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Stress Busting Solutions That Reduce Fatigue
Posted By on January 27th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 72
stress reduction

Stress is a natural reaction to life, but prolonged periods of stress can have adverse effects on your health. With hectic schedules and the many “to-do’s” on your list you may experience stress, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, studies have shown that stress can actually improve productivity, attention and other mental functions. However, prolonged periods of high stress can lead to unwanted weight gain and negative effects on your overall health. The Stress-Cortisol Connection Cortisol is a hormone that your body produces when you are under stress. When you body goes through a stress response it produces other compounds including adrenaline that accompany the flight or flight response. But just like you don’t want an adrenaline rush to last for extended periods of time, you don’t want you body to overproduce cortisol. This hormone can increase blood glucose levels leading to unwanted weight gain, and ultimately an energy slump that may result in fatigue. How To Reduce Stress Eat to Slash Stress: There are certain foods that can help cut stress levels. Leafy greens like spinach are a good source of minerals involved in the regulation of the body’s production of cortisol including magnesium. Toss leafy greens with a squeeze of citrus to clean the greens, and add an extra dose of vitamin C to maximize health benefits. Beans contain compounds called phosphatidylserine, located within cellular membranes that help to counteract the effects of cortisol. White beans and soy beans are a good source of this Read More »

Motivation Monday: How to Support Your Support System
Posted By on January 27th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 72
motivation-quotes-fitness-motivational-quote-9a1

Motivation is an important part of reaching your weight loss, fitness and lifestyle goals. And when you think of motivation things that come to mind may only deal with yourself but your support system also needs you to motivate them, just as much as you need them! So how can you give back to your current workout buddies, healthy dieting friends, and other people in your life that work with you to help you achieve your goals? Here are a few tips to help you be a valuable member of your support system for yourself and everyone else in it. Self Motivation Staying motivated can become difficult when you are constantly bombarded by images in the media that encourage lifestyle habits that don’t align with your current goals. But you can keep yourself focused by surrounding yourself with your own vision of what success is. Visual Inspiration is a great way to counteract media messages of what your body type should be, what you should eat, and how you should behave. Choose a professional athlete, model or fitness trainer that inspires you. Find about their successes, failures and motivation to get better acquainted with what it takes to get where you want to be. Go ahead and take quotes from that person, images and other items that inspire you and place them in your work space, living areas and other places to stay on track, and properly motivated. Setting Small Goals is a vital part of lasting success. Set short-term, Read More »

How to Use At-Home Workout Equipment to Skip the Gym
Posted By on January 27th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 72
workout equiptment - foam-roller

At-home gym equipment is an easy way to skip a gym workout. Sometimes going to the gym seems like the worst idea ever, and we all have those days! But you can still get a full body workout right in the comfort of your living room. It’s a great option for days that the journey to the gym sound more exhausting than the workout. Here are a few easy-to-do exercises, that work your whole body with just a few pieces of equipment. Foam Roller Butterfly Lift: Lie on your back with the outer edges of your feet on the roller. Put your soles together and bend your knees into the butterfly position. Press your feet into the roller and lift your hips to the ceiling. Hold for 5-10 seconds and then lower back to the start position. Repeat 10-12 times. Shell Curl: With your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor and a roller below your knees, keep your back flat and abs tight. Raise your hips and pull your knees toward your chest. Hold and then return to starting position. Repeat 10-12 times. Rolling Lunge: While in the lunge position, place your back foot on top of the roller and keep your leg straight. Bend your front leg at the knee and lower, while moving the foam roller up to your shin. Repeat 10-12 times. Exercise Ball Backside Boost: In the push up position with shins on top of the ball lift one leg up and hold for 3 seconds. Read More »

4 Running Tips for an Injury-Free Workout
Posted By on January 27th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 72
runner-injury

Running injury is common, and as you set out in cold and inclement weather this winter season, safeguard yourself so you don’t end up in rehab.  Injuries associated with running includes runner’s knee, IT-Band Syndrome, calf strain, plantar fasciitis, shin splints and stress fractures. But you can reduce your risk of experiencing any of these painful conditions by taking protective measures. Here are a few tips so you can spend more time running on the trail, treadmill, or pavement and less time in recovery. 1. Don’t Push It. It’s important to always listen to your body. You know when you are doing too much. So when you get signals from your body that you are pushing yourself too hard – listen! Your body needs time to adjust to changes in weather, speed and mileage so you’ll need to allow enough recovery time to handle the varying demands of your routine, and avoid injury. 2. Get Great Gear. A good pair of running shoes, a sturdy sports bra, comfortable shorts, a BPA-free water bottle, and protective gear… it’s all so important. Not just to your performance but to your safety and progress. Pick up durable equipment for your running workouts and know when to put them to rest. A good pair of running shoes will only really last for about 300 miles, and when you are able to see that the midsole is getting compromised and is compressed it’s time for a new pair. Grab gear that you love, so that Read More »

3 Colossally Good Kale Recipes
kale

Kale is a powerful green vegetable for boosting overall health. This nutrient-dense veggie is loaded with a wide range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to promote immune system function and a healthy body. And due to its popularity, we put together 3 more kale recipes for your menu. 1. Quinoa with Mushrooms, Kale and Sweet Potatoes This blend of oh-so-good-for-you ingredients also blends together to make a delicious meal. With a sweet taste this recipe is a full meal that provides all the amino acids your muscles need along with a powerful antioxidant punch that boots immunity in a number of ways. Ingredients: 1 cup quinoa 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 small sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces 10 ounces button mushrooms, quartered 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1 bunch kale, stems discarded and leaves torn into 2-inch pieces 3/4 cup dry white wine kosher salt and black pepper 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce) Directions: Place the quinoa and 2 cups water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until water is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat Add the sweet potatoes and mushrooms and cook, tossing occasionally, until golden and beginning to soften, 5 to 6 minutes Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute Add the kale, wine, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, tossing often, until the vegetables are tender, 10 Read More »

4 Running Tips for Winter Workouts
Posted By on January 27th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 72
running-in-winter

Running workouts can be difficult when it’s cold outside during the winter months. It’s important that runners stay on their game even when the weather isn’t agreeing with a quick run outside. But if you’re going to continue your regimen outside when it’s super cold, it’s important to remember these details. 1. Stay Visible. Wear bright clothing and have something that’s reflective. You could wear a reflective vest, or just have some sort of detail on your clothing that’s reflective. Also bring a head lamp to make sure that cars, and other people, can see you, especially if you’re running while it’s snowing. Running with someone will also make you stand out more 2. Safety Over Speed. Running in the winter means you’re probably not going to be running at your normal speed.  Take it slow and be mindful of icy patches. Falling and hurting yourself because you were running at a faster speed won’t be worth it when spring and summer come along. Instead, work on your endurance this winter—run at a slower pace, but over a longer distance 3. Stay Warm. If you’re going to run outside this winter, dress right! It’s important to cover all the major extremities, like your nose, fingers and ears. Wear gloves, wear a hat, or try balaclavas (Balaclavas go over your whole head, and have holes for your eyes and nose; similar to what you may wear skiing or snowboarding). For the rest of your body, wear some wool, especially on your feet. Read More »

Leftovers Made Lovely: 3 Recipes for Left Over Veggies
leftover tacos

Leftovers got you down? No need to stress over the short life of your favorite fruits and veggies. While one of the hardest parts of including fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet on a daily basis is that these foods only last so long in the fridge. And who likes to throw away good food? We’ve got the solution to this quandary. Here’s a few great ways to use up those tasty foods, before they turn on you. Leftover Sweet Potatoes. Once you boil, or bake ‘em, sweet potatoes can store in the fridge for quite a while. But when you see that time is running out, go a head and add these savory spuds to your menu with sweet potato pancakes. Here’s the recipe: Ingredients: Sweet potato leftovers, mashed 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 2 tablespoons honey 2 cups milk 4 teaspoons melted butter, and enough to grease the skillet 2 whole egg, or egg substitute 1 teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon Pinch of nutmeg Directions: In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix together and whisk until smooth. Cook batches in buttered skillet on medium high temperature until bubbles form on the surface, then turn over and cook until dark golden brown. Serve with fresh honey, nut butter, or maple syrup. Leftover Veggie Medley. Ok, so you’re scanning the fridge and you notice you’ve got some bell peppers that have seen better days, the Kale is wilding, hmm an onion, an eggplant is on Read More »

5 Sodium Soaked “Health” Foods
sodium-salt

Low-sodium foods are a great way to reduce your salt intake. If you have concerns about blood pressure levels, you might find large amounts of salt lurking in all kinds of foods that may actually seem healthy. Here are a 5 foods that you make consider “healthy” that often contain large amounts of salt that can hurt your heart health. 1. Canned Soup: These delicious comfort foods are wonderful to warm tummies on a cold day and satisfy your need for veggies. But many canned soups on average will contain large amounts of sodium. A cup of chicken noodle soup may contain as much as 744 mg! Choose low-sodium options when it comes to canned soups and always check the label. A “healthy” option may contain less sodium than reduced-sodium varieties of some brands. 2. Sauces & Dressings: Keep your salads as healthy as you can. Topping a delicious plat of veggies and greens with a dressing that contains tons of sodium (230-500 mg per servings is average). And canned varieties of tomato sauce may be antioxidant-rich, but also probably will contain sodium levels as high as 670 mg. Choose a glass jar, or no salt added option when possible when it comes to marinara. And are you ready for this? Just a single tablespoon of soy sauce may contain 1,000 mg of sodium. Choose a vinegar and lemon juice blend instead to marinate meats. 3. Bread: Even the healthier whole wheat bread varieties that offer a good source of Read More »