6 Things to Do to Make this Your Healthiest Year Ever

6 Things to Do to Make this Your Healthiest Year Ever

Want to enjoy a longer, happier life? Making just a few tweaks in your daily routine and a couple lifestyle changes can make a world of difference in successfully transforming into the healthiest version of yourself. Paying attention to both the health of your body and mind is essential, and below we’ll introduce 6 ways on how to improve yourself across the board!

1. Move that body…and stay motivated

From stress reduction to a healthier heart, the benefits of exercise are undeniable. Losing just 5-10 pounds can have a significant effect on your overall well-being. You can definitely work it all out on your own, but what fun would that be? You have a better chance of staying motivated when you surround yourself with people trying to achieve some of the same goals as you. Sign up for a studio fitness class, like the small groups led by instructors from Class Pass, which offer inspiring spaces for workouts in strength training, cycling, barre, yoga, and even rock climbing.

2. Get colorful with your meals

One of the best ways to increase the amount of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that a healthy body needs to function at full capacity is to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Challenge yourself to add foods that represent the five main color groups (as identified by the American Heart Association): red & pink; blue & purple; yellow & orange; green; white & brown. And, when you’re running low on time to shop for and plan meals that motivate, let a delivery service like Hello Fresh do the work. They provide easy-to-follow recipes with healthy ingredients that include meat, fish, grains, plant-based proteins, and seasonal produce.

3. Power up with superfoods

Healthy food swaps provide that extra boost you need when you’re trying to lose weight, get or stay fit, and feel more energized. Add superfoods to your diet to get a mega dose of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other benefits for the body. This is why you’ll see online shops, like Puritan’s Pride, stocked with goji berries, acai, cacao powder, chia seeds, flaxseed, hemp seeds, maca powder, quinoa, coconut oil, turmeric, raw honey, and matcha green tea.

4. Take time to pamper yourself

To melt away the negative effects of stress on the mind and body, forget a trip to the spa and instead, choose in-home pampering with specific bath and body care, skincare, and scented products. Set a calming scene with aromatherapy candles, L’Occitane diffusers, and other rejuvenating home fragrances. Soak in a bubble bath filled with essential oils that promote relaxation, like lavender, which also helps you sleep. Other scents to note: rose (soothes and uplifts your spirits), ylang ylang (calms the mind), mandarin (eases anxiety), and vanilla, cherry blossom, and jasmine to elevate your mood.

5. Take your daily dose of ‘D’

If you don’t get enough of any kind of vitamin, you run the risk of developing a deficiency and unwanted medical conditions that you can avoid. Vitamin D is a disease-fighting, mood-improving, immune system-boosting powerhouse also linked to appetite control, weight loss, and having an active metabolism. We get vitamin D from sunlight and eating tuna, salmon and mackerel. But, that’s not enough because nearly 75 percent of Americans are vitamin-D deficient. Supplements, like the ones sold at the Vitamin Shoppe, can provide that daily dose of ‘D’ you need to stay on the go and healthy.

6. Add color to your wardrobe

Treating yourself to a new piece of clothing not only has a positive effect on your mood, but also contributes to shaping a healthier self-image. Did you know that wearing just the right color can make you look 10 years younger or 10 pounds lighter? To achieve a slimming effect, use bright, bold colors to accentuate your favorite assets. Also, incorporate colorful accessories for a more vibrant look, like eyewear with lively frames, patterned scarves, and jewelry from Gilt in bold hues that add youthful pops of color to an outfit.

Lastly, if you’re looking for more products and services that make it easier to achieve your get-healthy goals, download our Giving Assistant Button to keep up with the latest ways to save money and give back to good causes.

10 Healthy Habits to Lose Weight Naturally

10 Healthy Habits to Lose Weight Naturally

Adopt these 10 Healthy Habits to Lose Weight easily and feel confident all summer long.

We are so thrilled summer is approaching: lounging poolside with a pina colada in hand, diving under the salty waves at the beach.

But, wait a second.

There is one part of this image we are not so stoked on: bikini time. This season of swimsuits, shorts, and dresses is not one we want to spend stressing about covering up.

We are positive you look beautiful just the way you are, but we do believe in the value of feeling healthy and confident.

Our philosophy on weight loss is that it should be done naturally, in a way that keeps you satisfied and full, not starved.

You can think of these more as healthy lifestyle changes that we should all strive for to attain our most balanced, strongest selves.

With our top 10 healthy habits to help you lose weight easily without depriving yourself. In fact, we actually recommend you eat (dark, organic) chocolate!

How to Lose Weight with these 10 Healthy Habits

1. Get Good Sleep

Obtaining the full recommended number of hours of sleep each night (between 7-9 hours) is paramount to successful weight loss.

  • When you are overly tired, your body becomes lethargic which sends a signal to your brain that this exhaustion is actually due to lack of food.
  • Your brain thinks, “Uh oh, better send some hunger pangs to the stomach as a warning.” Hence, you crave more food, and often overeat, to provide you with energy.

2. Don’t Skip Meals

While you may think this is an effective way to cut back on your calorie intake, it actually backlashes every time. Calories are not a source of evil. If calories come from wholesome, real foods, you will be adequately nourished and have less cravings. Here’s the ugly downward spiral when you skip a meal:

  • You are essentially starving your body and causing your hunger to increase until it becomes an insurmountable force.
  • This often leads to eating double or triple the amount of food at your next meal.
healthy habit - eating breakfast
Eat breakfast to kickstart your metabolism each morning.

3. Eat Breakfast Everyday

Mum was right that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Eating breakfast is necessary to balance your blood sugar and boost your energy.

  • When you sleep, your metabolism slows and does not increase until after you have eaten your first meal of the day.
  • To jumpstart your metabolism in the morning, eat at least 200 calories within two hours of waking. Try one of our Paleo Pancake Recipes to kickstart your day the healthy way!

4. Avoid Binge Eating

Yes, self control and discipline is important when implementing a healthy diet.

If you are craving several pieces of cake, it’s probably wise not to go there. (Unless you’ve just had a miserable week and need to let loose… in that case, heck, have at it!).

What’s really important on a day-to-day basis, is that you do not deprive yourself so much that you regularly binge.

Here’s how it works:

  • If you are really craving a chocolate bar, you should enjoy one chocolate bar. Dark, organic chocolate can actually lower stress and be a healthy source of magnesium.
  • Substituting carrot sticks or a granola bar won’t satisfy the craving and may result in you overeating by adding a chocolate bar anyway.

5. Make Healthy Food Swaps

There’s no need to dump out your entire pantry and fridge to start a healthy diet.

Simple swaps can make an enormous difference.

  • Skip the butter in mashed potatoes and add flavorful vegetables and spices instead.
  • Switch your cow’s milk with almond or coconut milk.
  • Lose the fried foods and choose to bake or broil.

6. Try a New Healthy Food Each Week

Have you ever reached a diet plateau?

Healthy eating does not have to be bland or boring.

It’s crucial to be creative with your meals and have fun with them.

  • Experiment by adding a health food to your meals, like quinoa or chia seeds, that you’ve never eaten. You may find you love the new addition of flavor, and if not, scratch it off the shopping list! Are you eating these 10 superfoods for healthy weight loss?
  • Don’t worry about the cost of organic, nutritious foods. Even Walmart and Target offer local and organic produce at affordable prices.
Healthy habits fitness
Exercise 4 times a week to help you lose weight, lower stress levels, and supercharge your brain.

7. Exercise (Even Just a Little!) Ever Day

To lose weight, lower stress levels, and supercharge your brain, it is critical to exercise daily. With such busy schedules, we may feel it’s difficult to dedicate daily hours at the gym. Good news! We can have similar effects just by adding 20 or 30 minutes a day. Quick healthy habits to adopt:

  • Instead of driving to the store or work, ride your bike.
  • Recruit a family member or friend to take nightly strolls with you after dinner. Jump rope or do a series of yoga stretches at home. Anything to get yourself moving.

If you’re looking to drop more weight quickly, you will benefit from exercising vigorously for 60 minutes three to four times a week:

  • To ensure you stick to it, schedule specific times to exercise (in the early morning before work, at your lunch break, or on your way home from the office).
  • If you’d like to save time and money by working out at home, consider yoga videos, exercise equipment, and ankle weights from Amazon.

8. Keep a Food & Exercise Journal

Writing down your food choices and exercise progress keeps you on track and inspires you with evidence of how far you’ve come.

It is easy to eat mindlessly, but physically writing it down brings awareness to the act.

  • At the end of the day, read over everything you ate that day. This self-reflection is eye-opening. You become your own personal nutritionist and coach.
  • Writing down how much you are exercising is equally important. You will begin finding more creative ways to add it into your schedule.
  • If you’d like a professional dieting journal, they are available at Amazon.

9. Watch Out for Sneaky Artificial Ingredients

Your body does not know how to process and break down artificial ingredients, so you end up storing them in your body as excess weight.

  • Always choose natural foods, including whole grains, fruits and vegetables and read labels.
  • Artificial ingredients and highly processed foods are empty calories that lack the fuel your body needs to function optimally.

10. Supplement with Vitamins & Minerals

Nourishing your body with proper vitamins and minerals is essential for safe, healthy weight loss.

  • Take a daily multivitamin.
  • B vitamins, especially B-12, can increase metabolism.
  • Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium (needed to support your bones during all that exercise!).
  • Vitamin C boosts your immune system, decreases muscle recovery time, and helps your body recover from stress.
  • Try VitaCost promo codes or use The Vitamin Shoppe codes to cut down on your supplements costs.

Summary

Adopting these simple healthy habits for life makes losing weight stress-free, so you can spend more time worrying about which of the many pool parties to attend and less about your bikini bod.

See You at the Beach!

Benefits of Coconut Oil: Improved Beauty, Brains, and Belly-fat Burner

Benefits of Coconut Oil: Improved Beauty, Brains, and Belly-fat Burner

Get enviously smooth skin, speedy weight loss, and bounds of energy with coconut oil!

Lately, it seems like we just can’t read a health magazine without being hit by at least 8 coconut oil ads. In lotions, shampoos, face washes, you name it, coconut oil is making a serious splash in the holistic health world.

While its health and beauty magic has been used for ages, coconut oil has only recently earned a shining place in the spotlight of modern health news and social media.

We’ve been onboard the coconut train for awhile now, but wanted a deeper understanding of how and why this amazing oil brings such positive results.

Benefits

1. Weight Loss

Coconut Oil for Weight Loss? You Can’t be Serious!

Well, we are. We’re not talking about those icky partially hydrogenated oils in fast-food french fries your mother warned you about. No, no. This is the real deal.

When you cook with coconut oil instead of other oils, you are essentially pushing your metabolism into gear. Chemically, coconut oil is made up of fatty acid chains that are either short or medium in length. Translated into English, that means: they are easier to digest, which increases your metabolic rate. Voila! A high metabolism leads to greater weight loss.

2. Better Energy

Coconut Oil Kick-starts Your Energy

When you’re feeling sluggish, your first thought for recovery may be: caffeine… lots and lots of caffeine. Before you fill up the coffee machine, consider this: coconut oil is an amazing source of energy that will last you longer.

Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, that travel directly to the liver and are turned into energy. It is a powerful and tasty addition to smoothies when you need that extra boost. Still craving coffee? We’ve been there. Add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to your coffee or tea to enhance its energizing effects.

many healthy benefits of coconut oil
Get enviously smooth skin, speedy weight loss, and bounds of energy with coconut oil!

3. Better Digestion

Soothe Your Grumbling Belly – Coconut Oil Combats Digestive Problems

If you are sitting with a heating pad on your stomach, eagerly sipping chamomile tea, or hoping no one notices it’s your 4th trip to the ladies room, we feel for you. It may be time to retire your Pepto-Bismol and exchange it for coconut oil.

Health experts report incredible success when using the oil to treat patients with digestive issues, such as IBS and gas. The special fats in coconut oil help your body absorb nutrients that aid digestion.

On top of that, coconut oil is naturally antimicrobial, which means it can fend off parasites, bacteria and fungi that cause indigestion.

4. Improve Cholesterol Levels

Coconut Oil Can Help to Lower Cholesterol

The use of coconut oil is an effective, safe, and natural way to lower cholesterol.

  • One of the MCTs in coconut oil, lauric acid, has been shown to increase the good cholesterol in your blood and lower the bad.
  • Coconut oil can help to regulate the thyroid. If out of balance, the thyroid can contribute to higher levels of bad cholesterol in your body.

5. Better Brain Function

Coconut Oil Improves Brain Function

A groundbreaking study published in the journal, Neurobiology of Aging, concluded that the MCTs in coconut oil improved brain function in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Just one single dose had immediate effects.

Here’s how it works: as we get older, our brains have more trouble metabolizing glucose for energy. MCTs in coconut oil create ketones that can be used as fuel in the brain when glucose is unavailable.

Superpowers of coconut oil
Coconut Transforms Skin and Hair

6. Improved Skin & Hair

Beauty Booster: Coconut Oil Transforms Skin and Hair

Our Top 3 Tips to Add Coconut Oil to Your Beauty Routine:

  • Rub it directly on dry patches of skin for an instant smoothing effect. We tried it as a foot massage. Goodbye calluses, hello sandal-ready feet!
  • Save money and go natural by using coconut oil as makeup remover. We tried applying it around our eyes for eye makeup removal. It moisturized the surrounding delicate skin and left us fresh and bright-eyed!
  • Create your own hydrating hair mask. Use your hands to run the coconut oil through each strand and massage into your scalp. Leave in for 20 minutes for deep conditioning, or rinse out with shampoo for hair oh so smooth, soft, and shiny.

Where to Buy Coconut Oil

Now that you’re crazy for coconuts, we thought we’d share our favorite brands.

  1. Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, available at Amazon.
  2. Spectrum Naturals Organic Coconut Oil, available at Walmart.
  3. Garden of Life Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil, available at Vitacost