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    Natracure Blog — Healthy

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    5 Things Happy & Healthy People Never Do

    With the New Year finally here many of us are working on ourselves. We are going to the gym, going on diets and trying to be a bit nicer to others (hopefully). Perhaps the most overlooked resolution is improving your mental well-being. The path to happiness is certainly not always clear. But, have you ever considered that maybe you could achieve a happier you by what you don’t do? I’ve compiled a short list of things that mentally healthy and happy people never do. Follow these and you’ll be on the path to being your best.   1. They don’t think about the things they don’t have If you’re reading this, odds are your life is pretty good. Think about it. You live in a country that is well off and provides you the opportunity to be connected to the internet. That alone is something to be thankful for! If you spend your time focusing on the things you wish you had, you are setting yourself up for sadness. Instead, be sure to focus on all of the good things in your life. You will be much better off and the world will brighten up around you! Try it. It works.   2. They don’t make excuses for physical health You know you should go to the gym. You know you should go for that run. So, do it! Regardless of the obvious physical benefits dragging yourself out of bed or off the couch to achieve a personal fitness goal will do wonders for your happiness. I guarantee that you almost always feel incredible when you are finished with a workout. This is no accident. The chemicals released from your body during a workout pay enormous dividends for your mental well-being. If you want to be happier, force yourself to get out there and be active. You’ll feel great after you accomplish your goal, no matter how small.   3. They don’t spend time with negative people People can bring you down. It is nearly impossible to stay up-beat when surrounded by whiners and complainers. Some people simply see the bad in everything and they are toxic to your happiness and health! The key is to avoid spending time with these people. I’m sure some of them are close friends or loved ones. I know this to be the case with me! You should not cut these people out of your life, but rather keep time with them to a minimum. You can try your best to sway these people to the light side of life, but more often than not you’re wasting your time. Don’t let them bring you down. Surround yourself with people who smile and laugh!   4. They don’t compare themselves to others This is a big one. Social media makes this more relevant than ever before. Stop trying to make your life like someone else’s. It is imperative you don’t look at other people’s successes and negatively judge yourself. Again, reflect on the positive aspects of your life. There will always be someone else who you perceive to be luckier, more successful or happier than you. The best way to avoid this is to cut out looking at other people’s lives altogether. Get off of social media unless you are connecting with friends and family. If you do see success in someone else’s life, embrace it! Be happy for them and it will in turn make you happier as well. Odds are people are a little jealous of your life too!   5. They don’t sweat the small stuff You’ve heard this before. If you start embracing this idea, life will become some much more fulfilling and positive. If you think something has gone wrong in your day, take a step back and ask yourself: “Is it really such a big deal.” Take a deep breath and count the blessings in your life. You will quickly realize that this is really a miniscule mishap in the grand scheme of life! Life is good. Remember, these are little things. Don’t let them get to you!   Keep a positive outlook on life and good things will consistently come your way. It is all about your attitude and the angle in which you view everyday occurrences. Happiness is obtainable for everyone, but it starts with a conscious effort to make it so. Make sure you are doing things to make you happier and also avoiding doing the things get you down. The road to a happier you starts with just that: YOU.   By Pat DeRiso Sources: Prevention Magazine

    8 Things Nutritionists Want You to Stop...Right Away!

    Nutritionists have had enough. They’re up in arms over the misinformation people are being fed and the healthy choices people are failing to make! These health experts are looking out for us and our wellbeing. It’s certainly in our best interest to take their advice and it’s high-time we start doing so! I’ve compiled a list of 8 things nutritionists want us to stop doing in order to achieve better health and longevity.   1. STOP CUTTING CALORIES – Jennifer Pullman, MA, RDN, LDN Jennifer Pullman has a problem with many of her clients cutting out calories. The idea that taking in less calories will cause weight loss is true to a point. However, Jennifer states that you will hit a level where your calorie intake is just too low. Your body will adjust to the new reduced amount of calories and actually slip into starvation mode! Make healthier choices on the foods themselves, not the numbers they carry.   2. STOP DETOXING – Monica Reinagel, MD, LDN, CNS Reinagel has a bone to pick with those claiming they are “detoxing”. She claims the idea that foods and beverages working to clean out the toxins from your body does not have legs to stand on. Instead, she suggests limiting the amount of toxins you put in your body in the first place!   3. STOP STARVING AND THEN BINGEING – Abby Langer, RD In Abby Langer’s opinion, too many people are skipping breakfast and eating light lunches, only to make up for it by bingeing at night.  One of the worst things you can do to your body is starve it during the day and then binge at night. She recommends eating multiple protein-heavy meals and snacks throughout the day to combat the snacking urges and general hunger at night.   4. STOP THE “CLEAN EATING” DIETS – Julie Upton, MS, RD, CSSD and Elizabeth M. Ward, RD Both Upton and Ward agree that people need to stop using the term “clean” eating and just refer to it as healthy eating. Clean is becoming a buzzword among marketers and they are using it to fool consumers. Clean isn’t a defined term at all in the food world and it can mean anything. Also, they feel as if people who say they eat “clean” may look down on others who they perceive to not be eating clean. In addition, this labeling can make people feel that they may be eating “dirty” if it’s not clean. We need to stop labeling our diets and just make conscious efforts to eat healthier!   5. STOP ASSUMING ALL SMOOTHIES ARE HEALTHY – Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD Marisa Moore has noticed what she refers to as a “health halo” surrounding smoothies. She feels people assume that by having a smoothie, they’re making a healthy choice. However, many smoothies and fruit juices are loaded with sugar and empty calories. We need to make sure we are reading nutritional value labels and are aware of the ingredients. Only then can you be sure you are actually having a healthy drink.   6. STOP EATING PROCESSED DIET FOOD – Alexis Jospeh, MS RD, LD Alexis Joseph swears against processed foods, but not just any processed foods. She specifically advises avoiding foods that marketers tout as “fat-free”. These products are actually loaded with chemicals and other unnatural ingredients. Although they are marketed as diet foods, these processed options are absolutely terrible for you. Avoid them at all costs. As Joseph proclaims, “Eat real food!”   7. STOP AVOIDING FRUIT – Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, CSSD, LDN Dawn Blatner does not want to hear that you aren’t eating fruit because of the high sugar content. Not only is this sugar natural, but fruit brings a plethora of other nutritional values along for the ride. Fruit boasts antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and more. There are few ways to get more natural nutrition than from fruit! Blatner suggests two cups or pieces of fruit daily.   8. STOP SKIPPING PROTEIN AT BREAKFAST  – Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD Moore is sick of people that are not only skipping breakfast, but when they do have a morning meal, they avoid protein. Having meat, eggs, yogurt, and nuts can all provide you with protein. It will keep you full for longer and will help you avoid trips to the office vending machine or local coffee shop for snacks.   Take this advice from nutritionists to heart. Avoiding certain foods, being smarter in the grocery store and having the right mind-set are all tools to use in your quest to be a healthier and more fit you.   By Pat DeRiso Sources:, HuffPost Blog

    7 Not-So-Obvious Healthy Snack Options

    Struggling with the urge to snack during the day at the office or on the go? Don’t beat yourself up about it! In fact, snacking in between meals is great for your metabolism, your brain and more! The key is what you’re snacking on. Avoid the temptations and reach for a snack packed from home or carefully selected from the breakroom. Yes, fruit is the most obvious healthy snack choice. But there are many other healthy choices that you may not be aware of. Here are 7 not-so-obvious snacks you can munch on throughout the day and not feel guilty about it!   1. Tomato Juice Here’s a freshly squeezed take on snacking. Reaching for a tomato juice is a smart way to fight hunger. Often times when you think you’re hungry, or in dire need of some sugar, your body is actually telling you that it’s thirsty! A nice low sodium glass of tomato juice (or other vegetable juice) can fight the hunger while giving you a solid boost of energy from a very natural and healthy source!   2. Wasabi Peas Now here’s an adventurous twist on snacking! Grab some wasabi peas to spice up your work day or when you’re out running errands. These bad boys will not only satisfy your hunger, but they will provide you with a strong amount of protein and fiber. All in all, they are a fun and tasty way to add some flavor into your snacking!   3. Dry Cereal Go ahead and snack like a little kid! Just be sure to avoid high-sugar cereals and stick to the classics, like Cheerios or Special K. Dry cereals provides a boost in metabolism while offering a great source of energy and brainpower!   4. Cottage Cheese Cottage cheese is a delicious snack choice that’s packed with protein! It will have you feeling full for longer since protein helps to maintain blood sugar levels. Pair cottage cheese with fresh fruit and you’ll have an incredibly healthy snack that will taste like you’re treating yourself to a delicious dessert treat!   5. Hard Boiled Eggs Making hard boiled eggs at home to eat on-the-go will provide you with a delicious source of protein and healthy fats to help you get through your day. It’s an easy snack option to cook at home since you can boil a dozen eggs at once!   6. Almonds Almonds are a sneaky source of goodness in so many ways! They have the highest protein levels of all nuts while boasting 9 essential nutrients for the body. Couple that with the fact that almonds have a lot of fiber and there’s just no reason NOT to include them as a snacking option!   7. Hummus You can really add a whole new dimension to snacking on veggies with the addition of hummus! Not only do the vegetables provide you with a crunchy sweet snack, but the hummus adds chickpeas to the mix. They are an excellent source of goodness—boasting calcium, iron, protein and fiber. This delectable combo is too good to pass up whether you’re trying to eat well or not!   A satisfying snack does not need to have an unhealthy experience. Keep changing up your daily snacks with these not-so-obvious options and you’ll be doing yourself a favor!   By Pat DeRiso Source:

    How To Eat Healthy ...even at McDonald's

    We’ve all been there: Hours into a summer road trip your stomach is gurgling. You need to continue making good time but hope not to fill your car full of travelers with junk.  And yet, more often than not, your only option is fast food. Well it may help to know that nutrition experts sometimes find themselves short on time too. And when they do, even they sometimes turn to the notorious fast food king: McDonald’s. But that doesn’t mean they make poor food choices. They don’t fear the red-haired clown! And you don’t have to either. Nutritionists have provided the go-ahead to eat burgers, fries, and even bacon. Yes, bacon. There are actually some real health benefits tucked behind the bad reputation of McDonald's. And here, we’ve compiled a short list of nutritionist-approved options to keep in mind the next time you’re on the road. 1.  Need A Burger? (Nutrition Expert: Toby Amidor, MS, RD)  If a hamburger is your thing, Toby recommends grabbing a good old-fashioned Kid’s Meal! Feast on a hamburger, a side of small fries, a bottle of water and a clementine. In total, the meal only has 390 calories and comes in at just 13 grams of fat. That’s a win! If that doesn’t do it for you, Toby also boasts about the McDouble. That bad boy only has 380 calories and contains two hamburger patties, cheese, ketchup, mustard, onions and pickles! 2.  Play It Safe with a Salad (Nutrition Experts: Libby Mills, MS, RDN, LDN; Amy Shapiro MS, RD, CDN; Lauren Minchen, MPH, RDN, CDN)  Salads seem like an obvious choice at McDonald’s and quite frankly, they are! Libby suggests a simple Side Salad with grilled chicken topped with a low-fat balsamic vinaigrette or family recipe Italian dressing. She loves the fact that the meal is a great source of iron and protein to assist in making you feel fuller for longer while only coming in between 290 and 460 calories. Amy is a little more creative in finding ways to cut calories. She even recommends getting ice cream! Amy goes for the Premium Southwest Salad with grilled chicken. She suggests that you ask them to hold the cheese and tortilla strips and have them use only half of the dressing. The beans and the corn provide a solid source of fiber. Couple that with the low calories of the salad. Amy also says to order-up a Reduced Fat Vanilla Kids Ice-cream Cone! All of this is just 335 calories! Lauren is all about the Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with grilled chicken. Seeing a pattern here? Grilled chicken is an absolute must to keep your salad healthy while gaining the benefits of protein. Lauren goes on to say that the salad is a great source of fiber which aids digestion. This meal clocks in at only 300 calories. 3. Snack Time (Nutrition Expert: Jim White, RD, ACSM HFS)  Snacks don’t have to be junk. When going through the McDonald’s drive-thru, reach for a cup of the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal. Be sure to ask them to hold the brown sugar, cream, raisins and craisins. Jim loves that the snack comes in at only 150 calories and will likely tide you over to your next meal. This is because the high level of carbohydrates will take much longer to digest than a typical sugar donut or pastry on-the-go snack option. It’s an obvious and healthy choice! 4. Winner-Winner Chicken Dinner (Nutrition Experts: Jim White, RD, ACSM HFS; Dave Zinczenko)  If you need a full chicken meal in a pinch, Jim suggests theGrilled Chicken Fillet. Now he does suggest that you order it without the bun and mayonnaise dressing. And losing those drops the total fat to a measly 7.5 grams and the sodium to only 450 mg. For a side, go with a nice Side Salad with a Mandarin Orange to top it. You’ll be surprised to hear that all of this comes to just 165 calories! Need bacon in your life? Yeah, I thought so. Dave goes with the Premium Grilled Chicken Ranch BLT sandwich. That big guy has 450 calories. Avoiding the crispy chicken variations eliminates 160 unnecessary calories and 13 grams of fat. The low calories of the grilled chicken invites you to enjoy the deliciousness of bacon without tipping the scales. 5. Break for Breakfast (Nutrition Expert: Christine M. Palumbo)  Christine may be your new best friend! She goes straight for the Egg McMuffin and a coffee with all of the delicious ingredients intact. The sandwich only has 300 calories while boasting 17 grams of protein. She doesn’t even go for the egg white version because the whole egg provides vital fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Christine wants you to go have an Egg McMuffin. We think you should too! The health experts are going to McDonald’s too! Just start to make a conscious effort to order some of these healthier options. You can still get the greasy satisfaction you crave, just in smaller quantities and from the right sources. Follow the advice from these nutritionists and you’ll be sure to say “I’m Lovin’ It!” By Pat DeRiso Source: Yahoo Health