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White Bean Chili Verde | Nutrition Stripped


Add a little color to your meal-prep day with this delicious and easy White Bean Chili Verde!

This White Bean Chili Verde is the perfect balance between function and flavor. The green chiles add wonderful complex flavors and beautiful color, and the beans provide a boost of plant-based protein. Throw in the superfood effects from fresh cilantro and you have a batch-cooking friendly meal that checks all the boxes.

Protein

Chilis, soups, and stews have tons of extra protein potential, depending on your unique diet.

Use whatever protein you enjoy to fit your unique eating habits. Whether you prefer tofu, tempeh, or animal proteins, this chili is the perfect vessel, depending on your preference.

For more information about animal proteins, what to look for, and how to shop for animal proteins check out our article Guide to Eating Animal Protein. Also, check out our factory farming article as it relates to animal proteins.

Did someone say batch-cooking? Whether you’re a seasoned batch-cooking vet, or just learning the ropes, White Bean Chili Verde is the perfect recipe to incorporate into your repetoiré. It’s quick and easy to make, packed with healthy vitamins and nutrients, and stores perfectly in our favorite glass containers.



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Wellness

How To Stay Accountable | Nutrition Stripped


How can I stay accountable? Mastering accountability will help you to stay on top of deadlines, reach your goals and truly value your word.

What Is Accountability?

Think about all of the times you’ve made a decision, a choice or even a promise to yourself.

Maybe you’ve decided to take the stairs up to your office all week or to get to the gym on Monday morning. How many times have you gotten to the point of implementing the new habit or behavior change, and simply thought, “eh, not today”.

It’s that situation where we may lack accountability, not motivation or willpower, but accountability to see that practice through.

Being accountable means sticking to your commitments, having full transparency with yourself (i.e. being honest!), and keeping the promise you made to yourself. It means getting yourself out of bed at 5:45 am or walking up 5 flights of stairs with your work bag and lunch in hand simply because you made that promise to yourself.

Accountability is the act of being held responsible. It’s being answerable for actions or decisions you have made. It’s an essential, valuable trait to have for so many parts of your life. From work environments to relationships and behavior change, accountability has a hand in it all.

Despite its importance, accountability is something that many of us struggle with daily.

Why Is Accountability Important?

When we know exactly what to do, how to do it and when to do it, but it still just isn’t working, accountability is the last piece of the puzzle that will get you to the finish line.

Think of accountability as your follow-through, your ability to stick to your word. We can talk all day long about our big plans and intentions, but what is it all worth if we never actually make it happen?

Staying accountable means walking the walk.

How To Stay Accountable

So, now that we know how important staying accountable is, how do we actually do it?

Accountability is twofold. We first and foremost want to stay accountable to ourselves. When no one is around to see you or acknowledge your actions, accountability is the little push that gets you out of bed when you’re cozy and craving that bit of extra sleep.

But sometimes being accountable means staying accountable to others. It’s a combination of the two that has been proven to allow you to stay accountable throughout your life and reach the goals you set for yourself (1).

How To Stay Accountable To Yourself

Let’s start by getting that little voice in your head to start motivating you to stay accountable.

1. Write It All Down

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again — write down your goals! Whether you’re a fan of planners and calendars or would rather a journal, writing down your goals has been proven time and time again to increase your chances of success.

More specifically, recent research has shown that we’re about 40 percent more likely to succeed if our goals are written down (2). Who doesn’t want an extra 40 percent chance of success!

When recording your goals and ambitions for accountability, be specific and be realistic. If this is your first go at maintaining an exercise schedule, starting off by committing to seven days per week of intense exercise probably isn’t the best way to proceed. Start slowly and build your way up!

Additionally, if you’re going to exercise, what kind of exercise are you going to do? Is there a specific class you’ll take? If so, what time does the class start? The more specific you are, the clearer the message is and the easier it is to adhere to.

Tangibly seeing your goals in front of you makes them real and concrete, undoubtedly increase your chances of remaining accountable.

2. Take It Step By Step

Let’s say you’ve always wanted to meal prep your meals but you just never seem to follow-through with your plans. Not only should you write down your goal of meal prepping, but also map out a schedule for when and how it will take place.

Take the time to create a schedule when you’re motivated and have decided to implement the new habit, behavior change or goal. This takes care of all of the heavy liftings ahead of time. That way, when it comes time to actually start the meal prepping, you already know what you have to do and when to start.

Be specific with your schedule; what day will the meal planning take place? Do you need to set a reminder so you don’t get sidetracked and forget? Know yourself and acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. The more thought you put into the activity ahead of time, the more accountable you’ll be in the present moment.

3. Be Honest With Yourself

As cliché as it may sound, honesty truly is the best policy.

It’s easy to make excuses and rationalize your choices when you’re simply talking to yourself in your own head. Yet when things don’t go as planned or if you find yourself in a situation where you weren’t able to stay accountable, be honest with yourself.

Use that time to determine what went wrong, why you didn’t stay accountable and what you can do differently next time. We’re human, we all make mistakes. We just want to be sure to learn from them and move forward rather than repeat them and standstill.

4. Seek Out The Knowledge You Require

In order to stay accountable and stick to your decisions, you need to have the proper knowledge. Whatever the subject may be, educate yourself so you know how to properly apply yourself.

Educating yourself may involve doing some research on your own, but oftentimes your best bet is to work with a professional you can trust. Always seek out a credentialed, trustworthy individual within the given field.

For example, if you’re looking for guidance with meal planning or nutrition, always seek out a registered dietitian rather than someone who is unqualified and lacking credentials.

Working with a professional can also give you an extra layer of accountability, which we’ll discuss next.

How To Stay Accountable To Others

Research has shown that in order for us to truly remain accountable, we often need the support of others.

1. Talk About Your Goals

Whether it’s a professional you’re working with, your best friend, significant other or maybe even a workout buddy at the gym – talk to them about your goals! The more we verbalize and discuss our plans, the more responsible we feel for accomplishing them.

The next time you’re making a lifestyle change,  add a new step to your daily routine or sett a new goal for yourself, tell someone else about it. Once again, be as specific as possible! Tell them that you’re going to the gym at 6:00 am on Friday or that you’re trying to budget $50 per week to save up for that special trip.

By both verbalizing and writing down our goals we feel compelled to remain accountable and see it through to the end.

One of the main reasons we offer our monthly membership is to support you and others with accountability! Check it out if you haven’t already.

2. Be Honest With Others

Once you tell someone you’re going to do something, isn’t it difficult to tell them that you didn’t actually follow through with it when they ask? This is one of the reasons why talking about your goals with others is so important for accountability.

We also need to make sure that we’re honest. When things don’t quite go the way you had hoped and a friend asks why you didn’t follow through, always, always tell the truth. Be honest with them. If you were simply feeling unmotivated – say that! The more you acknowledge your weaknesses and weak points, the more likely you are to address them moving forward and prevent the situation from repeating itself.

It can be difficult, but sometimes it takes setting your ego aside to reach a state of complete accountability.

Connect With Us!

I would love to hear about your experiences with accountability. Is there anything I mentioned that you’re already doing? Is there something you’re doing that I didn’t discuss?

The more tips we can compile, the better! I’m sure someone else reading this article would love to hear what works for you. As always, you can connect with us outside of the website on Instagram via @nutritionstrippederica@nutritionstripped, #nutritionstripped, and #nswellnesscoaching.





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Wellness

Simple Shakshuka | Nutrition Stripped


This savory Simple Shakshuka is the perfect one-pan meal that is quick and easy and everyone will love!

Originating from parts of North Africa and the Middle East, Shakshuka relies heavily on delicious spices and herbs to create deep flavors that pair wonderfully with the acidic tomatoes and sweet peppers.

Spice It Up

Simple Shakshuka really is a blank-canvas meal. The spicy and rich tomato sauce is the perfect base to add hearty leafy greens, chopped nuts, sweet potatoes. There isn’t a wrong answer when it comes to ingredients so follow your heart (and your stomach) and get creative!

We love to serve our Simple Shakshuka with gluten-free bread, our favorite Jalepeño Cornbread, or fluffy quinoa.

Power Of Protein

Use whatever protein you enjoy to fit your unique eating habits.

If consuming animal proteins isn’t for you, such as the eggs used in this recipe, don’t worry! For a vegetarian option of this recipe just substitute the chicken with tofu, chickpeas, or chopped almonds (or all three!) and follow the recipe below.

For more information about animal proteins, what to look for, and how to shop for animal proteins check out our article Guide to Eating Animal Protein. Also, check out our factory farming article as it relates to animal proteins.

Leftovers?

Did someone say batch-cooking? Whether you’re a seasoned batch-cooking vet, or just learning the ropes, this Shakshuka (Eggs in Purgatory) is the perfect recipe to incorporate into your repetoiré. It’s quick and easy to make, packed with healthy vitamins and nutrients, and stores perfectly in our favorite glass containers.



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Wellness

The Subconscious Mind | Nutrition Stripped


Your subconscious mind is a powerful piece of who you are. As such, it impacts your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and tendencies. Understanding the subconscious mind allows you to use it to your advantage and guide you towards accomplishing your goals.

What Is Your Subconscious?

Have you ever wondered how you’re able to remember so many things without consciously thinking about them?

Well, think about how little you knew when you were born. At the bare minimum, you were taught how to walk, eat and talk at a very young age. Chances are at this point you don’t think very much about walking, talking or eating. You just do these things.

Since learning said skills, how many more skills have you learned? How much more knowledge have you gained? And what about your emotional experiences, how many of those have you had?

Your subconscious is responsible for holding, organizing and shuffling through all of this information on a daily basis.

The Conscious, Subconscious and Unconscious Mind

So where did the idea of the subconscious mind come from?

While I can’t say with certainty that Freud was the first person to develop the idea, he was certainly one of the first people to make it well known.

Sigmund Freud was a neurologist who is now known for his various theories and techniques within the realm of psychoanalysis. One of his theories involved a topographical model of the mind in the form of an iceberg. The model includes the conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind (1).

The Conscious Mind

At the tip of the iceberg lies the conscious mind. This part of the mind has the ability to direct our focus and also imagine things that are not actually real. Think of this as the director of your mind, the part of your mind calling the shots. Better yet, that constant dialogue taking place in your mind right now (2).

The Subconscious Mind

The subconscious mind comes next. This is where your memories are stored for quick recall – what your cell phone number is or the name of that new restaurant you liked. It’s also where more complex information is stored, such as your behavior patterns, feelings, and your recent recurring thoughts. Then we have the implicit knowledge, the skills and habits we’ve developed so well that we perform them without even having to think about them (3).

The Unconscious Mind

Lastly, we have the unconscious mind, where everything else is held. Memories that no longer have importance to us or memories that have been repressed due to trauma. Think of this as a library of information in the deepest part of your mind (4).

The Influence of Your Subconscious Mind

For our purposes, I want you to think of your subconscious mind as your lens of perception.

This is where all of your past experiences are held and therefore referred to as you experience new things. Because of this, your past can quite heavily influence your present. Let me explain.

Say you’re a painter and have been previously told over and over again that you’re terrible, have no skills and shouldn’t be a painter. Then one day someone tells you that you are an excellent painter.

Do you think you would be quick to accept the compliment and believe them? Possibly. But you may also be very likely to come up with an excuse for the compliment. Such as, “they’re only complimenting me to be nice, they don’t really mean it” or, “they only think I’m a good painter because they don’t know enough about painting”.

Does this sound familiar?

Our subconscious creates a lens of perception that we view reality through. That lens can be positive, negative or neutral, and it may vary depending upon the particular experiences you have had throughout your life.

If we manipulate that lens to reflect positive messages that reflect our goals and interests, our subconscious mind can help us rather than hinder us as we work to reach our goals.

Become Subconsciously Aware

Our subconscious has the power to either work with us or against us. From our daily conversations to specific goals we’re trying to achieve, our subconscious has a hand in it all.

While this lens is created by our past experiences, we have the power to influence and adjust that lens to our advantage through daily actions.

Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are having a moment right now, and it’s safe to say we’re here for it!

Not only have they been proven to aid those battling depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem, but they also have the ability to help mold our subconscious mind to help us reach our goals. Research has shown that the use of positive affirmations can be particularly successful in the context of implementing health-related behavior change (5). Your conscious state is essentially telling your subconscious what to remember, how to shape your lens.

Create affirmations that reflect your goals, ambitions, wants or needs. Keep your affirmations in the present tense. For example, you could say, “I am strong” or “I am successful” rather than “I will be strong” or “I will be successful”. Recite your affirmations in your head, out loud or write them down in a journal.

As you begin to practice positive affirmations you may feel silly, it can sometimes even feel trivial. But as time goes on, your confidence will build and you’ll start to reap the benefits of the affirmations. Stick with it and remember the goal you are working towards!

Visualization

Think back to recent memory, what is it you picture first? I’m willing to bet an image of some sort is popping into your mind as we speak. Additionally, chances are you’re not only visually picturing the memory in your mind, but you’re also remembering how you felt and maybe even what you were thinking.

Visualization is almost like taking positive affirmations a step further. It gives your subconscious some context. Visualization or mental imagery is a proven method for instilling health behavior change (6).

When using visualization, the key is to paint your subconscious a concrete picture; what does it look like, how do you feel, what emotions do you have. The more detail the better! You are picturing yourself in a particular situation you are working towards achieving.

Positive Surroundings

How many times have you heard the phrase, “you are the company you keep”?

We’re heavily influenced by our surroundings. Not only are we influenced by the people around us, but also the information we’re exposed to. Think about it, if you’re constantly hearing the same thing over and over again (whether it’s true or not), don’t you think your subconscious will eventually start to assume the same in one way or another?

Our subconscious is constantly absorbing information from our surroundings, whether intentionally or unintentionally (7). If the information we’re absorbing is positive and uplifting, our subconscious will start to reflect that. Surround yourself with people, places, resources and sources of information that positively reflect your goals and ambitions!

Meditation

From guided meditation to mindful meditation and transcendental meditation, they all allow you to take a step back, be in the now and succumb to relaxation.

Meditation has been heavily researched and subsequently proven successful in reducing stress, anxiety, high blood pressure and even insomnia (8).

In addition to these benefits, there are many people out there who believe we’re closest to acknowledging our subconscious when we’re in a state of meditation. Research has gone on to prove this theory as well, where meditators were more aware of their subconscious cues than those who did not practice meditation (9).

Try adding a form of meditation into your routine to help build your awareness of your subconscious mind!

Bottom Line

Take a minute to think inward; what are your greatest hopes, desires, goals, and ambitions? Do you find that you get in your own way when trying to achieve these aspirations? Do you sabotage your own success? If you do, you certainly aren’t alone.

Our subconscious is influenced by so much that is outside of our control. My hope is that you use this information to take back control, put your subconscious to work and get after those goals!

“Think you can, or think you can’t; either way you’ll be right.” – Henry Ford

Connect With Us

What did you think of the subconscious mind before reading this article? What’s one takeaway you may try and implement into your life? We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject! I’m sure someone else reading the article would as well. As always, you can connect with us outside of the website on Instagram via @nutritionstripped @nutritionstrippederica and #nutritionstripped #nswellnesscoaching.





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Wellness

What You Should Know About Breast Cancer


Chances are you know someone who’s dealing with breast cancer and unfortunately, that’s not surprising.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis for women worldwide, accounting for 1/4 of all cancers diagnosed (1). October is breast cancer awareness month so I’d like to take some time to share information that’s easy to understand from how it’s diagnosed, how nutrition and lifestyle play a role, and more.

Lindsay here, one of the nutrition editors at Nutrition Stripped. As a Dietitian, I practiced for years in one of the nation’s top cancer centers. In working with women (and men) with breast cancer I was consistently surprised at the facts and figures surrounding this all too common disease.

An Ounce of Prevention

There are a number of factors that contribute to the development of cancer. Through research, we know many lifestyle factors impact breast cancer including the food we eat, physical activity, stress levels, sleep and even things like cleaning chemicals, personal care products, and food packaging.

While breast cancer is a common health challenge for sure, there is a lot you can do to minimize your risk. One of the first and most important steps is to brush up on the facts about breast cancer, especially how to prevent and early detection.

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer occurs when damaged cells in the breast start to grow out of control and start to invade other tissues. Most breast cancers occur in the milk ducts of the breast – these are known as ductal cancers.

Lobular cancers are the second most common type of breast cancer and they start in the glands of the breast that make milk. Sometimes, cancer can start in other tissues of the breast but this is less common.

Cancer is known as metastatic if it moves outside of its original location. Breast cancer moves to other tissues through blood or the lymphatic system – most commonly to the bones, lungs, liver, and brain (2).

Defining Breast Cancer Type

Defining breast cancer type helps clinicians understand the best way to approach the disease. It is generally defined using a number of factors. These include:

  • Where cancer originated
  • How fast it’s growing and if it spread outside the breast
  • If it’s responsive to hormones like estrogen or progesterone
  • When the cancer was diagnosed relative to life stage (before or after menopause)
  • Certain genetic features of the cancer

This information is taken into account to determine the specific type and stage of the cancer.

Cancer Staging

The cancer staging system is an official and consistent method of classifying the type and size of cancer and if it has spread to other parts of the body. The stage will also help determine the course of treatment. The stage of the cancer is determined by tests that may include biopsies, scans, X-rays, and physical exams.

There are 4 cancer stages and 1 precancerous stage (3). In general, the higher the stage the worse the prognosis.

  • Stage 0: Abnormal cells identified but cancer not present. This is known as carcinoma in situ.
  • Stage 1: Small cancer (tumor) that has not spread.
  • Stages 2-3: Larger cancers (tumors) that may have spread to nearby lymph nodes but not to other parts of the body.
  • Stage Four: Cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, known as metastatic or advanced cancer.

Breast cancer is further classified by how it reacts to the hormones progesterone and estrogen and the cancer cell’s genetic makeup.

Stage 0 Breast Cancer

Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) is a condition where the abnormal cells are confined to the milk ducts and have not spread. This is known as stage 0 breast cancer. From 1983-2003 there was a 500% increase in the diagnosis of DCIS, mostly related to the use of mammograms (4). Each year in the US about  50,000 women are diagnosed with DCIS and anywhere from 14-53% of those will turn into true breast cancer.

There is some disagreement within the medical community over the treatment of DCIS due to the fact that it is not officially cancer. In fact, even physicians vary with how they talk about DCIS – some refer to it as cancer while others do not (5).

How Common Is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a common health issue in the United States and around the world. It is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer globally, accounting for 25% of all cancers (6). To put this in perspective, think of 8 women you know – statistically speaking one of them will develop the disease in her lifetime (7).

Advancements in prevention, detection, and treatment mean there are also many survivors – in the US alone there are 3.5 million!

Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

As with most common health conditions, some risk factors are controllable and others are not. It is important to focus on those that are within your control rather than those that cannot be changed.

Non-Modifiable Risk Factors

  1. Being female: Breast cancer largely affects women. However, men can develop breast cancer but, it’s much less common.
  2. A personal or family history of breast cancer: If you have a history of breast cancer or a relative your risk is higher than someone who does not.
  3. How long you’ve had a period: Starting periods at age 12 or earlier (aka early menarche) or ending periods at age 55 or later (aka late menopause) both increase your risk.
  4. Gene mutations: BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the most well-known gene mutations that increase the risk of breast cancer. Cancer is not inevitable with these gene mutations but they do increase risk quite a bit. The average risk of developing breast cancer for women is about 12% during their lifetime, for women with the BRCA gene mutations it is around 70% (8).
  5. Radiation exposure: Radiation treatments to the chest area, especially in a child or young adulthood, increases your risk.

Modifiable Risk Factors

Truth be told, many of the women and men I’ve worked with are surprised to learn there are so many risk factors that can be controlled. The choices we make daily, to work out, to eat healthily, to enjoy or skip the nightly glass of wine – all impact our health. There is often so much buzz about weight and appearance in the wellness space, the message of making lifestyle choices to feel good and prevent disease gets lost.

So what factors do we have control over?

  1. Carrying extra body fat: Being overweight or obese increases your risk. Extra fat tissue produces the hormone estrogen, a big factor in developing some types of breast cancer.
  2. Drinking alcohol: Regular consumption of alcohol increases risk. Risk starts to increase with 3 drinks or more per week.
  3. Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Breastfeeding is not just good for baby, its good for mom too! Being pregnant and breastfeeding decreases your risk. On the flip side never being pregnant and/or not breastfeeding increases risk. This topic is borderline as sometimes this is within your control and sometimes it is not.
  4. Hormone therapy after menopause: Taking supplemental hormones after menopause increases your risk. An example of this is using estrogen cream or patch to boost low levels of hormones. This is often a difficult decision for women as supplemental hormones can also have a positive impact on other aspects of health and quality of life.
  5. Physical activity and exercise: Regular activity including both moderate and vigorous exercise reduces your risk. It is really important to note that the relationship here is considered a dose-response relationship meaning the more active you are the lower your risk of breast cancer (9).

Detection & Diagnosis

There are many methods of breast cancer diagnosis and detection. Despite advances in technology-based screening, most women find their cancer through self-detection. Survivors report finding their cancer most often through a self-breast exam or by accident (10).

Some other detection methods include:

  • Mammogram: A mammogram is simply an Xray of the breast. The American Cancer Society recommends mammograms for women age 45 and older.
  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound uses sound waves to create detailed images of structures within the body. Ultrasound helps to get more information on suspicious tissue that may be cancerous.
  • Office breast exam: A physician or an advanced practice provider such as a Certified Nurse Practitioner or a Physician’s Assistant will complete an office breast exam to check for abnormalities.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An MRI is another method of taking pictures of the breast tissue

A sample of any suspicious tissue (also known as a biopsy) undergoes analysis in a lab. If the cells are cancerous, the lab may also determine the type of cancer, if it is fast or slow-growing and if it is responsive to hormones. This information helps direct the treatment of cancer.

Treatment for Breast Cancer

Standard Therapies

Treatment for breast cancer depends largely on the specific type of cancer and the individual. Ideally, treatment plans take shape with a comprehensive medical care team and the individual with cancer. Traditional treatment may include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Hormone therapy

Complementary and Alternative Therapies

Complementary and alternative therapies are also available and have been studied. Therapies where research shows a benefit include (11, 12):

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Acupressure and electroacupuncture
  • Music therapy
  • Exercise
  • Nutrition

In my practice, I’ve found that individuals who work to stay active and connected with their bodies through exercise, yoga, meditation, and eating well, feel better during and after their treatment.

Sticking to somewhat of a routine and making self-care a priority also provides a small bit of control in an otherwise uncontrollable situation. The routine can be comforting and what’s more, many of these methods help with symptom management and surgical recovery.

Breast Cancer and Lifestyle

The role of lifestyle factors such as nutrition and exercise have been studied extensively relative to breast cancer prevention, treatment, and survivorship. What you eat and how much you move your body matters!

Nutrition

The overall pattern of your diet plays a larger role in cancer risk than eating or avoiding any particular food or food group. In general, plant-based diets, rich in whole, minimally processed foods reduce cancer risk. Such diets are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (beneficial plant compounds).

Obesity and excess body fat increase the risk of breast cancer. So eating enough but not too much and balancing eating with activity are both important.

Soy

Soy can be a controversial topic due to its containing compounds that are similar to estrogen. However, research shows that populations who include whole soy foods regularly have lower rates of hormone-sensitive cancers like breast and prostate. For women who have had breast cancer, soy may help reduce the risk of cancer coming back (13).

Flaxseed

Flaxseed has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer in both pre and post-menopausal women. Furthermore, for women with cancer, human studies show flaxseed can actually shrink tumors and can enhance hormone therapy drugs commonly prescribed following treatment for breast cancer (14).

Grind flaxseed in a handheld blender or coffee grinder to enjoy all of the benefits. Given the prevalence of breast cancer and the preventive benefits of flax, it makes sense to work to include it regularly in the diet. It can easily be mixed into smoothies, sprinkled on salads or baked into bread.

Adding flax is one of the recommendations I make first in my practice when it comes to cancer prevention. The research on the health benefits of flax, particularly its anti-cancer benefits, is strong. It is versatile, can be added to many dishes, and quite frankly – it is an easy place to start. Often, one positive change can lead to others and it’s much easier to add something than it is to avoid something.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage may aid in the prevention of breast cancer, especially for women who have not gone through menopause. One study found women who at larger amounts of vegetables in this family had lower rates of breast cancer (15)

Exercise

Regular exercise and daily physical activity lower the risk of heart disease, all causes of death and many types of cancer – including breast. After diagnosis, exercise can improve quality of life and prevent recurrence (16).

The best health benefits come with a lifestyle of staying regularly active, not a hard workout here and there. So, it’s important to do something enjoyable so you can maintain consistency. If you’re short on time, try to squeeze in a quick routine you can do at home.

Sleep

Sleep is the time the body repairs itself. Without sleep, the immune and other vital bodily systems don’t work as well. So it’s not surprising that shorter sleep duration increases the risk of breast cancer. According to a recent study, women who slept 6 or fewer hours per night had the largest increase in risk (17).

Hands down this is the area I’ve found most difficult in working with individuals with breast cancer. Typically busy women who are juggling many responsibilities and unfortunately, life doesn’t stop when you get cancer. I’ve found that getting up early and/or staying up late is how all the balls stay in the air.

It can be difficult to make sleep priority, but the evidence is clear – quality sleep is required for good health. My recommendation is to think of inadequate sleep like smoking or driving without your seat belt on. These are behaviors that are harmful to our health and yet lack of sleep doesn’t seem to carry the same weight when it comes to taking care of ourselves.

Stress

Studies have shown mixed results when investigating the relationship between stress and breast cancer (18). However, chronic stress and stress hormones aid in cancer progression in general. Stress hormones impair the activity of the immune system and as a result, it can’t do its job of finding and killing cancer cells as well. Even chemotherapy can be less effective when the stress response is chronically activated (19).

Stress management is vital to good health including the prevention of cancer. Personal stress management practices like nature walks, exercise, and meditation all aid in reducing stress hormones and promoting health.

Time for Action – The Big 5

Now that you’re well versed in how common breast cancer is and the role that early detection and lifestyle factors can play, its time to take action. Here is what you can do today:

  1. Talk to your doctor about appropriate screening for your age and personal medical history. This may include self-exams, office exams, and mammograms.
  2. Eat mostly whole foods, plant-based diet. Incorporate superfoods like ground flax and cruciferous vegetables regularly throughout the week.
  3. Stay active and exercise. Notice how I separated those two out? Thirty minutes at the gym does not undo 8 hours sitting in the office. Make an effort to be both active throughout your day and work in some dedicated heart-pumping exercise.
  4. Stay on top of stress with regular meditation, nature walks, plain old quiet time or whatever gets you zen mode – for me, its puzzles!
  5. Get your zzz’s. Set your phone to remind you when you need to get in bed so you can hit the 8-hour mark of quality sleep. It may help to develop a nighttime routine to get you ready for bed.

What Are You Taking Home?

Breast cancer facts can be surprising. What lifestyle changes are you going to make as a result of your learning? Share it with the NS community in the comments below or on social with #nutritionstripped.



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Wellness

Buffalo Tempeh Nourish Bowl | Nutrition Stripped


Spice up your next meal with this Buffalo Tempeh Nourish Bowl with creamy cooling vegan Cashew Ranch Dressing.

There’s a new nourishing bowl in town that has us seeing red (in a good way)! This Buffalo Tempeh Nourish Bowl combines all our favorite things — perfectly fluffy quinoa, zingy buffalo sauce, and Massaged Kale Salad.

We made this recipe at home three times last week, no kidding! The best thing is it is meal prep friendly. Make everything easier on yourself by cooking a double batch of his recipe and storing it in our favorite Glass Containers for up to one 1 week in the fridge. Just reheat quinoa and tempeh and serve!

Protein

Use whatever protein you enjoy to fit your unique eating habits. Our favorite vegan-friendly option for this recipe is tempeh or the easiest Crispy Tofu, but it works great with chicken or fish too!

For more information about animal proteins, what to look for, and how to shop for animal proteins check out our article Guide to Eating Animal Protein. Also, check out our factory farming article as it relates to animal proteins.

Healthy Hack

We’ve accidentally scorched our fair share of quinoa in our day using the usual “steaming method”. Learn from our mistakes, the next time you make quinoa at home, try this handy method.

  • Rinse your quinoa! Quinoa shells have a thin coating of saponin that can make it taste bitter. Rinse under cold water until water runs clear.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat water until boiling, add a pinch of salt for taste.
  • Add rinsed quinoa, and cook, similar to that of cooking pasta, until tender. Stirring occasionally so the quinoa doesn’t clump together.
  • Strain quinoa through a fine-mesh strainer and return to pan and let rest for about 3 minutes. fluff with a fork and serve.

 



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Wellness

How To Make A Behavior Change


How can we break those pesky old habits? And how do we make our new habits stick? Here you’ll learn how to make a behavior change.

When you’re looking to make a significant lifestyle adjustment, mastering the art of behavior change can be the key to your success.

We’re all trying to change one behavior or another in order to help better ourselves. Whether you’re looking to improve your health, increase productivity or even reduce stress, these tried and true behavior change strategies will help get you to your goal.

Regardless of the desired result, the journey to the finish line is all the same. It all comes down to behavior change!

What is Behavior Change?

Behavior change is the process of changing or adjusting a preexisting behavior in order to instill a new one. It’s the business of habit breaking and reforming – in order for us to make a significant behavior change, we need to break an old habit and form a brand new one.

Changing preexisting behaviors is tricky no matter how you look at it. We’ve already discussed why behavior change is so difficult here, so this time around we’re talking all about how to push past those obstacles in order to make your behavior change stick.

How To Instill Behavior Change

Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It is possible and you can do it, remember that.

There will be some speed bumps along the way, but with the proper tools and guidance you can glide right over those speed bumps and keep on keeping on towards your goal!

The Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change

The Transtheoretical Model (also referred to as the Stages of Change Model) essentially breaks down the process of behavior change into specific stages. The model is based on the idea that as we slowly but surely change our behaviors, we progress through a series of defined stages.

Understanding these stages will help you to determine where you are on the pathway to changing a behavior, and what you should focus on working towards next.

The Five Stages Of Change:

  1. Precontemplation – no idea that a change even needs to be made
  2. Contemplation – realized a change needs to be made, seriously thinking about making it
  3. Preparation – decided to make a change, some steps have been taken
  4. Action – additional steps have been taken and the behavior has been substantially changed
  5. Maintenance – the behavior has been changed and maintained continuously (1)

So, what stage are you currently in?

This part really is key – lasting change doesn’t happen overnight. We can’t just jump from contemplation to maintenance, behavior change takes time and practice. Focus on getting yourself from one stage to the next rather than just to the end goal. This can help minimize the magnitude of the behavior change and make the process a bit more manageable.

Now that you know what stage you’re starting in, let’s work on getting you to the next one.

Write It All Down

I’m almost positive I’m not going to be the first person to tell you this, but it’s important enough for it to be repeated one last time. Research has proven time and time again that the more we write things down, the more we remember them. This is often referenced in terms of note-taking and memorization in school, but it can just as easily be applied to adults changing behaviors.

A recent study was conducted by a professor of psychology looking to investigate how goal achievement is influenced by different methods. One of the methods she explored was the physical recording of goals. The study found that those who wrote their goals down accomplished significantly more than those who did not (2).

Write down the new habit you want to perform, the change you want to make. Write down the ultimate goal you want to achieve. It’s as simple as that!

If you’re someone who likes to journal or use a planner to keep yourself organized, record your goals right there! Whatever the method, just be sure to write it all down. Future you will thank you.

The Power Of Habit

Habits are extremely powerful. Think about your morning routine, the way you do your laundry, or even the way you cook your food – our habits are seamlessly weaved into our daily lives. They allow us to go through the motions without having to use ample brainpower for every minute task.

The success of a behavior change is heavily reliant upon our ability to break and reform some of these habits. Albeit tricky, there are a few steps you can take to make the process go a bit smoother.

Determine The Habit You Need to Break

First, determine the habit you need to break. For example, say you’ve decided to break your afternoon baked good habit, where you run over to the bakery across the street from work around 3:00 pm every day.

Replace The Old Habit

Now, what is the new habit you’re going to form in place of the old one? This is very important. If you’re left with no replacement, the chances of you caving and reverting to old habits are very high. For our purposes, let’s say you’ve decided to bring a snack from home instead of going to the bakery.

Work Through The Details

Lastly, we need to work through the details involved in forming the new habit.  We’ll have to determine what we’ll have for a snack, when we’ll prepare the snack, how long it will take to prep the snack, etc. The more thought you put into establishing the new habit, the easier it will be to execute.

If it’s going to be a habit, it has to become second nature. This takes time.

Habits eliminate the need for willpower when you perform the behavior. In the beginning, it will be extremely hard to resist reverting back to old habits. Yet over time, your new habit will eventually be so ingrained in your daily routine that you won’t even think about the bakery across the street.

Be consistent, stick to a routine, and make that habit stick.

Self-efficacy And Behavior Change

If we don’t believe in ourselves if we’re consistently thinking about the negative components, the drawbacks, the difficulties along the way, our chances of succeeding diminish.

Your internal motivators, self-efficacy and self-regulating skills are key to successfully changing behavior (3).

For some people, this will be second nature. For others, you will need to work at this. As you’re creating a plan for changing behavior, take some time to reflect. Think about why you want to make the change, what outcome you are seeking, how you will feel once your goal is achieved.

Spend some time with yourself and build a relationship with yourself, one that will allow you to become in tune with your thoughts, goals, ambitions, and decisions. Learn to trust yourself and your instincts. Building a relationship with yourself takes time, but it is worth the benefit you will gain in the long run.

A great way to do this is through journaling. Take a small amount of time per day or even per week to reflect on your goals, your weaknesses, your pain points. As we learned above, simply putting pen to paper can make all the difference.

Define Your Weaknesses

We all have strengths and weaknesses. The better we understand them, the more likely we are to succeed in changing a behavior. Acknowledge and determine what your weaknesses and triggers are.

If you’re trying to make healthier food choices, at what points do you usually make unhealthy choices? When you’re stressed? If you’re with certain people? When you’re feeling sad or lonely? Determine these pain points and game plan how you will prepare for these situations.

Is there a stress-management tactic that you could try? Could you speak to the people you’re frequently around about your goals and your ambitions? The more you plan ahead the better prepared you will be.

With that being said, it’s also extremely important for you to anticipate some failure. I know I know, that’s not exactly what you would like to hear right now, but you absolutely need to. There will be some speed bumps down the road that you aren’t able to glide over. You may stumble, fall or slip up. And that is perfectly fine. Prepare for failure, accept it, and keep on trying.

If you forget to put gas in your car and your car stalls on the way to work, are you going to throw your hands up and say “oh well, I guess I can’t use my car anymore”? I didn’t think so. Congruently, when you slip up or have a misstep, don’t beat yourself up or give up. Accept it, try and understand why it happened, then move on and keep on keeping on.

Stay Accountable

We all need to be held accountable. Some people are able to do this on their own, they know how to hold themselves accountable and monitor their actions. For others, support is needed.

The same study we discussed in relation to handwriting and goal achieving can also be applied to accountability. The study proved a positive association between communicating goals with others and successful behavior change. More specifically, when participants frequently updated others with their progress, their success was higher (4).

If accountability is a piece that you struggle with, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Help can be in the form of a friend, a health professional or any other expert who specializes in the behavior you are trying to change.

Time and time again I find that accountability from a knowledgable professional is the final piece clients need to reach their goals. If the behavior change you are trying to make involves eating or lifestyle habits, wellness coaching may be the right fit for you.

Put It Into Practice

Determine what stage of change you are in, define your pain points and tackle them.

When combined and modified to suit you and your specific needs, these tools will allow you to take control of your habits and make the changes you seek!

Connect With Us

What has your experience been with behavior change? Have you had success by utilizing any of these methods? We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject! I’m sure someone else reading the article would as well. As always, you can connect with us outside of the website on Instagram via @nutritionstripped @nutritionstrippederica and #nutritionstripped #nswellnesscoaching.





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Wellness

Warming Miso Soup | Nutrition Stripped


Give your immune system a boost with our favorite delicious Warming Miso Soup.

Using both red and white miso gives this soup an earthy-sweet complexity. Nutrient-rich wakame seaweed, portobello mushrooms, and tofu creat a soup that not only is delicious and versatile, but it’s incredibly easy to make!

Miso for the ages

Miso has been around for a really long time. Records of miso production date all the way back to year 701 in Japan and have been used in popular recipes ever since. There are many different types of miso to try, and an endless amount of information and history surrounding it. With most of the coveted types of miso taking several years to ferment, it’s safe to say that good miso is a form of art.

Check your labels

For gluten allergies, make sure to use white and red miso that is gluten-free. Red miso frequently contains barley, wheat, and rye, so make sure to check the labels if you have gluten sensitivity. We have personally used Miso Masters Organic miso for years which is gluten-free and perfect for this Warming Miso Soup.

Warming Miso Soup isn’t the only way to get the health benefits from adding miso to your diet. Try adding it to salad dressings, sauces, and glazes. You can even use it in baking!

Stripped

Miso boasts an impressive nutrient profile and is brimming with vitamins and minerals like manganese, vitamin K, copper, and zinc (17). Keep in mind that it’s also high in sodium, so keep consumption in moderation and pair with plenty of other fermented foods for best results.

For more information on gut health and incorporating more fermented foods into your diet, check out our article on improving Digestive Health with fermented foods.



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Wellness

Sustainable Food Guide: Tips for Eating Sustainably + Top Food Choices


We’ve all heard the term “sustainable food” thrown around at one point or another. But do you know what it actually means to eat sustainably?

Although the concept of sustainability dates back several centuries, it has recently entered the limelight as social movements and organizations like Farm-to-Table and Slow Food USA continue to gain traction. This popular eating pattern not only benefits overall health, but it can also have a long-lasting impact on local communities, farm workers, animals, and the planet.

So what exactly is sustainable food? And how can you be sure that you’re practicing a sustainable style of eating? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about sustainable food and how you can effectively reduce your environmental footprint.

What Is Sustainability?

A quick internet search reveals tons of different definitions for what exactly the term “sustainability” means. To put it simply, however, sustainable eating puts the focus on foods that are produced in a way that is beneficial for the environment, supports local communities and is humane to farmers, workers, and animals alike.

Sustainable food production is incredibly important, not just for the sake of our planet, but also for our health and future as well. Opting for some of the most sustainable foods whenever possible can help minimize greenhouse gas emissions, decrease food waste, and reduce exposure to harmful chemicals, additives, and preservatives that are abundant throughout the food supply.

Selecting sustainable ingredients whenever possible requires little effort but can be incredibly beneficial. Let’s look at some of the top sustainable foods that are good for both health and the environment.

Top 7 Sustainable Foods

There are plenty of options for the most environmentally-friendly meats, veggies, and other ingredients that can help promote a sustainable style of eating. Here are some of the top sustainable food products that you may want to consider adding to your next shopping list:

1. Beans

As one of the most sustainable protein sources available, adding beans to your diet can have a huge impact on the environment. According to a 2017 study published in Climatic Change, swapping beans in for beef could potentially help achieve up to 74% of the reductions needed to meet the goals for the greenhouse gas emission targets in the United States by 2020. Not only that, but it could also free up 42% of cropland in the United States as well (1).

Besides supplying a hearty dose of protein, beans are also a great source of fiber as well as manganese, selenium, zinc, and copper (2). Try centering one or two meals around beans each week for a nutritious, meatless meal. Alternatively, try using them in recipes like black bean burgers, dips, and salads to bump up your protein intake.

2. Broccoli

In addition to being a potent powerhouse of nutrition, broccoli has also secured a spot on the list of top sustainable food ingredients available. Broccoli plants are especially effective at producing their own natural pesticides, which help ward off pests without the need for harmful chemicals and synthetic products.

Broccoli is low in calories but packed with a wide array of essential nutrients. In particular, broccoli is high in vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese, along with a whole host of important antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds (3). Steamed, sautéed, or roasted broccoli are all easy and delicious options for a quick dinner side dish. Broccoli also makes a great addition to stir-fries or wholesome and hearty veggie bowls.

3. Sardines

Sardines and other small species of fish, such as anchovies, are all excellent choices when it comes to sustainability. They’re low on the food chain, meaning they don’t consume other fish themselves and can be caught with minimal impact on the surrounding environment. They’re also less likely to accumulate harmful toxins like mercury and reproduce very quickly, making them an ideal sustainable food option.

Sardines are versatile, easy to prepare, and loaded with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B12 (4). They can be grilled or baked and drizzled with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, and your choice of herbs and seasonings. Be sure to select wild-caught Pacific sardines whenever possible to avoid varieties that may be overfished or in danger.

4. Pears

This flavorful fruit is a great addition to a sustainable style of eating because, unlike many other fruits, it tends to ripen after picking. This eliminates the need to transport it quickly, cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions and fuel usage. Pears are also often available fresh from farmers’ markets, which can be a great way to support your local community.

Pears are rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and copper (5). Plus, they’re sweet and crunchy, making them one of the top flavorful and deliciously sustainable snacks that can be enjoyed with little to no prep required. You can also add pears to recipes like smoothies, frittatas, and fruit leathers to take advantage of the many nutrients that they have to offer.

5. Bison

This type of wild game is often dubbed the most sustainable meat option on the market. Compared to other common types of meat sources such as cattle, bison cause less erosion damage and trampling, which significantly cuts down on their potential environmental impact. Some also claim that they require fewer resources and tend to forage in drier, rougher grasses than cattle and other livestock.

Bison are also raised more humanely and allowed to roam freely for most of their lives. Although livestock production does require the use of more resources than plant-based foods, selecting bison instead of beef or chicken is a simple way to support ethical farming practices rather than factory farms.

Each serving of bison provides a good amount of selenium, vitamin B12, zinc, and niacin (6). Although it may require you to search a bit beyond your local supermarket, bison is widely available in many grocery stores, butcher shops, and health stores. It works especially well as a sustainable beef alternative in any recipes that call for red meat and can be marinated, grilled, stir-fried, or seared on the skillet.

6. Potatoes

Potatoes are a staple ingredient for a well-rounded, sustainable style of eating. Like broccoli and many other veggies, they have a built-in pest control system that produces natural pesticides and fungicides and reduces the need for harmful chemicals and other synthetic compounds. They also require a fraction of the water, fertilizer, and resources of other plants for growth and can be stored in the pantry or fridge for long periods of time without spoiling.

Potatoes are brimming with micronutrients like potassium, vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin B6 (7). They’re also a very versatile ingredient and can be boiled, grilled, sautéed, baked, or roasted and incorporated into recipes like turmeric mashed potatoes, veggie omelets, tossed salads, or potato wedges for a nutritious and sustainable side dish to your main meal.

7. Garden Peas

Peas stand out as one of the absolute best sustainable foods on the market as well as a nutritious addition to a healthy, balanced diet. This is because they produce their own nitrogen naturally, which eliminates the need for fertilizer and boosts the nutrient content of the soil, even after being harvested. Additionally, peas are also easy to grow in most weather conditions, which can cut back on water waste to conserve resources.

Peas are a great source of protein as well as fiber, vitamin K, manganese, folate, and thiamin (8). Fresh peas are sweet, tender, and delicious, but they can also be gently cooked and used in soups, pasta dishes, and pesto sauce as well.

Tips for Finding Sustainable Food

In addition to adding a few of the top sustainable food options into your diet, there are plenty of other ways that you can make sure you’re eating sustainably. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get started:

  1. Cook at home: Not only is it better for your waistline and your health but preparing your own meals at home also puts you in control of the ingredients you’re using to ensure that you’re eating sustainably.
  2. Purchase from sustainable food companies and local growers: Buying locally is a key component of sustainable eating, and it’s one of the ways that you can make the biggest impact. Supporting local, sustainable in your community also helps cut down on the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation and importing products.
  3. Eat seasonally: Basing your diet around which foods are in season is a great strategy to support sustainability. Seasonal produce also tends to retain more nutrients, taste better, and have less “food mileage” to reduce your environmental footprint.
  4. Choose certified fair trade products: Fair trade is a global movement that prioritizes the ethical treatment of workers to protect and empower local communities. Companies that become certified have undergone rigorous audits and assessments to guarantee that they are compliant with the strict standards set out by the organization.
  5. Start a garden: In addition to purchasing your food from responsible, environmentally-conscious companies, you can also try growing your own food at home as well. Starting a garden is a great way to add more fresh produce to your kitchen while also positively impacting the environment and supporting sustainable agriculture.

NS Recommends

Many of us don’t take sustainability into account when considering what a healthy diet should look like. However, choosing sustainable foods is important to the health of our bodies, our communities, and the world around us. Picking sustainable food options and making a few minor modifications to your shopping habits can ensure that you’re eating ethically and responsibly to preserve the health of the planet for generations to come.

If you’re looking for more support and ways to integrate sustainable foods into your life, then check out our best-selling Online Education Programs.



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Wellness

What are the benefits of eating fewer carbs?

Keeping Fit And Trim With A Low Carb Diet

They say that losing weight and keeping it off is tough, but the good news is that there is a way to keep obesity at bay without going hungry.

Despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noting that nearly one in five children/youths aged six to 19 in America has obesity, teens don’t need to go hungry to feel their very best.

One diet you may have read a lot about is the ‘keto’ or low carbohydrate diet. For many teens, it’s attractive because you don’t have to count calories and you can easily eat out without having to tell anyone you’re on a diet. Is the low carb diet effective though? What does science say?

Low Carb Diets Can Help You Burn More Calories

Although the emphasis of diets like keto are on consuming low percentages of carbohydrates, weight loss can be enhanced if you also burn more calories.

A 2018 study by scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital found that eating fewer carbohydrates can help you burn more calories, thus aiding in weight maintenance as well as weight loss.

If you have successfully taken off excess pounds, take note: most people regain the weight they have lost in one to two years, partly because their body adapts to eating fewer calories.

By adding low carb in to the equation, you can boost your metabolism and keep weight off in the long-term. Eating low carb can also stand you in good stead when you reach adulthood.

This is because as a teen, your metabolism is faster than it will be when you hit your 30s, 40s or 50s. By becoming accustomed to a low-sugar, high-protein style of eating, you can keep your internal machine running at full steam ahead, thus keeping adult obesity at bay.

Start Your Day With A Low Carb Breakfast

Your body is still growing, and if you do sport at school or on an extra-curricular basis, you will need plenty of energy throughout the day.

The good news about low carb diets is that they can help you battle fatigue and keep energy levels stable all day.

University of British Columbia study found that having a high protein, low-carb diet can help keep your glucose levels stable, not only for the hours following breakfast, but also for a full 24 hours.

This means that you are less likely to feel fatigued and to reach for unhealthy, sugary foods to give you a lift. One of the best things about a low carb breakfast is how easy it is to make.

A spinach or mixed veggie omelette can be made in under five minutes, yet is super yummy. You can also have a cheat breakfast once in a while, following lazy keto principles and enjoying foods like bacon and eggs, or a low-carb muffin topped with melted cheese.

Lazy keto essentially involves keeping your carbohydrate content to under 20 grams a day.

Is Low Carb The Only Solution?

In order to lose weight, it’s important to find a diet that most suits your lifestyle. Research has shown that low calorie diets and low carb diets can be equally efficient.

The key is to be consistent and to back a sound nutritional regimen with daily physical activity. Aim for a combination of cardio and weights workouts to build muscles and burn calories.

Doctors recommend that teens aged 13 to 18 enjoy at least one hour of moderate to vigorous activity a day. At the very least, you should be aiming for three half-hour sessions.

Think activities that might appeal to your friends as well – including dance, cycling, and choreographed weights routines.

This way, you can head to the gym together for a workout and a healthy low-carb smoothie afterwards.

If you would like to lose a little weight, think about the different options open to you. Sometimes, simply being more active can help tone and shape you in the way you wish.

If obesity is an issue, then embrace a healthy diet, consulting with your parents and doctor on an appropriate and ‘doable’ duty for your lifestyle.

Written By: Katlyn Upson

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