Tip Tuesday – Working out in Nature

This girl right here is always right at home in nature! Always have been, always will be. Few things remain as constant!

Occasionally, I will take my workouts outside, to a park, on the beach… not as often as I would like (because I have to get home and shower, and still get all the way down to work!), but sometimes.

And honestly, besides the much better scenery, there are plenty of benefits to getting your fitness on outside! Here are a handful!

Do you know of any others? Do you often workout outdoors? This is also where Beachbody On Demand comes in really handy – you can take your workouts to wherever your heart desires!

6 benefits of working out in nature

 

Superfood Saturday – Flaxseed

Do you like flaxseed? I put it on top of my Greek yogurt and berries every morning (my preworkout meal!) to add a boost of goodness (and more protein!) to the meal.

A fellow teammate of mine made the distinction that ground flaxseed are better than whole because our bodies digest ground flax better. Just sharin’ the knowledge!

Flaxseed

Them being a rich source of fiber really helps us Diabetics, so that’s another reason I eat them daily. These little guys really are packed with value!

Superfood Saturday – Quinoa

Who’s a fan of quinoa? It took me a little bit to come around to it (it’s SO little…) but I am fully on board now! I like it and it’s loaded with benefits, so that helps too. It’s very versatile and can be prepared a number of ways, which is always good for me because I love variety!

Quinoa - Chenopodium Quinoa

I do eat meat, so I am not usually lacking in protein, but this is a nice, clean alternative for those who may not be into eating meat.

So tell me, do you like quinoa? Do you have any yummy recipes to share?

Whole Foods Wednesday – Avocado

I go nuts for avocado… I love it so much. 10 years ago I hated the stuff (I think due to texture), but now I can’t get enough of it – in fact, I’ll actually eat it plain! It helps that now I know how to open it and remove the pit, too 🙂

Do you know why Avocado is so good for you? There are tons of benefits, truly, so I have highlighted a few here:

  • Boosts Eye Health – Just one ounce of avocado contains 81 micrograms of lutein, along with zeaxanthin, two phytonutrients which are essential to eye health. They are carotenoids that help lower your risk of developing age-related eye conditions. The fat content in avocado is what helps the body absorb the carotenoid.
  • Promotes weight loss – Avocado’s smooth and creamy texture actually contains 6 to 7 grams of fiber for half of a medium-sized fruit. Its rich fiber content can help you feel full faster and longer, making it a great weight loss aid. 75 percent of the fat in an avocado is unsaturated, which makes it a great substitute for foods high in saturated fat plus the oleic acid, one of the unsaturated fatty acids, may help to activate the satiety center in your brain that helps you feel full.
  • Absorbs other nutrients – Avocado has a rich fat content that makes it easier to absorb fat solubles such as vitamins A, K, D, and E, which means adding this creamy fruit to any vegetable-dense meals will help you get all of the vitamins of your food. Without fat in your diet, the body would not be able to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in that meal.
  • Lowers cholesterol – Avocado is filled with fats that are good for you, specifically monounsaturated fat, which helps to lower bad cholesterol. This is because avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, which is a compound that lowers blood cholesterol levels. If you worry about your body’s cholesterol levels, avocados are a great solution because they will actually lower your LDL and increase your HDL levels. Studies have found that avocado helped improve the cholesterol levels of people who already had good lipid levels.
  • Acts as an anti-inflammatory agent – Avocados contain phytosterols, carotenoid antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, and polyhydroxolated fatty alcohols, which make the fruit an anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Helps reduce risk of certain cancers – Avocados possess a combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics, which makes them able to combat certain cancers, including mouth, skin, and prostate.  And the consumption of avocado can also be beneficial during chemotherapy. Chemotherapy sessions often drain the body out of glutathione — a powerful antioxidant source — but avocado can help. Avocados contain rich sources of both vitamin E and glutathione, and if chemotherapy is reducing your glutathione storage supply, avocados are a great way to get that antioxidant back into your system!
  • Boosts heart health – The mono- and polyunsaturated fats in avocados not only help reduce blood cholesterol levels, but they help decrease the overall risk for heart disease. Avocado’s high vitamin B6 and folic acid content helps to regulate homocysteine levels, according to Cohen, which is what reduces the risk. Avocados are associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, a group of symptoms shown to increase the risk of stroke, coronary artery disease, and Diabetes. Overall, avocado consumption is associated with improved diet quality, nutrient intake, and good heart health.

How do you feel about avocados? I have always loved guacamole but eating them standalone grossed me out… now I’m like, I cant have a turkey sandwich without avocado! I also like to blend a whole one in with my Shakeology – a superfoods superboost! 🙂

Tip Tuesday – Pumpkin Seeds

Did you know that these little things are loaded with health benefits? Worth sorting them from the ooey gooey innards of a pumpkin, in my eyes!

Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

I never really knew they had so many health benefits, but it makes perfect sense. Do you know of any other benefits?

Are you a fan of pumpkin seeds? I like them toasted, maybe a couple of them salted… I won’t eat tons of them, but I might be more inclined to now that I know these little ovals are a beneficial powerhouse!

Sunday Shakeology – Pomegranate Splash

This is a very tart and sweet recipe, which is perfect for when you are craving as such… I don’t like overly sweet stuff but every once in a great while, that’s the taste I am going for!

I think the pomegranate is a little under-appreciated. I don’t think many are aware of how awesomely powerful these colorful little dudes are. Pomegranates contain high levels of flavonoids and polyphenols, potent antioxidants offering protection against heart disease and cancer. A glass of pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberries, and cranberries! What’s not to love about them?!

my-click-to-buy-shakeology-button

Superfood Saturday – Yacon Root

Yacon Root (Smallanthus sonchifolius)

There are several health benefits of the Yacon Root. These include control of Type 2 Diabetes. Yacon contain inulin, which is a type of fructose found in the yacon tuber. Some researchers have claimed that it’s useful in insulin independent diabetes, such as type II diabetes for regulating blood sugar levels. Research is still being continued and researchers are striving to document any importance of this plant in diabetes, which could be revolutionizing in the field of medicine as a therapeutic agent.

Whole Foods Wednesday – Sweet Potatoes

Do you like sweet potatoes? I like them in small amounts… a few “fries”, maybe a couple of tots, or about half of a sweet potato is enough for me. But they are very tasty, and certainly hold their own in health benefits!

sweet potato

Benefits of sweet potatoes include:

  • Sweet potatoes are a good source of mag­nesium, which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral. Magnesium is necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function, yet experts estimate that approximately 80 percent of the popula­tion in North America may be deficient in this important mineral.
  • They are high in vitamin B6.  Vitamin B6 helps reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies. Homocysteine has been linked with degenerative diseases, including heart attacks.
  • Their rich orange color indicates that they are high in carotenoids like beta carotene and other carotenoids, which is the precursor to vitamin A in your body.  Carotenoids help strengthen our eyesight and boost our immunity to disease, they are powerful antioxidants that help ward off cancer and protect against the effects of aging. Studies at Harvard University of more than 124,000 people showed a 32 percent reduction in risk of lung cancer in people who consumed a variety of carotenoid-rich foods as part of their regular diet. Another study of women who had completed treatment for early stage breast cancer conducted by researchers at Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) found that women with the highest blood concentrations of carotenoids had the least likelihood of cancer recurrence.
  • They contain Vitamin D which is critical for immune system and overall health at this time of year.  Both a vitamin and a hormone, vitamin D is primarily made in our bodies as a result of getting adequate sunlight. You may have heard about seasonal affective disorder (or SAD, as it is also called), which is linked to inadequate sunlight and therefore a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and it supports the thyroid gland.
  • They are a source of potassium, one of the important electrolytes that help regulate heartbeat and nerve signals. Like the other electrolytes, potassium performs many essential functions, some of which include relaxing muscle contractions, reducing swelling, and protecting and controlling the activity of the kidneys.
  • Sweet potatoes contain iron. Most people are aware that we need the mineral iron to have adequate energy, but iron plays other important roles in our body, including red and white blood cell production, resistance to stress, proper im­mune functioning, and the metabolizing of protein, among other things.
  • They are a good source of vitamin C.  While most people know that vitamin C is important to help ward off cold and flu viruses, few people are aware that this crucial vitamin plays an important role in bone and tooth formation, digestion, and blood cell formation. It helps accelerate wound healing, produces collagen which helps maintain skin’s youthful elasticity, and is essen­tial to helping us cope with stress. It even appears to help protect our body against toxins that may be linked to cancer.
  • Plus, Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet-tasting but their natural sugars are slowly released into the bloodstream, helping to ensure a balanced and regular source of energy, without the blood sugar spikes linked to fatigue and weight gain, which is very helpful for diabetics!

Got any good sweet potato recipes to share?