods are animals or plants in which their DNA has been changed. Such products have undergone tests to know their effects on the environment and humans. In several countries, organic products don’t intentionally contain GMOs.
The Perks of Organic Foods
Organic foods offer a wide range of benefits. Several studies show that the organic foods have more beneficial nutrients than the conventionally grown foods. Moreover, people who have allergies to preservatives, chemicals or foods often seek for their symptoms reduced when they only eat organic foods. Aside from that, the best thing about organic foods is that they contain lesser pesticides. These pesticides are chemicals including
herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. Such chemicals are used in the conventional agriculture and the residues remain in or on the food you eat.
Understanding the Organic Food Labels
Once you have considered organic foods, there are several terms that you should understand in order for you to make the most of these foods. When shopping around, keep in mind that natural foods are not equivalent to organic foods. Natural foods don’t have any production standards that must be met.
Organic foods, on the other hand, have certification that they have met the set of production standards. Such standards may vary from one country to another. For instance, in US, organic foods have USDA Organic label. This indicates that the food is hundred percent organic. There are also other labels offered on the organic foods in other countries like Canada and Australia. So, depending on your residency, make sure that you know the organic food labels for you to ensure that you are getting the right foods.

 

Disclaimer:

This website does not provide medical advice.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention.

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Infused Water Tips

Infused water is the process of adding fruits, vegetables, and herbs to your water, then letting these ingredients flavor the water. In addition to providing a delicious flavor with a wide range of combination options, you also get some of the nutrients from the produce and herbs, which further improves how healthy your water is. Infused water is easy to do, but there are a few things you should know first. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are making your infused water.

Types of Water to Use

The first thing you should know about making infused water is that filtered water is always better. Filtered water is cleaner, so this is really going to improve the overall quality and flavor of your infused water. Since not everyone has access to enough filtered water to fill infused water pitchers every time, tap water is okay when necessary, but do try to get filtered water if at all possible.

When choosing your water, you should only use room temperature or cold water. Avoid warm or hot water, since it can cause the produce to fall apart at a rapid rate, which reduces how many nutrients are going to end up in your water.

Choose Organic When Possible

If at all possible, try to select organic fruits and vegetables. These can often be found in the produce of your supermarket, but a better option might be to get them from a weekly CSA, farmer’s market, or contacting local farmers directly. This allows you to get fresh fruits and veggies that you know were grown locally without added fertilizers and other chemicals. Organic produce does tend to provide a better flavor for infused water. However, the most important part is having healthy water with your favorite fruits and veggies, so if you can’t use organic, don’t worry too much about it!

How to Prep the Ingredients

After you select the ingredients you want to use for your infused water, you will then need to prep them before putting them into the pitcher. You should always rinse the fruits and vegetables to make sure no chemicals are left on them. Even if you bought them organic, it is still a good idea to rinse them and make sure they are clean. If you are using herbs, you want to crush them with a muddler since this will help to release the oils. The exception is when the herb is leafy, such as with mint or basil.

Most fruits and vegetables need to be cut at least in half before being put in the pitcher so that they can release their flavors. Hard fruits and vegetables like cucumber and apples need to be cut into thin slices since they can take longer to release flavor to the water. With berries and citrus fruit, they are softer, so just cutting them in half or quarters should be fine.

What to Make Your Infused Water In

By this point, you are ready to start putting your infused water together. Before you add in the water, make sure you have the right container. While you can technically use anything, a glass pitcher is usually recommended. However, regardless of which way you go, make sure it is BPA-free and food-safe. Many plastic pitchers are not ideal and won’t keep the water fresh, but in the end it is really up to you. There are also pitchers and cups used especially for infusing. They typically have a long and narrow section in the middle where you put your herbs and fruit, with holes or slots so the flavor can be released. You can use these, but they aren’t necessary.

How Long to Soak the Produce

When making infused water, you will add the produce and herbs first, then add your room temperature or cold water on top. You then want to let the water infuse so that you can get good flavors and nutrients from the fruits and vegetables being used. If you are leaving it out on the counter, this is usually done in about 2 hours. Otherwise, wait 4-6 hours if keeping it in the refrigerator for the infusing process. If you leave it overnight, it will be super flavorful.

When the Water Should Be Enjoyed

The ideal time to drink infused water is within 24-48 hours after the infusing process is complete. It is usually best to drink it the same day, but at least try to drink it within the first couple days. Waiting 3 days is okay, but don’t leave it for longer than that. Make sure you are not leaving the fruits and vegetables in the water for this long though. They should be removed and only the water should remain in the pitcher for this long. Citrus fruits will remain fresher for longer, while melons are going to get soft and mushy quickly.

Also keep in mind that if you drink the infused water the same day, you can usually refill it 2-3 times with the produce in the pitcher or cup and still get good flavor from it.

 

Disclaimer:

This website does not provide medical advice.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention.

 

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How Long Does It REALLY Take to Build a New Habit?

People are habitual creatures. They take the same route to and from work each day. Their morning rituals are identical from one day to the next. Their grooming routine never changes, they dress and undress in a particular, repetitious fashion, and these actions have become unconscious habits. This is true with everyone, which begs the question…

How long does it take to make a new habit?

Consider that there are 7 billion different people walking the planet. As you can imagine, this means not everyone will act or behave the same way, and what works for someone may not work for others. Given the unique nature of individual humans, there is nonetheless plenty of scientific proof that if you want to break and old habit and/or develop a new one, there is a specific amount of time you will need.

Habit Changing Proof from a Plastic Surgeon

Maxwell Maltz was a plastic surgeon in the 1950s. He noticed that, regardless the exact procedure, it took roughly 21 days for one of his patients to get used to the new face he helped create. He may have reworked a chin, smoothed out wrinkles, doctored a nose, but no matter the extent of his work, and the results, in 3 weeks the patient had accepted his or her new look.

This led Maltz to study his own behavior, and that of others, concerning behavioral change. Again and again he noticed a roughly 21 day cycle of change, across different individuals and different areas of change. He compiled his research in a bestselling 1960 book called Psycho-Cybernetics, which is still a stout seller today.

21st Century Research Yields New Answers

Fast-forward to current times. New research shows the time needed for lasting change is more like 66 days, on average. A 2009 study showed individual periods of time for habit change ranging from 18 days all the way up to 254 days. However, an average of 66 days was noted in the majority of cases.

This University College London research only used 96 test subjects, so the data pool is small. Even so, the time period claimed for habit making/breaking is a full 3 times that of Maltz’s beliefs. As it turns out, that may be a sign of the times.

In the 1950s there were nowhere near the distractions and interruptions the normal person experiences today. You are attacked by a barrage of marketing messages, sensory input and daily responsibilities that would boggle the minds of people living 60 years ago.

This means that it logically would take longer for new behaviors to break through to your busy mind and establish themselves as unconscious habits. In that new research, one person took 36 weeks to establish a new habit. The quickest path to change was a lightning-quick 18 days. On average, expect about 10 weeks to make a new habit, or break an old one.

 

Disclaimer:

This website does not provide medical advice.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention.

 

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Are Small Goals Better Than Larger Ones?

 

Is there some area of your life where you would like to make significant change? If so, you certainly are not alone. Plenty of people would like to create real, lasting change in their lives. Rather than taking baby steps that end up in a desired result, many strive to take one large step that brings about massive change.

There is nothing wrong with this way of thinking, especially if you have been listening to any of the famous self-help gurus or life coaches. They talk about “going big or going home”, and “thinking big”. So it is natural that you may have set some large and significant goal in your life, and you are taking steps to achieve it.

Goal-setting should always be applauded. Many people go through life stumbling through their existence, with no particular destination in sight. If you have established a goal, small or big, congratulations are in order. However, if you have carved out some gargantuan goal that you expect to achieve, you might be hindering your progress by doing so.

Small, Frequent Rewards Reaffirm Your Direction

Have you heard of the philosophy of “small wins”? This involves setting yourself up for smaller, daily successes, rather than taking action which requires a much longer period of time before you achieve the desired result.

This works because of the way your brain works.

Your mind rewards taking action on a plan. Your brain craves order, so when you tell it you want to accomplish something, then you take steps to reach that goal, and you succeed, feel-good chemicals are released by your brain. These endorphins and hormones cause feelings of positivity and self-esteem.

When you break a larger goal down into smaller pieces, your daily “small win” successes mean a constant dose of pleasurable hormones and chemicals.

Subconsciously, you recognize how good you feel because of your sense of accomplishment. You want to feel that way again. When you continue to achieve smaller, bite-sized goals on a daily basis, you baby step your way to a larger goal realization, with frequent, daily feelings of success and well-being, as well as a boosted self-image.

This is science, not opinion.

There are plenty of studies which show breaking a bigger goal down into smaller, more frequently achievable pieces leads to a much higher success rate. Rather than waiting for a year or 5 years or 10 years to be successful, you are rewarded with positively encouraging daily or weekly success milestones.

When your rewards come frequently, there is a much greater likelihood you will stay on the path to your larger goal achievement. Big goals are good things. When you realize them, you have created some significant change in your life. When you re-size your big goal into a group of smaller, more easily achieved mini-goals, finally benefiting from massive change is much easier to realize.

Disclaimer:

This website does not provide medical advice.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention.

 

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Letting Go of Last Year

 

Believe it or not, one of the best things you can do for your whole food success is learn to let go. This isn’t just about letting go of the old foods that you eat, it isn’t even about letting go of old habits. While both of these things are important and both of them will play a role in your overall success, there is one thing that you need to do that is more important than all of that, and this one thing can sabotage your weight loss before it even begins, if you aren’t careful.

 

Before you do anything, before you even begin thinking about your goals or trying out healthy recipes. You need to get right with yourself. That’s not to mean that there is anything wrong with you or the way live your life, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you have done something to deserve to be unhappy with your current weight loss situation. Instead, getting right with yourself means that you need to take a real look at the way that you treat yourself and you need to let go of the things that you have done in the past that bother you.

 

For instance, so many people say that they ‘fall off the wagon’ in terms of healthy eating when the holiday hits.  The stress of holiday pressure and the delicious foods that are so easily accessible make for a bad combination when one is trying to stay healthy, and many times this temptation makes it nearly impossible to stick to a healthy eating path.

 

But the good news is that last year is over, and that means that the food choices you made no longer matter. Let’s say that your holiday eating resulted in a 5 pound weight gain. It would be very easy to be frustrated with yourself every time you look in the mirror. But what if you were able to forgive yourself for last year? What if you were able to look at that weight gain and make the decision to love yourself anyway? Make no mistake, the way we talk to ourselves is critical in our whole food journeys.

 

An easy way to start training your brain to speak kindly to yourself is by using affirmations. While it might seem silly at first to talk to yourself, affirmations are a really great way to reconnect with yourself and show yourself some self love. Over time, you will find that the words you speak become easier for you to believe.

 

You can start today, simply think about the things that make you upset about your whole foods journey as well as the things that you don’t like about yourself when it comes to your weight loss goals. Write these things down and then write down the opposite of these things. For instance, if you said “I hate how fat I am”, you could write “I love the way my body looks”. Say these things to yourself multiple times every day for a month and you will start to see results.

 

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Feel Good First, the Rest Will Follow

One of the hardest things about trying to lose weight is waiting until you actually lose weight. It can be extremely frustrating to go through the hassle of changing eating habits, cooking new foods, and rearranging your lifestyle around a new way of eating only to find that the scale doesn’t move. For many, this can lead to stress and the temptation to fall back into old food habits. But you don’t have to fall victim to this. The important thing to remember is that your weight loss journey is not about your scale and you are not defined by a number, The important thing to remember is that you will likely feel a difference in yourself when you are eating whole, and that feeling will likely come long before your scale changes.

 

You may want to start to take a real look at your body and your overall health. Try not to judge yourself, but rather look at yourself with love. Think about your health, are you currently having any issues? Is there something you could achieve if you were a different weight that you cannot achieve now? Is there an illness, chronic tiredness or other health issue that you are experiencing?

 

Whatever it is, look at it with love and understand that this is a part of your past, this does not define who you are now or the new path that you are taking. When you get upset with yourself,  even if you don’t realize it, you send a message to your subconscious, and over time this starts to build up, affecting your self esteem and ultimately your will power. When we don’t know how to talk to ourselves with love, we are sabotaged before we even begin to start losing weight.

 

On the other hand, when you speak to yourself with love, you are teaching yourself that you are worthy of all of the good things that life has to offer. Over time, your self esteem begins to rise and you begin to understand that you can truly achieve anything, even weight loss.

 

Believe it or not, once you have found your confidence, it becomes easy to begin to lose weight. You start to focus on the good and positive things you are doing for yourself instead of becoming upset with yourself for not accomplishing your weight loss goals. When you feel good first, the weight loss will naturally follow.

 

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Meal Plan & Prep For Busy People

If you are like many people, you have such a busy life, that making homemade, healthy meals each day is a constant struggle. Instead of just giving in and going through the local drive-thru or ordering pizza three nights a week, why not give meal planning and meal prepping a try? Here are some things to know about each of these options to help save time, money, and still prepare healthy meals each day for your family.

What is Meal Planning?

Before you can start on your meal prep, you need to plan your meals. Naturally, this is what you are going to focus on with meal planning. Meal planning is nothing more than figuring out what meals you are going to make in the near future. It can be as detailed as you want, though the more information you include in your meal scheduling, the better off you will be.

By starting with meal planning, you will then know what and how to better meal prep. This is going to help save you time because you aren’t running to the supermarket every day trying to figure out what to get for dinner that night.

You already know the meals for at least a week beforehand. Here is a rundown of how meal planning works, though keep in mind there is a lot of room for variation.

How Many Weeks to Plan For

The first thing you should decide is exactly how much meal planning you want to do, in regards to how many days or weeks to plan ahead of time. This really depends on you and a number of factors should be considered. Think about how much time you have for meal planning and prepping, how often your family likes to switch up recipes, and realistically what you can spend at the supermarket for planning these meals.

You should also consider how much room you have in your refrigerator and freezer. Planning for 3 weeks ahead of time is fine for the schedule, but you might not be buying food for this long if you don’t have somewhere to put everything.

When you are just starting out, try to plan for just one full week and see how it goes. This should include all meals and snacks your family will eat for that entire week, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts.

It includes meals you will prepare at home with leftovers, lunches your kids and you will bring to work or school, and any extra items you need, such as bringing brownies to the local potluck or any other special occasions.

A Good Way to Start Meal Planning

If you’re not sure where to start with planning your meals, you can make it easy by taking stock of what is in your kitchen. Take note of everything in your pantry and refrigerator, write it down, and see what meals you can make from those ingredients.

This should be a good start, and then all you might need are some filler ingredients. You may have almost all of the ingredients you need for homemade biscuits, so you know you can have a meal that uses those biscuits as a way of saving money and time.

Once you know everything you already have, start considering what the different meals are that your family will be interested in, but don’t forget about considering how each of those meals will be prepared. If you know you will be pressed for time, try to think of meals you can make ahead of time or that can be made in the slow cooker all day while you are at work.

How to Be Detailed in Your Meal Plans

Once you have started noting down some meals you would like to make during the week, try to be as detailed as possible. If you think you will have leftovers from a chicken dinner in order to have lunch for 2-3 days, note that in the plan!

This helps you reduce how many lunches you need to prepare, which further saves you a lot of time when it comes time to prepare your different meals for the week. After listing the meals, make another list with all the groceries you need to purchase, minus what you already have on hand.

Leaving Room For Flexibility Throughout the Week

While planning every meal is a great way to save time during the week, there are going to be some situations where it doesn’t go quite as you planned out. Make sure you leave some room for flexibility in your meals and meal planning.

For example, you might have a day where you want to go out to dinner because your spouse got a big promotion and you want to celebrate. Don’t hesitate to celebrate just because you planned to make spaghetti that night. Just readjust your schedule and make it another night. Meal planning is meant to simplify the process, not restrict yourself too much.

Include Leftovers in Your Plan

Always try to think about leftovers or using certain ingredients in your meal planning that can be used for multiple meals. If you know you want to make chicken and dumplings and are going to buy a pack of chicken breasts, buy more than you need and freeze them. This lets you have enough chicken for that meal, but also for chicken soup, salads, sandwiches, or other dinner ideas. You are going to save money and time by having the extra chicken on hand.

How is Meal Prepping Different?

Meal planning and meal prepping are often confused, but these are actually two entirely different things. With meal planning, you are simply deciding what the future meals will be. When you meal prep, you actually buy those ingredients, then start getting certain aspects of the meal prepared, so that very little needs to be done each day when cooking time arrives.

Types of Meal Prepping

There are two basic elements to meal prepping: chopping vegetables and putting ingredients for meals into containers, and actually cooking some aspects of the meal and freezing them. You can do one or both of these options depending on how much time you think you will have. Some people simply do the prep work, such as getting all their veggies chopped up, rice measured, and snacks into portion baggies to be used during the week. Others actually cook the casseroles and chicken, and then freeze them so that dinner just involves popping them in the oven.
Containers to Use

When you are planning on prepping meals, you need to be careful with the types of containers you use. These containers are not just storing the ingredients and cooked food items, but meant to keep them fresh in the refrigerator or freezer for an extended period of time. You need to be careful what you choose to store items in and how they are stored.

Here are some recommendations for food storage containers:

Choose containers with airtight lids.

Make sure that your containers keep the food fresh with airtight lids. If you intend to use Tupperware-type containers, try filling them with water, then turn them upside down and make sure no water leaks out. This is a good way to tell how fresh your food will be in the containers.

Try storing items in mason jars.

Mason jars are perfect for storing certain items and meals. For example, if you like to take salad to work, try putting each day’s salad in a separate container. Choose the wide-mouth containers and add the denser items at the bottom. The greens should always be at the top so they don’t get wilted or weighed down. Keep your salad dressing in a separate container.

Be careful with plastic storage items.

Plastic is fine to use, but you should know what type of plastic you are using. Make sure it is refrigerator, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher-safe first of all. Also check that the plastic containers don’t have any BPA, which can be dangerous when adding or cooking food in these containers.

Consider casserole dishes that work for baking and storage.

When you are actually cooking bigger meals ahead of time to just be reheated each evening, you want to use multi-purpose casserole dishes. Use glass dishes that you use for baking, but that can also be used for storing them in the freezer. Just make sure you leave them out in room temperature after cooking to cool down before freezing them, or they might crack.

Tips For Meal Prepping

As you get started with meal prepping, there are some other things you need to keep in mind. Follow these simple tips for prepping your meals after you are done with meal planning:

* Cook all your meat at once.
* Label every container so you know when to use it by.
* Note what prepping is being done for leftovers.
* Use ingredients that can be prepped for multiple meals.
* Get freezer bags together with ingredients that will go in the slow cooker.

Meal Ideas For Prepping

Here are some different meal ideas that work perfectly with meal planning and meal prepping.

Put together different overnight oatmeal jars.

To get some healthy breakfasts prepared, add overnight oats to multiple jars, one for each day of the week. In addition to the oats, you can add different toppings for each day. Some toppings to consider include cinnamon, sugar, slivered almonds or other nuts, dried fruit, berries or fresh fruit, raisins, and granola.

Roast your vegetables beforehand.

To get vegetables ready for lunches and dinners throughout the week, spend one day roasting all the vegetables at one time. Choose vegetables with about the same cooking time, roast them together, then place in containers and freeze them.

Use a vegetable spiralizer instead of pasta.

To make healthy, low-carb meals and meal prep at the same time, consider using a vegetable spiralizer. This takes vegetables like zucchini and squash and creates pasta out of them. Spiralize your veggies on a Sunday, then save them for the week’s ‘pasta’ meals.
Bake all of your meat, then freeze portions for each meal.

Decide what meat you want to use for multiple meals, then bake or cook it all at the same time. Do this in the oven or your slow cooker. Meat like chicken breasts, fish filets, and strips of steak work great for this.

Keep salad veggies and toppings in one container.

For your salads, you can make it faster to put them together by having all of the greens and vegetables together in containers. Keep all your greens in one big container, and all the chopped veggies, cheese, and other toppings in another container.

With these tips, you will be on your way to both meal planning and prepping. This is going to save you a lot of time, not to mention help you make healthier meals for your family.

Disclaimer:

This website does not provide medical advice.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention.

 

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