These foods—notably vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains—should supply about 20 to 35 grams of dietary fiber a day, depending on your calorie needs. (Aim for 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories, as advised by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.) Fiber slows the absorption of carbohydrates, so they have less effect on insulin and blood sugar, and it provides other health benefits. Try to fill three-quarters of your plate with produce, legumes, and whole grains—leaving only one-quarter for meat, poultry, or other protein sources.
In 1989, I began my sophomore year at Baylor University. My best friend, Kevin, had been hired to be a resident assistant (RA) in the dorms that year and had left our shared state of South Carolina a few weeks prior to attend RA camp and receive his training for the job. I soon followed, arriving at school a week before classes began, so that I could settle into my dorm room early and hang out with my friend.
One extra note here: Chewing your produce has benefits over sipping it. It could take two heads of romaine lettuce to produce one cup of juice, and while two heads of romaine would leave you satisfied, a small cup of green juice probably won’t put a dent in hunger. Though you’ll get many of the same vitamins and minerals, juicing removes the fiber, which not only helps you fill up, but also provides important nourishment on its own.
Do one thing that you’ve been putting off every single day. This is a tremendous way to overcome procrastination and build the leisure habit of moving your life forward. Create a list of all the things that you’ve been putting off. Then, commit to spending just 15 minutes each day doing one of those things. Even if you can’t complete it, make sure that you spend 15 minutes doing it.
Her new eating plan Frechman switched Edwards to cooking with heart-healthy olive oil rather than butter and drinking green tea instead of sugary soda for a caffeine fix. She also suggested dishes at the Cheesecake Factory that contain vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats, such as the Spicy Chicken Salad. Edwards began carrying blueberries and low-fat cheese she could snack on when she was tempted.
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We’re addicted to fad diets, cleanses, and programs that promise miracles in minutes. But when diets have expiration dates, so do the results. After those popular 30-day diets end, people slide back into the same bad habits that led them to gain weight in the first place. Nationally recognized nutrition expert Brooke Alpert has seen this happen far too often. She knows that in order to lose the weight and keep it off, you must develop habits that will help you stop dieting and start eating well for the rest of your life—not just the rest of the month.
An important take-home message is to focus on the types of foods you eat and your overall dietary pattern, instead of on individual nutrients such as fat, dietary cholesterol, or specific vitamins. There are no single nutrients or vitamins that can make you healthy. Instead, there is a short list of key food types that together can dramatically reduce your risk for heart disease.
This highly toxic environment, argues Mary Purdy, MS, RDN, an integrative medicine nutritionist, is in large part why the human body needs assistance with a natural process it’s been performing on its own for centuries. “I am well aware that our bodies are equipped with a system to eliminate the daily toxins we produce as well as some outside toxic compounds to which we are exposed daily,” she says, “but in this day and age, we are overloaded with toxic compounds—from pollution to pesticides to the myriad of chemicals in our household and personal care products as well as the plasticizers used in everyday food and nonfood items, the dozens of additives, preservatives, and other chemicals in our food.
I’m sure you’re so sick of hearing that you should “totally try meditation,” especially from your (recently) yoga-crazed mother. But mindfulness is a lot more realistic to achieve than the kind of meditation you hear about because it doesn’t require years of practice and a yoga mat. And, it only takes 30 minutes (or less!) sitting right at your desk.