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!

Lose Weight with these 10 Healthy Habits:

1) Sleep Soundly

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) Please 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) Your Mother was Right: Breakfast is the Most Important Meal

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) Listen to those Cravings

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 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) Keep it Interesting by Trying 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 and 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 and 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 Drugstore.com or VitaCost to cut down on your costs.

See You at the Beach!

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.

 

6 Superpowers of Coconut Oil: Beauty, Brains, and Belly-fat Burner

6 Superpowers of Coconut Oil: 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.

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.

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!

 

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.

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.

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers! We may have just added dollops of coconut oil to our cups of tea. Oh, and a dab of the oil under our eyes. In fact, there’s suddenly an awfully strong scent of coconuts wafting through our office. But hey, our brains will be functioning optimally.

Our 4 Top Tips to Green Grilling this Summer

Our 4 Top Tips to Green Grilling this Summer

We have all the green grilling tips and nutrition tricks to make your favorite summer meal an eco-friendly, healthy one! 

 

Biting into a refreshingly sweet, juicy watermelon slice. The savory, messy experience of eating ribs off the bone. Buttery corn on the cob displayed on red-and-white checkered tablecloths. You heard us: it’s Barbecue Season!

Has the seductive scent of barbecued meals reached the yards of your neighborhood yet? We know we’ve been hit with the BBQ bug. Whether it’s for a party overflowing with burgers and beers, or a family tradition of summertime meals, people across the country are setting up their grills.

We are more than ready to let the good times roll, but we care about practicing eco-friendly and natural grilling to protect our planet and health. We refuse to kiss our favorite BBQ traditions goodbye, so we dove into research. Here, we’ve condensed everything you need to know about green grilling and threw in some expert health advice from a nutritionist. Fire Up the Barbie!

Eco-friendly Grilled Vegetables

Eco-friendly Grilled Vegetables

Grilling Blues

We know, grilling doesn’t sound like the worst of our carbon footprint troubles, right? There are enough planes, trains, and automobiles out there to fill a lifetime’s worth of environmental concern! Well, just hear us out.

According to the Environmental Resource Center, “60 million Americans will fire up the grill during summer holidays.” When you consider the astounding extent of grilling in our country, it’s no wonder the Air Quality Research Center of UC Davis concluded in a study that backyard grilling is one of the most toxic sources of air pollution.

Frying Away Your Health

We hate to say it, but the problems don’t stop there. When you barbecue your food, the high heat increases the production of modified proteins and fats, called Advanced Glycation End Products (or AGEs). According to Clinical Professor of Medicine, Dr. Joel Kahn, consuming a high content of AGEs can contribute to diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Wait, Come Back! Please stop trying to sell your grill on Craigslist. There’s no need to give up hope! You are not destined to a lifetime of boring yard parties, serving only coleslaw and fruit salad. There are loads of easy, effective ways to protect the environment by greening your grill. Add some healthy tricks to reduce harmful toxins in your food, and your diet will stay as clean as your grill is green! Read on, and we promise you can keep that party going.

green grilling

eco friendly ways to green your summer grilling

4 Eco-Friendly Tips to Green Your Grill

  •  Lose the Petroleum Based Lighter Fluids and Self-Lighting Coals
    • They release harmful petrochemicals into the air. Switch to these safer alternatives:
      • Charcoal Chimney (we like: Drop Bottom Charcoal Chimney at Williams-Sonoma).
      • Electric Charcoal Starter (we like: Master Forge 550-Watt Electric Charcoal Starter at Lowe’s).
  • Choose a Gas Grill
    • They produce less pollutants and waste, burn cleaner, and are more energy efficient.
    • Take it up a notch with a grill that uses natural gas, by far the cleanest fossil fuel (we like: Weber Grill 2-Burner Stainless Steel Natural Gas Grill at Home Depot).
  • If You Must Use Charcoal – Select a Natural, Lump Kind
    • This fuel is greener, because it is made from hardwood materials with no chemical additives, and it creates less ash (we like: Big Green Egg Natural Lump Charcoal at Sears).
  • Clean Your Grill Regularly and Naturally
    • When excess pieces of food and grease clog up your grill, it produces more smoke.
    • Toss the petroleum based cleaner and replace it with a natural, nontoxic version (we like: Goo Gone All Natural Grill Cleaner at Walmart).

 

A Nutritionist’s Top 3 Ways to Keep Grilling Healthy

Now that you’re no longer hurting the environment, let’s make sure you’re not hurting your diet. Follow these tips by Clinical Nutritionist, M.S., Alex Swanson, to make your barbecue season as healthy as it is happy!

  1. Homemade marinades can reduce the risk of HCAs (heterocyclic amines – toxic compounds created when meat is cooked on high heat) by 90%!
  2. To cut down on those nasty AGEs, add antioxidant-rich fruits, lemon juice, herbs, and spices to your meat.
  3. Avoid commercial tomato and sugar-based barbecue sauces – these can double or triple chemical formation.

See, it’s simple: healthy planet, healthy body.

 

We Smell Hamburgers

Who knows, we may just be imagining it from all this barbecue talk. Regardless, we’ve got to run … grilled hot dogs and corn bread are asking for us!

3 Easy Paleo Pancake Recipes to Earn You Serious Bragging Rights

3 Easy Paleo Pancake Recipes to Earn You Serious Bragging Rights

We’re bringing you 3 easy paleo pancake recipes so outrageously delicious, it almost seems wrong that they’re healthy. 

No doubt about it, breakfast is our very favorite meal. It always seems to trigger those quintessential childhood memories: waking up on a crisp morning to the inviting smell of French toast. Our mouths are watering at the thought of it! Breakfast sets the foundation for your day. Done right, it fills you with ample energy and nourishment. Done wrong, it could leave you unsatisfied or with a blood sugar spike that’s destined for a crash.

Problems with the Typical Modern Day Breakfast and How to Change it

Unfortunately, many breakfasts today are full of empty calories from highly allergenic foods, such as grains and dairy. Filling up on cereals, bagels, and milk wreaks havoc on our bodies and leaves us malnourished:

  • A diet with high gluten content can lead to brain fog (difficulty focusing) and leave us with serious bellyaches.
  • An article by USA Today stated that: “less than 40% of people in the world retain the ability to digest lactose after childhood.

Yikes! Not how you want to prep your mind and body for the day ahead.

paleo pancakes blueberries bananas

Paleo pancakes with blueberries

Enter: The Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet is based on the idea that, for optimal health, we should be eating diets similar to those of our prehistoric ancestors. The onset of Homo Sapiens dates roughly to 300,000 years ago. Agriculture only began 10,000 years ago. The big picture: the introduction of agriculture disrupted the natural, healthy human diet and brought with it a myriad of diseases. People following the Paleo Diet today eat meat, fruits, veggies, and nuts/seeds and nix all grains and dairy. Fans of the diet have reported clearer skinweight lossmental sharpness, and increased energy.

For a true Paleo primer, check out Robb Wolf’s “The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet available on Amazon.

Cooking paleo pancakes

Paleo Pancakes Cooking On A Griddle

 

Caveman Meets Gourmet Chef with these easy Paleo Pancake Recipes 

These 3 indulgent, delectable Paleo pancake recipes will make you fall in love with breakfast all over again. Not only do they taste heavenly, they are quick to prepare and packed with nutrients.

Coconut Pumpkin Paleo Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 2 cups organic pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Directions: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk wet ingredients. Combine both and stir. Over medium heat, drizzle coconut oil on the skillet. Scoop the batter into pancake-sized shapes. When golden, flip to other side.

TIP: Coconut flour is a delicious, high-fiber baking alternative to grain flours. Our favorite is Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Flour. Find it online at Amazon or Walgreens.

Nutty Almond Paleo Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups ground almond meal
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ nutmeg
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup applesauce

Directions: Stir dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whisk wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Combine dry and wet together, stirring until smooth. Grease pan with coconut oil at medium heat.  Pour batter in shapes 2-3 inches across. Cook until golden brown then flip.

TIP: Almond meal and almond flour can be used interchangeably, so use whatever you have.

Chocolate Chip, Banana, Almond Butter Paleo Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 bananas
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 handful of chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions: Mash bananas in a small bowl. Whisk together eggs, vanilla, baking soda, almond butter, salt, and chocolate chips. Add bananas to the mixture. Apply coconut oil to griddle and put on medium-low heat. Pour batter into dollops 3 inches across. Cook for 4 minutes then flip.

TIP:  Use an unrefined coconut oil for more nutrients and flavor. We like Spectrum Organic’s Unrefined Coconut Oil, available at Vitamin Shoppe.

 

 

Enjoy! There you have it: caveman-approved gourmet pancake recipes fit for a queen! Eat like a goddess. Thrive like a hunter-gatherer. Prehistoric living never felt this good.