Superfoods

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You have probably heard or seen the term “Superfoods” at least once before, but have you ever asked yourself what that really means? Well “superfoods” is the term used to tell us that a specific food is nutrient-rich considered to be especially beneficial for health and well being. They are mostly plant-based but they also include some fish and dairy. These magical foods contain health-promoting properties such as reducing risk of disease or improving any aspect of physical or emotional health. They may have an unusually high content of antioxidants, vitamins or other nutrients. This does not mean we should only be eating something if that is a superfood, it just means we should be including these beauties more often on our daily diet. It does not matter if you know which ones they are and it really does not matter, as soon as you start eating a healthier diet including more vegetables, legumes, fruits and whole grains you will automatically be eating more superfoods as well and your body will thank you very much.

See below a list of some (not all) examples of Superfoods:

  • Acai
  • Algae
  • Chia Seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Blueberries
  • Black Raspberries
  • Cacao
  • Goldenberries
  • Camu Berry
  • Goji Berries
  • Grasses
  • Seaweed
  • Grapefruit
  • Wild Salmon
  • Avocado
  • Walnuts
  • Ginger
  • Pineapple

 

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

 

The American diet has been for many years very poor on nutrients and full of things we call “food” that are very toxic and inflammatory to our bodies. You’re probably asking yourself what is inflammation? Well inflammation in the body occurs when we eat unhealthy foods that infect our bodies and as a result trigger an immune response, which then causes inflammation. Along with eating unhealthy food, intestinal inflammation can also be triggered by fat and blood sugar. Now, it’s okay if this is your case, you are not doomed for the rest of your life, it’s never too late to reset and start again and when I say that I mean start changing your diet and consequently your body. To detox from all the junk we eat, we need to begin by switching from an inflammatory to an anti inflammatory diet. To help you out and make it easier for you I will share with you the top 10 anti-inflammatory foods you can start consuming to get rid of all and any inflammation going on inside of you. It is important to keep in mind that temporary change will not help; health problems come back once you go back to your old unhealthy habits, this needs to be a lifestyle change.

Here is a list of the top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods:

  1. Wild Salmon
  2. Walnuts
  3. Berries
  4. Dark Leafy Greens
  5. Turmeric
  6. Apples
  7. Mushrooms
  8. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  9. Ginger
  10. Red Onions

 

Foam Rolling

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Have you ever heard of foam rolling?

It is a form of self-myofascial  release, or self-massage that gets rid of adhesions in your muscles and connective tissue. Foam rolling also increases blood flow to your muscles and creates better mobility and flexibility helping with recovery and improving performance. Regularly rolling before and after your workout will help you prevent injury+recover fast. Even if you are nor going to practice any physical activity it is still beneficial to foam roll, it helps all of us who work in front of a computer or really any of us who live our daily lives with bad posture and muscle tension. And you wanna know what the best part is? You actually don’t have to go anywhere to foam roll, you can simply do it in the comfort of your own home.

Check out below some common areas you can foam roll and how to do it:

  • Calves: Sit on the floor with your legs straight out, hands on the floor behind you supporting your weight. Place the foam roller under your calves. Slowly roll along the back of your legs up and down from your knees to your ankles. Hold pressure on tight spots for about 30 seconds then continue rolling slowly.
  • Hamstrings: Sit with your right leg on the foam roller; bend your left knee, cross your left ankle over your right ankle, and put your hands on the floor behind you. Slowly roll up and down from your knee to just under your right butt cheek. Switch legs. Hold pressure on any tight spot for about 30 seconds then continue rolling slowly.
  • Quads: Lie face down on the floor and place the foam roller under your hips. Lean on your right leg and roll up and down from your hip to your knee then switch legs. You can roll both legs at the same time as well. Hold pressure on tight spots for about 30 seconds then keep rolling slowly.
  • Inner Thighs: Lie face down on the floor resting on your elbows. Position the foam roller to one side of your lower body and rotate that leg outward. Lift the rotated leg and place the inner thigh on the foam roller. Slowly push your body up and down to roll the inner thigh. Hold pressure on tight spots for about 30 seconds then continue rolling slowly.
  • IT Band: Lie on your side with bottom leg placed onto a foam roller between the hip and the knee and top leg crossed in front of you. Place as much of your weight as is tolerable onto your bottom leg. Slowly roll your leg over the foam from your hip to your knee. Repeat on opposite leg. Maintain pressure on tight spot for about 30 seconds then continue rolling slowly.
  • Glutes/Piriformis: Sitting on the foam roller, cross your right leg over your left knee and lean toward the right hip, putting your weight on your hands for support. Slowly roll one butt cheek over the roller maintaining pressure on tight spots for about 30 seconds. Switch sides.
  • Lats: Lying with body stacked on one side, position foam roller under armpit. Slowly roll up and down, forward and back, holding pressure on tight spots for about 30 seconds. Repeat on opposite side.
  • Thoracic Spine: Lying face up, position roller underneath upper back with hands crossed over chest knees bent, hip width, with feet flat. Use legs to gently roll from upper to mid back, maintaining pressure on tight spots for 30-90 seconds. Note: those with back pain or spinal issues may want to avoid this or proceed with extra caution.

Menu Planning

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Are you one of those people who goes to the supermarket and starts buying whatever you remember you need and end up leaving with so many things you actually didn’t need? Are you usually clueless on what to buy or without ideas always ending up your supermarket tour with the same items you always buy? Well I used to be just like that! I used to hate going to the grocery store haha I never organized myself ahead of time so I would end up buying whatever came to my mind right there and sometimes I would go home with things I actually did not really need. You are probably asking yourself: “How did she improve that?”

Let me share with you 5 things I have implemented on my lifestyle to improve my menu planning making my grocery shopping easier and more fun.

  1. On a Sat, Sun or Monday whatever day I had more free time, I started sitting down and planning ahead if I was going to buy food for the next 1 or 2 weeks.
  2. I would write down at least 3 meals (you can always have more) I planned on preparing for the week.
  3. Based on those meals I would create a grocery shopping list before leaving to the grocery store. There I was able to list all the items I needed to buy in an organized way.
  4. Even though I already had listed all the ingredients I needed to buy, in order to discover new foods I would always try picking at least one new veggie or fruit that was not on the list and that I had never tried to experiment.
  5. Another tip I have when grocery shopping is to avoid as much as possible the middle aisles because that is where the processed/ packaged foods are. Stay on the sides of the supermarket where the whole foods (veggies, fruits, whole grains) are so you are not tempted to buy anything you know you should not be eating.

5 Benefits of Physical Exercise

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We always hear from a lot of people that physical exercise is really good for us but do we really know and understand why? Let me shed some light on it by giving you 5 specific reasons and helping you understand a little bit more about the benefits of moving your body.

  1. Weight Control – this is probably one of the most common benefits you have heard of but it’s definitely true. Physical exercise helps you burn the extra calories we do not need which leads us to losing weight. Although rigorous exercise will burn more calories, the simple ones like maybe just a short walk around the block will have a positive impact on your weight loss too.
  2. Physical Health/Fitness – our motivation to exercise is usually only because we want to lose weight and look good. Yes that is one very good motivation; however, it is also extremely important to exercise so we can maintain good health. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to chronic disease.
  3. Energy – exercising regularly helps you increase your energy levels and feel better about yourself. Healthy eating and physical exercise is the perfect combination to have energy throughout the day. Instead of drinking excessive coffee or even drinking an artificial extremely unhealthy energy drink you can instead exercise to have more energy.
  4. Mental Health – physical exercise helps improve your mood, it releases chemicals to your brain that make you feel happier and more balanced. These chemicals also help ease any type of anxiety and depression.
  5. Sleep – physical exercise reduces stress and strengthen circadian rhythms promoting daytime alertness and bringing sleepiness at night. It has been shown to help people with sleep disorders like insomnia, to improve their sleep. Sleeping better has a positive impact on our moods as well.
    Remember that physical exercise can happen in many different ways like walking, running, dancing, swimming, bicycling and many others. You just need to find what makes you feel good and remember that it does not matter where you start what matters is that you are doing something for yourself. Be proud to give yourself a chance for change!