Fitness & Wellness

Seven Ways To Make Your Holidays Healthier

Seven Ways To Make Your Holidays Healthier

No matter what your attitude toward the holidays, whether you hate them, love them or dread all the work they entail, everyone has to struggle with keeping well. You can make your holidays healthier in Florida. Heading into the year end holidays adds to the stress that’s been building since Halloween. One way to help is to get adequate sleep. Adequate sleep reduces stress and boosts your energy. It helps you make smarter decisions and even eat less. When you lack sleep, ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry increases and the creation of leptin, the hormone that tells your brain you’re full is suppressed so you eat more, which results in weight gain.

Don’t skimp on exercise.

If you feel like you’re ready to explode because of stress, maybe it’s time to take a long brisk walk, run up and down the stairs or go work out at the gym. That vigorous exercise can help burn off the hormones of stress. It also can help you lose weight. Besides burning calories, exercise builds muscle tissue, which burns more calories than fat tissue does. The more you have, the higher your metabolism. Also, when you exercise, one of the hormones of stress that’s burned is cortisol, which is linked with the accumulation of visceral—belly—fat.

Eat healthy and don’t skip meals.

You don’t have to pass up Aunt Harriet’s delicious once a year pastries or simply munch on carrot sticks throughout the holiday season, but that doesn’t mean you should eat those things every day. Plan and make your meals ahead on the weekend so you aren’t tempted to grab a drive-through dinner. Make sure you have healthy snacks available, such as cut up veggies and dip or fresh fruit, such as cantaloupe, cut and ready in the refrigerator. Package serving size bags of nuts for work or take a few apples. It will help you stay out of the cookie jar at home and at work. When the holidays come, fill up on vegetables and take smaller portions of higher calorie foods, like Aunt Harriet’s delicious pastry.

Don’t forget the water.

Everyone will be raising their glasses in toasts throughout the holiday times. Make smarter choices when it comes to what you drink, too. Alcoholic beverages can pack on the pounds, plus if you drink too many, contribute to health conditions. Stick with lower or no calorie options, such as water. If you want a drink, an extra spicy Bloody Mary could be an option. Infused water—water flavored with fresh fruit, herbs or vegetables—is a great option for anyone trying to achieve healthy living, so if you’re throwing a party, why not have some on hand. Water is the quicker picker-upper, so have a bottle with you at all times during the holidays.

  • Make your favorite dishes a little healthier and lower in calories. Use applesauce to replace some of the oil or sugar in baked goods or substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream.
  • Spend more time focusing on what the holidays are all about, family and friends, rather than on food and gifts. The biggest gift you can give to others is the gift of your time. Enjoy those moments with family and friends and watch your stress seem to melt.
  • Simplify as much as you can. The adults in one family quit exchanging gifts. Instead, each person makes a huge pot of soup and freezes half gallon containers for each family group. At Christmas, they exchange these and everyone has several ready made meals that just needs warming.
  • If you’re going to a holiday party where you know everything will pack on the pounds, don’t skip meals before you go. Instead, snack on some healthy options that will fill you up so you’ll eat less when you’re there.

For more information, contact us today at Craig Long Fit


Best Way To Tone Your Arms

Best Way To Tone Your Arms

Most the women I talk to want great looking arms and men want muscular biceps. Both require building your arm muscles. Both require the same types of exercises, except to tone your arms you do more repetitions with lower weight. In order to build larger muscles, just use the same strength building exercises and add more weight, which automatically cuts the amount of reps you do to failure. No matter what your goal, big guns or no flab but a sculptured look, these exercises work great. It’s all about the amount of weight you use.

Start with a tricep exercise.

Tricep pushups are a good start, they use body weight and are similar to regular pushups, but hands are closer together and done on bent knee. Tricep kickbacks are another. You need weights for these. Have one dumbbell in your left hand with right leg forward two feet and keeping your weight evenly distributed. Lean forward with the right hand on your right thigh and bend your leg. Bend your left hand at the elbow. Lift the weight in the left hand by bending your elbow, inhaling as you’re lifting and then lower it as you exhale.

Work out your biceps.

Nothing is better than bicep curls to give a sculpted look or build those muscles. For toning, use weights that allow you to do 15 to 20 without being completely fatigued. Go for higher weights and fewer reps for building muscles. Start with a dumbbell in each hand and arms down to the sides with the palms facing inward. Start to raise your arms by bending your elbow as you slowly turn the palms so when it’s raised, the palms of the hand meet your bicep, then lower back to starting position.

The lateral raise can tone your deltoids and shoulder area.

You need two dumbbells for this one that are about the same weight as the bicep curl of the last exercise. Have one dumbbell in each hand and bending slightly at the hip with the weights in front of you. Slowly raise your arms straight out to the side high enough to make your body appear like the letter “T.” Slowly lower your arms back down and then raise them again.

  • If you can do regular, rather than modified knee push ups, they’ll help you build beautiful arms without using weights. Your body becomes the weight.
  • Try an overhead extension with a dumbbell to get rid of flab. Hold one dumbbell vertically with both hands. Keep your wrists straight and bend your arm at the elbow as you raise your arm overhead with elbows pointed toward the ceiling as you lower the dumbbell behind the head. Raise the dumbbell up again.
  • Try a kettlebell for some fun exercises that will get your arms toned and firm fast. A kettlebell swing also exercises the core muscles.
  • Tricep dips can be done anywhere and don’t require any equipment. You simply hang on the edge of a bench or chair as you lower yourself to the floor.

For more information, contact us today at Craig Long Fit

Will Lemon Water Help Me Lose Weight Fast?

Will Lemon Water Help Me Lose Weight Fast?

What’s the latest rage in the weight loss area? It seems that one of them is an old favorite, lemon water. Although, today it’s not called lemon water, it’s called detox water. While it’s true drinking it frequently can help you lose weight fast, there’s more to the story than that. Lemon juice and water simply isn’t a magic formula that makes fat fall off as soon as you start to drink it. The benefits come, not from the combination of lemon and water, but from the water itself.

Lemon water is a good substitute for your normal drink, especially if that drink is a soft drink.

Whether you opt for a sugar free soda or one with all the sugar, there are still effects from the soft drink. While the one with sugar adds extra calories, a new study shows that the one without can add inches to your waistline in the form of visceral fat. If your drink of choice is coffee with all the extras, you already know these can make your waistline grow. It’s simply lower in calories than fruit juice, too. Substitute 8-eight ounce glasses of this drink for ones that contain 100 or more calories and you’ll see weight start to drop off without changing anything else.

Water does a lot for your body.

In fact, most of your body is composed of water. It protects the brain by insulating it from harm, carries nutrients and keeps the body regulated, just to name a few. However, not everyone knows automatically that they’re thirsty. Some people mistake it for hunger and then they eat. You know that feeling, you start thinking of a juicy slice of watermelon or aren’t really sure what you’re hungry for so work your way through the cupboards until you find it. Drinking a glass of lemon water or just plain water can stop that lingering hunger. Staying hydrated also helps your body break down fat and even help with water weight and bloating.

Drinking water can boost your metabolism.

If the water is cold, your body needs to burn calories to get it back to normal temperature. Improving your hydration can boost the energy center of the cell, the mitochondria and that can lead to improved metabolism. The higher your metabolism, the more calories you burn. One study showed that it increased metabolic rate by as much as 30% for 30-40 minutes.

  • Lemon water, just like regular water, can make you feel fuller and is good to drink before you eat. You’ll eat less and that’s what makes losing weight easier.
  • If you’re not a water fan, lemon water and other fruit or vegetable infused waters can make you one. They change the taste of water and the floating fruit or slices of vegetables add a bit of elegance to the drink.
  • A small study of 48 adults with half drinking a half liter of water before a low calorie meal and the other half simply getting the low calorie meal, found that after 12 weeks, the group with the premeal water lost 44 percent more than the one that didn’t have the water.
  • Even though lemon water doesn’t do anything more than dress up ordinary water, it’s still good for weight loss, since staying hydrated is.

For more information, contact us today at Craig Long Fit

Best Exercises To Get Rid Of Back Fat

Best Exercises To Get Rid Of Back Fat

When you want to look your best, especially in a silhouette producing outfit, you don’t want bulges hanging down over a bra. It takes two things to look great, losing weight and doing exercises to get rid of back fat. I tell clients in Florida that to look your best, the weight loss is necessary. It won’t take off pounds specifically on your back, but all over your body. The exercises then tones the area and makes back fat less noticeable.

Spot exercises don’t really work.

Yes, you want the area toned, so in that sense, it works. However, it won’t take fat off that specific area. When your body loses fat, it comes off the entire body, not just the area the exercise targeted. However, it does tone the muscles in that area, so when the fat is gone, it will look toned and not flabby. The multi-pronged approach works to remove fat and build muscle tissue. Once the fat is gone, and only then, can you see all the work you put into toning the muscles.

Use exercises that tone the back, upper arms, core muscles and burns high amounts of calories.

That’s the perfect description of strength training exercises. It’s even more true when you use circuit training or high intensity interval training. Burning calories is a key way to get rid of all fat and strength training is one way to do it. The muscles in the back are divided in three groups, upper back, mid back and lower back. Work all three areas and you’ll see a huge difference. It will eliminate a lot of the jiggle and lap over. Work the trapezoids, deltoids, the latissimus dorsi, lower trapezius, rhomboids and erector spinae.

Use exercises with pulling motions for the upper back, mid back and shoulder area.

A wide grip pullup is a good exercise for the upper back, just as a Romanian deadlift with weights are. Using a cable machine, a seated close-grip row and standing upright row work. Exercises that simulate pulling, throwing and rowing help build the muscles. A back stretch and unilateral hammer-grip pull-down work well, too. Push ups work the deltoids and give a more sculpted appearance. A workout containing Superman, back extension, knee roll and trap bar deadlift all work the lower back area.

  • Compound exercise are a good way to boost the effectiveness. They work several muscle groups at once and burn more calories as they build strength and tone.
  • Working out with weights will get results faster and help burn fat. It defines your back and builds muscle tissue faster.
  • Stay hydrated while you’re trying to burn back fat. It will help you feel full longer, replenish the water you lost working out hard with weights and even improve your skin.
  • For something you can do in the office to help build back muscles, try jumping jacks without the jump. Start with your arms at your side cross them at the top and lower them and cross them at the bottom, like you would in a jumping jack.

For more information, contact us today at Craig Long Fit

Plan Your Workouts

Plan Your Workouts

Our program is complete and provides a step-by-step procedure to ensure a healthy diet and maximize the benefits of your workout based on your age, goal, special needs and fitness level. However, you have to actually do the program. Even though we provide the motivation and accountability, you still have to do the workout and follow the dietary recommendation. If you’re working out on your own, not only will you have to make sure you do the workout, but also plan your workouts so they address all types of fitness, are specific to your needs and vary it frequently so you don’t plateau.

You need to work on all types of fitness.

To be your healthiest, you need flexibility, strength, endurance and balance. If you’re planning your own workout, your program should contain exercises that address all these areas. Both strength and flexibility help prevent injury, but strength training without flexibility training is like having a pulled muscle waiting to happen. Endurance and balance training are also important to keep you at your most active. Some exercises work two, three or all these areas, being the most efficient and ensuring you’ll maximize your workout.

You need an exercise plan to ensure you reach your goals.

One reason for setting goals is so you can create and exercise plan that will address those goals. You’ll be more likely to stick with a program if its easy for you to follow. It can also provide a way to measure your success. If you started doing push-ups three weeks ago and could barely do three, but just three weeks later, you’re able to do twenty, it’s easy to see how much you’ve progressed.

There’s no excuse for not working out.

Have you ever been out to eat and found it hard to choose from the menu. There may have been a lot of choices and knowing exactly what you wanted was tough or nothing looked tantalizing. You won’t have to worry about what to do next or lose time searching the internet for the next “best” workout. It’s at the tip of your fingers when you have an exercise plan. It saves time and eliminates that procrastination that can spoil any workout plan.

  • If you’re creating an exercise plan on your own, first list your goal and break it down to achievable smaller goals.
  • Find workouts that are within your capability that include all types of exercise. HIIT—high intensity interval training—workouts using strength building and movement can include endurance, flexibility, balance and strength.
  • When you create your workout, make sure you include a way to measure whether you’ve achieved your goal and a date that you’ll achieve it. For instance, weight loss, inches lost or even number of repetitions can dictate success.
  • If you find it’s just too tough to create an exercise plan that works for you, check out our workout program. I also offer a program to help you eat healthier, so you reach your fitness goals quicker.

Contact us today for more information:

Invest In A Crockpot

Invest In A Crockpot

One of my clients in Florida, said they eat only crockpot foods as a road to fitness. They either make the food in the morning and let it cook all day and it’s ready for a meal at night or let it cook while they sleep and refrigerate and reheat it later. You can make several healthy meals without effort or cooking over a hot stove, which is a true pleasure in our hot weather. Those who work often cook it at night to avoid the stress of coming home from work late, make more complicated recipes or be able to sample it to ensure it’s fully cooked, just in case you need to cook it longer.

Here’s a great healthy recipe that’s easy to make.

Chili might not sound as good today, since it’s super hot outside, but imagine it on those cold rainy days. YUM! This sweet potato chili is even more delicious and nutritious. One cup only has 275 calories but lots of nutrition, thanks to the tomatoes, black beans, spices and cubed sweet potato. Use one pound of ground turkey, 1onion and 1jalapeno, 3 garlic cloves, 2 large sweet potatoes, a can of black beans, a can of crushed fire roasted tomatoes and two cups of chicken broth. Season with a half teaspoon of ground coriander or a teaspoon cumin, a teaspoon of each cinnamon and kosher salt, a tablespoon of each chili powder & unsweetened cocoa powder and a half teaspoon of pepper. Dice the onions, mince and seed the jalapeno and garlic. Put it all in a pot, breaking up the turkey and cook for six to eight hours on low or half that time on high.

Was that list of ingredients too daunting. How about a simple chicken recipe and a side of salad? Have chicken will eat healthy, especially if it’s skinless boneless chicken breast. Just buy a two pound package of chicken breasts, a jar of salsa—the chunky kind and measure out a half cup of balsamic vinegar. Put the breasts on the bottom of your slow cooker, cover it with your jar of salsa and add the vinegar on top. Cook it on low for six hours, but if you’re in a rush, put it on high for four hours. You can shred it and mix it in the juice, serving it on a bun for an added treat or serve it with roasted veggies.

There are loads of healthy weight loss recipes ready to use.

If you do an internet search, you’ll find so many healthy recipes it will make your mind swim. Best of all, the food is done and waiting for you in the evening, so there’s no temptation to get carryout or stop at burger quickie. Making a full recipe can help create meals for several days. Just freeze the leftovers for another day. You’ll be amazed at how it helps you save time, money and lose weight all at the same time.

  • Don’t limit your cooking to dinner, you can make breakfast in a crock pot too. Try steel cut oatmeal, one of the healthiest types. You’ll have to spray the inside of the crockpot with oil to ensure the oatmeal doesn’t stick. It’s one important step you shouldn’t forget.
  • Do you have leftover vegetables that need to be used? Try some slow cooker soup. It’s delicious and even if you don’t eat it that night, makes a great emergency item for the freezer.
  • Try a slow cooker whole chicken with lots of vegetables beside it. Carrots, onions, peppers and potatoes are just a few you can add.
  • I offer a wealth of recipes for crockpots and other easy to cook healthy meals you can access from your phone. Give it try. You may find that you like eating healthy more than you thought.

Contact us today for more information:

Keep Healthy Snacks At Your Desk

Keep Healthy Snacks At Your Desk

Most of the time, the only way to have healthy snacks at work is to keep healthy snacks your desk. A healthy eating plan should include healthy snacks for mid morning and mid afternoon. In fact, snacks round out a healthy eating plan and provide additional nutrients to ensure you get all the nutrients you need throughout the day. Eating healthy, lower calorie snacks also help ensure you don’t overeat or ravage the candy counter in the grocery or gas station on your way home from work. You’ll avoid the urge to raid the vending machine and save money in the process when you have healthy snacks.

Fresh fruit can be easy to store in your desk.

If you’re an on the go person, carrying an apple, orange or banana with you makes snacking super easy. If you work where there’s a refrigerator available, fresh vegetables and cantaloupe or watermelons cut into bite size pieces can be added to your snacking. In fact, I highly recommend that people cut up melons the minute they get home and wash cherries and berries, so they’re ready to eat. A tablespoon of nut butter and a half apple make a great snack. Nut butter has a shelf life of two or three months. If you don’t eat it often, either buy a small jar or store your jar in the refrigerator at home and take a small amount to work in a small container.

A bag of air popped popcorn or your make-it-yourself microwave popcorn from is a tasty snack.

Air popped popcorn is the best, but if you don’t have an air popper, making your own microwave popcorn can be a great alternative and far cheaper than those bags of microwave popcorn you buy at the store. You need small paper lunch sacks, 1/4 cup popcorn kernels and a microwave. Pour the popcorn in the bag, loosely fold the top so you don’t have kernels spilling out and pop approximately 2 to 21/2 minutes, when there are more than three seconds between pops. Remove and season. One tablespoon of Parmesan Cheese as a topper is only 22 calories.

Create your own trail mix or baggies of mixed nuts.

The other day, I was running late and absolutely starved. I was near a grocery and decided to run inside and grab some trail mix to replenish myself and my stash at home. I couldn’t believe it! Every bag of trail mix had M&Ms. I’ve always made my own, so you can imagine my surprise. Instead, I bought some raw almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and craisins. The basic recipe is mixing two parts of nuts to one part of seeds and one part a mixture of dried fruit, popcorn, dark chocolate chips and other healthy items. I actually don’t add dark chocolate, but it is healthy enough in tiny amounts.

  • Snacks for work should be prepackaged in single serving sizes so you aren’t tempted to eat more than the single serving size. A handful of nuts, one ounce, is an excellent snack. A pound of almonds isn’t.
  • A half apple and a tablespoon of butter has approximately 135 to 150 calories. It provides healthy fat, protein, fiber and other nutrients.
  • Take an avocado and cut it in half and add some hot sauce on top for a tasty treat. Leave the pit in the remaining half and cover it for later use. Avocados turn dark quickly so putting the cut side on onions or sprinkled with lemon juice will keep it fresh longer.
  • We have some great ideas for at work snacks that are low in carbs and calories but high in nutrition. There’s a dip from pureed beets that I love and makes even the blandest vegetables taste good.

Contact us today for more information:

Love To Eat, Hate To Exercise

Love To Eat, Hate To Exercise

No matter how much you want to lose weight, if you love to eat, but hate to exercise you’ll find that losing weight seems like an insurmountable task. It’s not. While it’s not going to be easy, it’s easier when you first commit to shedding pounds and start by taking baby steps. Create a list with all the changes you need to make to lose weight and a weight goal you want to reach. One-by-one, start including those changes in your lifestyle.

Cut back on processed and fried foods and load up on veggies.

Sometimes, changing the order of food you eat can make a huge change and help you shed pounds. Pick out four vegetables to go with every meal and serve the other foods you’d normally eat, but cut the portion in half. Eat the vegetables first and follow with the half serving of the food you’d normally eat. Do this for a while and after a few weeks, substitute fresh fruit for dessert.

Build on that base of healthy eating.

Once you become adept at increasing the portions of vegetables, start focusing on your main dish. Instead of fried chicken, go with baked, grilled or air fried. Learn to make substitutions when cooking, like replacing oil and sugar in baked goods with unsweetened apple sauce or using Greek yogurt for sour cream.

Getting more exercise is important even if you aren’t trying to lose weight.

Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a formal program, although that does ensure you’ll improve your cardio, strength, flexibility and balance fitness and work on all muscle groups. It can start with something as simple as walking each day, or turning up the radio and dancing like nobody’s watching for a half an hour. Find something you love that is active, whether it’s walking, riding a bike or even roller skating and do it.

  • Start experimenting with new foods. You’ll be amazed at how delicious spaghetti squash is when you use it to replace pasta or love the eggplant or zucchini lasagna that’s richer in nutrients and lower in calories.
  • Make an effort to get more exercise in non-traditional ways. Park further from the grocery, take the stairs instead of the elevator or find a two, three, four or more minute short workout to do every time you have a few minutes.
  • Change a regular walk to an HIIT—high intensity interval training—workout by varying the speed you walk. Walk as fast as you can for a while, followed by a short period of recovery where you keep a moderate pace. It’s one of the fastest ways of getting into shape.
  • Make an effort to do something new and active. It might be actually signing up and working with a trainer, learning kettlebells or taking up hiking. If you don’t like it, try something else.

Fit Men Cook

Fit Men Cook

Great bodies are created in the kitchen and the gym just does the fine tuning. What you eat determines not only your health, but also how well you build muscle tissue and your workout endurance. You shouldn’t leave that important job to anyone else, particularly a fast food restaurant. That’s why it’s important to know that fit men cook.

You won’t build big muscles or even be healthy unless you eat a wholesome well balanced diet.

What you eat can even help you build muscle tissue faster. If you’re grabbing your meals out of the freezer section or even at fast food restaurants, it’s time to make changes. The closer you eat foods to their natural state, the more nutrient packed it will be. You can get as fancy as you want, creating sauces and using fresh herbs with a meal that takes longer to prepare or just keep it simple, grilling vegetables and meat or fish and serving them with pasta rice or a salad. You might actually find you love cooking especially when the results taste so good and are healthy.

Don’t forget to include snacks to your list of foods to make.

Snacks are an important part of your diet. They should be high in protein and essential amino acids to supply the building blocks for muscle tissue and keep you feeling full longer. If you’re building muscle tissue, you also need adequate calories, but not so many calories that you fail to burn fat. Even though real men cook, that doesn’t mean the recipes can’t be simple. (Women love this type of recipe, too!) Want a summer treat that’s ready when you are? Blend together either a cup of blueberries or strawberries or a frozen banana with 3 1/3 tablespoons of cottage cheese, 2 tsp of whey protein and ½ tsp milk. Pour in a container and freeze for at least 30 minutes. It’s loaded with protein, plus healthy carbs to provide the energy to keep you going.

Lots of times, healthy cooking requires a good recipe and lots of chopping.

Many healthy recipes are simple, yet pack the most power for the punch. It should have a source of high quality protein, like skinless baked chicken (26 grams) or 1 cup of cooked lentils 18 grams. You need carbohydrates for fuel for your muscles. Whole grain breads, fruits and vegetables are good sources. Add in some healthy fat, like an avocado or some nuts and you have a diet that’s ready to help you build muscle tissue fast, while keeping you healthier.

  • Finely chop 1 ½ C cooked skinless chicken. Add ¼ C toasted chopped pecans and chopped apple and 1 Tbsp. dried cranberries. Mix in a tablespoon plain Greek yogurt and drizzle with ¼ to ½ C balsamic vinaigrette and toss. Salt and pepper to taste and chill. It makes two servings to top Romaine or spinach or serve on whole grain bread.
  • Salads take on a new twist when you top them with grilled vegetables and grilled shrimp or chicken. Chop up some avocado and add some herbs like cilantro and you’ll be congratulating yourself on being a chef with a focus on good health.
  • Make your breakfast filled with more than just a bowl of oatmeal. If you have leftover vegetables and some mushrooms from the grill, toss them in the pan and then crack a few eggs for a scramble that boosts your health.
  • For a delicious, nutritious meal, top two cups of pasta, or spaghetti squash if you’re trying to lose weight, with 6-8 ounces of ground beef fried with broccoli, onions and mushrooms. Add a side of salad and some fruit for dessert.

Everyday Health

Everyday Health

There are a number of reasons people in Florida exercise and focus on healthy eating. Sometimes, it’s all about body image, but most of the time, improving their everyday health is their top priority. There are so many lifestyle changes that affect your good health, but for most people, focusing on healthy eating and regular exercise makes a huge difference in the quality of life and overall good health.

It’s pretty obvious that alcohol, drug and tobacco can play a huge negative role in your health.

What’s less obvious is the role that eating fast food or processed food and a sedentary lifestyle plays. In fact, globally, a bad diet impacts the health negatively more often than alcohol abuse, drug abuse and tobacco combined. Of course, the consequences should never be minimized and the study by the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition was taking a world view which included malnutrition in countries where food was scarce, but it does make a point.

You can be starving, yet still overweight.

It’s sad to say, but too often people trying to lose weight are also malnourished. They consume to many calories that are empty and contain no nutrients. Candy is one of the biggest offenders and so are some of the so called granola bars or granola (which often contains candy). It’s not just what you eat, but what you drink, too. Soft drinks are the biggest offender, but most fruit drinks are too. It’s time to take charge and start providing your body with all the nutrients it needs for a healthy, long life.

Make it green and make it fresh.

How can you turn your health and eating habits around? Start by making sure you have more fresh fruits and vegetables on your plate. If you want to get really creative, start substitutions. Use spaghetti squash instead of the pasta spaghetti. Have a salad with each meal and make sure it contains more than just iceberg lettuce. Romaine and red leaf lettuce are better choices. Add some arugula, kale, cabbage and spinach, plus tomatoes, red pepper and even some onions and you have a bowl of nutrients ready for the dressing. Eating healthy means making small changes that become habits. Consider using Greek yogurt with a live culture over sour cream for your baked potato. Drink water instead of grabbing a soft drink.

  • Don’t forget about exercise. Make every movement part of your exercise program. When doing house or yard work, put your whole body into the effort and work fast to build endurance.
  • Take a break away from the computer every fifty minutes and get up and walk around or do a few jumping jacks. Studies show that prolonged sitting is just as lethal as no exercise at all.
  • Avoid processed foods and those with ingredients you can’t pronounce. The fresher the food, the better.
  • Cut out added sugar. It’s lethal and addictive. Eat foods for a week or two that contain no added sugar. If you crave something sweet, grab a few grapes or a slice of apple with some nut butter. After your trial run of a week or two, you’ll notice you no longer crave a sugary fix.