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If you want to get anything out of the food you’re eating you need to digest it properly.

Take a whiff – Digestion starts in your brain when you think about food before you even begin eating. Give the process a jump start by taking a moment to smell and think about what it is you’re going to eat.

Sit down, be calm – Take some time for your meals. Yes occasionally we all have to eat on the run, but digestion only works well when you’re in a parasympathetic or relaxed state. Stress shuts down digestion.

Chew well – Most of us are so busy we only allow ourselves to chew our food enough so as not to choke. Here’s your new rule: 25-30 chews per bite. Spend some time breaking down the food in your mouth and save your stomach some work.

Mechanically breaking down your food by chewing it well creates smaller particles which are easier to digest. Thorough chewing also encourages you to secrete saliva, and saliva coats your food with the enzymes amylase and lipase. These enzymes begin to digest fats and starches right in your mouth.

Protip: Try putting your fork down between each bite. This habit will help you maintain a reasonable pace

Ten shades – The people that eat a wider variety of foods are the health

iest. Try to eat fruits and vegetables that are ten different shades daily. This ten shades rule will help ensure you’re getting a broad spectrum of micronutrients.

Hold the water – Yes hydration is important, but let’s take a break from drinking anything 15 minutes before and after a meal. Fluid intake close to mealtime dilutes stomach acid and slows digestion.

One last tip: You’ll know that you on the right track with your digestion if you experience a pleasant warm feeling in your abdomen mid-meal.

Want to learn more: read out How to eat – The Basics

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It’s safe to say that most women over 40 who spent quality time building their careers, during their early years, are now looking to invest in their physical abilities. When I say career, I also include those stay home mothers out there. Taking care of the family, in my opinion, is one of the toughest careers ever. But that’s a topic for a different article.

The investment in our physical abilities, after 40’s, is not an easy task or a way out of doing work. Strength training, unlike the Zumba class most of us have experienced, is tough work. I am talking about doing a movement as little as five times, and then realizing how simple and hard full range of motion movements actually are.

The list of benefits that strength training brings to the table is vast. Below is a list from all of the women over 40 I have had the chance to work with during my 12 plus years as a trainer

1- Better sleep. Without getting too scientific here, menopause and peri-menopause years make it tough to fall asleep and to stay asleep. Most physical activities will improve sleep, but strength training is extremely beneficial for 40+ woman because of its hormone balancing effect.
2- Body image. Yes, you will look better, and the enhancement of your self-confidence will be noticeable, as soon as four months of a consistent and balanced lifestyle. Leaner muscle, stronger body, and some fighting skills will do that to you. The increased libido during peri-menopausal is also one of the positive effects of strength training.
3- Pleasant doctor visits. All of your health markers will improve dramatically. Strength training has been put the test. There are hundreds of studies that have demonstrated how this method of training has a direct affect on blood pressure, lowering triglycerides, resting heart rate, and insulin levels.

As I mentioned, the list is vast but I will stick to the three reasons every single woman over 40 has told me within 6-8 months of consistent strength training. It’s fun, gives you a new set of skills, plus it’s much cheaper than a heart attack or diabetes treatment.

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Every day each one of us is faced with the same challenges, “what should I eat?” We all have to eat, everyday no matter what, multiple times a day. As we drive to and from work, dropping or picking up our children from school or going to the gym we are bombarded with fast food, quick fixes to the need to eat. It seems cheap, quick and it’s convenient. The idea of cooking at home, with healthy ingredients, not only sounds time-consuming but knowing the prices at the grocery store, it sounds expensive too. The reality is that with less than $100 dollars you can easily feed two people for 7-10 days. This grocery trip would not just feed those two people but would feed them with healthy and unprocessed foods. The five essential ingredients for any delicious, well rounded and healthy meal are: meat, vegetables, sea salt,  ground pepper and some heat. It really cannot get more simple than that!

Most supermarkets in the United States have an average of five thousand items to choose from. Not long ago, by avoiding the middle aisles in the grocery store, you were able to eliminate the temptation of processed and sugary foods. The food industry took it upon themselves to work with the grocery stores to change that setup. These large companies who have many processed food items on the market right now have found ways to have their items brought out of the middle aisles and scattered throughout the produce, dairy and meat departments.

The idea is to use simple ingredients. By using these items, the cook time will be much less. Sticking to the basics like chicken, fish and red meats; vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus, green beans, kale. You also want to add simple grains, some salt, and pepper which allows these ingredients to cook quick, taste good and last for the week. Eating healthy can happen even with a busy schedule, meat & veggies keep it simple.

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This side dish is a great quick edition for a summer dinner while you’re grilling your meats. A classic sweet potato taste with a kick.

Prep Time: < 8 minutes
Cook Time: < 8 minutes

Ingredients:
Sweet Potatoes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
Chipotle Chili Pepper – ground

Instructions:
1. Slice sweet potatoes up about a centimeter thick.
2. Lay out the slices and brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil.
3. Season with sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, and chipotle chili pepper to taste preference.
4. Grill for x amount of time and flip.
5. Enjoy!

 

http://crossfitmass.com/26433-2/

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In the cornucopia of foods which make up a healthy and balanced diet, tree nuts can be a new perfect answer for your snacking needs. Complete with protein, fats, and carbs offset by dietary fiber, you can’t ask for a more portable and easy to store snack. Almonds are even full of potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

How can something so right go so wrong?

The way most things in life can: quantity and ignorance. Maybe someone else prepared your food, maybe some nice almond flour pancakes for breakfast or you’re mindlessly nibbling on a nut bowl at a restaurant or party. You don’t think about how much you’re eating.

A serving of almonds is a ¼ cup.

What does that mean? You just take a bunch of almonds and put them in a measuring cup that says one and four, right? Well, you can. That’ll look like this:

 

How much does that weigh? 42 grams.

 

But the package says the serving should only weigh 30 grams! If you eat that ¼ cup, you’re eating an extra 108 calories you weren’t even thinking of!

This is why, if you’re portioning your food, you’ll do better to actually use a scale and weigh your measurements instead. As it turns out, there are only about 23-25 individual almonds in that 30g serving.

 

Which brings me to almonds as a grain substitution in baking. Many almond flour pancake recipes call for two or more cups of almond flour. That’s at least half a pound of almonds! If you split a batch of those pancakes with someone, you could be eating 100 almonds or more than three servings! That’s about 650 calories for just the almonds in the pancakes. A McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese on a bun has a couple more grams of protein, half the fat, 120 fewer calories, but more than twice the carbs. I’m not suggesting you eat the fast food burger, though. I’m suggesting you be aware of not only what you’re eating, but how much!