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Angela Joy Health & Fitness

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10 Tips Towards a Healthier YOU

Health Happy

The New Year – A time for re-evaluation, reconsideration, improvement, and overall change.

We all want to live healthy and happy lives don’t we?

Well let’s get started.

Listed below I have created 10 suggested resolutions that you can incorporate into your life TODAY!

Take your first step towards a healthier, happier YOU!

 

If implemented into your New Year, these 10 tips will help you become your happiest, healthiest and most satisfied self in 2016.

  1. Eat three meals per day.

When it comes to weight loss most people think less is more. Therefore, a common weight loss practice is to skip a meal or two in effort to eat less.

Contrary to what most think, it is actually more beneficial to eat three specific meals each day at specific times throughout the week.

Each meal is incredibly important – proving essential nutrients, vitamins and energy used throughout the day.

If a meal is skipped the body will feel sluggish, tired, unenergetic, and hungry – causing loss of focus, decreased productivity and lowered performance.

Once a specific three meals per day schedule has been created the body will acclimate and know when food is coming. You snacking habits between meals will dramatically decrease. You will look forward to your meals. You will no longer crave sweet snacks throughout the day or develop mood swings from starvation. And your reliance on caffeine will diminish.

The blood stream will receive a steady influx of food at specific times fueling the body to perform at peak performance!

Healthy happiness

  1. Eat consciously.

During your three specific meals take a moment to consider your eating environment.

Are you eating alone? In front of a television? While using your phone? Or, while completing work on the computer?

Each of these environments are not conducive for a healthy, relaxing meal.

We should be present while eating so that we are able to focus on how the food tastes, how we are chewing and how it is digested.

When we eat with distractions we are unable to recognize what foods we ate, whether or not we enjoyed the meal, and most importantly when we are full.

Often time distracted eating leads to overeating or the eating of unnatural foods – both of which are not health.

Food is best enjoyed when you are fully present, either sitting at a table eating by yourself or with friends or family – no cellphones, computers or books.

This transition will allow you to recognize the amount of food you are eating, the type, the taste and the experience.

  1. The 90-percent Rule – Give Yourself a Break! 

Diets are often made up of restrictive rules that work for several days or weeks, until one rule is broken and a binge is triggered.

The 90-percent rule prevents diet mishaps, “cheat meals,” and binge eating.

When the 90-percent rule is followed you choose to eat healthy 90-percent of the time. The remaining 10-percent is up to you. You can eat cheese, sweets, or any other type of food that is not included in your diet. Eat the foods that you crave, or really enjoy eating.

Allow yourself to be OKAY with eating this food and remind yourself that 90-percent of your diet was incredibly healthy. Eating one unhealthy, or less healthy item, will not devalue the vitamins and nutrients that you have consumed throughout the day.

Deprivation diets DO NOT work. They are not healthy for the body or the psyche. Allow yourself the 10-percent.

  1. Portion Control – It Doesn’t Have to be Hard

Maybe dieting is not right for you. Maybe you are already eating a somewhat healthy diet, but you are not seeing results.

Try pre-portioning your meals and choosing smaller sizes.

If you want to eat the dark chocolate, eat s few squares. If you are having oatmeal, don’t fill the entire bowl. If you are taking nuts to work for a snack, don’t take the entire bag.

Sometimes eating as much as 10-20 percent less will cause weight loss.

Healthy YOU

  1. Exercise – It can be fun! 

Start moving!

Exercise should be implemented into everyone’s lives. Whether it is a walk, run, spin class, swim or aerobics class – everyone should participate in a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week.

Exercise will not only help you to lose weight, it will also improve your digestion, allow you to sleep more, improve your mood happier and allow you to ultimately live an overall better life.

  1. Sleep – Do it! 

Your minimum sleep requirement should be seven hours per night.

I suggest that everyone sleep a minimum of seven and a maximum of nine hours per night.

If your sleeping habits are much lower, try adding at least one hour per night and try to work on improving your sleeping habits, environment and routine.

Sleep is one of the most important factors to health.

Sleep is the time where our body repairs, renews and rebuilds our cells. Do not miss out on this essential time.

  1. Crowd In – Welcome Health into Your Life 🙂

It can be difficult to suddenly cut all of the foods that you enjoy in your diet.

Instead or cutting these foods out right away, try crowding healthy foods in.

During lunch, add some kale to your salad.

During dinner, add a vegetable to your plate.

Before bed, add a fruit to your dessert.

During breakfast, add nuts.

By simply adding these foods to your diet you will see that the foods you were previously eating do not serve as great of a purpose.

One of the areas of dieting that people have difficulty with is when they are forced to “cut out” unhealthy foods. Most often people do not know what to substitute the food with.

Begin by teaching yourself what foods should be eaten and during what times of the day they should be eaten. Then, work on substituting these healthier choice foods with your previous choices.

These foods don’t have to be completely eliminated out of your diet, but try decreasing the amount in an attempt to include more healthy choices – without overeating.

  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables – I Promise it is Worth it!

The healthiest people on the plant eat a diet made up of large portions of fruits and vegetables.

According to the National Institute on Aging the people who live the longest are the ones who consume a primarily plant-based diet, made up of 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

When choosing what foods to crowd in to your diet start by choosing fruits and vegetables in an effort to increase your daily serving intake.

Fruits and vegetables are not only healthier choices (that consist of smaller amounts of fat and sugar) they also consist of high amounts of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that our body needs!

Choosing not to eat these foods deprives the body of these essential nutrients – while also dramatically decreasing your projected age expectancy.

  1. Keep a journal – This is Not Your Grade School Journal

If we saw a picture of all of the foods we eat in one day laid out on a table we would highly reconsider out eating habits.

A food journal helps you to evaluate the food you eat each day.

You will be able to see the amount of food you eat, the time you eat it, and the types.

You will recognize what areas need the most attention and which should be completely eliminated.

I advise that you keep a food journal for a total of at least one week.

Write down each meal that you eat, the time, amount of food, how you felt before and after the food, how the food tasted, if you felt hungry afterwards, your activities during the meal, and the location of the meal.

This one week of journaling could possibly change your life!

Many of us will eat large portions without ever taking notice. Many of us will eat foods we can’t even believe we eat.

Sometimes people will recognize that they eat the same few foods and without any variety.

The area that is most concerning to people is the amount of food eaten and the lack of fruits and vegetables.

  1. Self-care – What About You? 

Take some time to truly care for yourself this New Year!

Most of us spend a great deal of our time caring for others (children, spouse, parents, friends, etc.). But, have you ever thought about stopping and taking the time to understand and meet your own needs?

Fulfilling our needs can be difficult. We know that there are 100 other “to dos” that should be done. Therefore, we overlook our needs to in an attempt to get things done.

What kind of a difference do you think it would make if instead of trying to get it all done, you took a 10 minute break; you indulged on dark chocolate; you meditated; you took a hot bath; you went out to the sushi place you are dying to go to; you went out with your friends; or you went on vacation.

What if, for once, you did what you wanted to do?

For more information about learning to care for yourself, check out the book “The Art of Extreme Self-Care” by Cheryl Richardson.

Start caring for yourself this 2016!

Healthy Life wooden sign with a forest background

 

These are my 10 healthy resolution options for you to choose from this 2016.

Each one can help to improve your overall health and well-being.

Try implementing one gradually. If the new routine is able to stick, try implementing the next one.

Note the improvements that the changes make on your life and your health.

If you liked this post, please comment, like or share!

I would LOVE to hear from you.

What kind of resolutions have you made this year?

Has this article inspired you in any way?

Comment below and I would be more than happy to chat with you!

 

❤ Blessings, love and joy,

 

xoxo Angela Joy

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Learning to live in the moment – instead of capturing the moment: Travel tips and advice

By: Angela Joy

I recently returned from a very beautiful and rewarding trip to Ireland!
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A close friend and I found an inexpensive deal and decided not to let the opportunity pass us by.
The trip was overall amazing and I recommend that everyone visits Ireland at least once
in their lifetime.
The people were exceptionally kind and helpful, the way of life was peaceful and ideal, and the views were spectacular.
I would not trade my trip or the wonderful experiences that I endured for the world!

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While traveling between towns, attending tours and visiting different landmarks, I noticed something very bothersome.
We have a very difficult time, as Americans as well as other heritages, experiencing and appreciating the moment we are in.
We have become programmed to capture, and share the moment, without ever even taking the time to experience it ourselves.

Allow me to explain:
While traveling throughout Ireland, I noticed that as we approached a new location or landmark, myself and other travelers, were busy taking photos, sending or posting photos, and even discussing future plans – instead of appreciating and recognizing the moment we were presently in.

For example, while touring the Ring of Kerry in County Kerry, we traveled via a tour bus which made frequent stops to different locations throughout the ring.
Each stop had its own beauty and individuality.
I loved the views and couldn’t believe what was in front of me.
Upon each stop the bus made I noticed my fellow travelers stepping off of the bus, camera in front of their face, taking photos – before stopping and taking a second to take in the beauty in front of them.
I also noticed travelers texting, scanning social media, and discussing their travel arrangements for the days to come.

I couldn’t help but think, “Are we seeing the same view?”
“Do they realize what is in front of them right now and where they are?”
Possibly not.
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Psychology Study:
Psychology researcher for the Department of Psychology at Fairfield University in Connecticut Linda Henkel, completed a study titled, “Point-and-Shoot Memories: The Influence of Taking Photos on Memory for a Museum Tour.”
Throughout the study, which was made up of 28 undergraduate students, Ms. Henkel instructed the students to oberve 15 artifacts and photograph 15 artifacts while visiting an art museum.

Once the museum visit was over, Ms Henkel questioned the students about the objects that they photographed and the objects that they observed.
Of the objects that were photographed the students recalled few memories. The objects that were observed, the students recalled clear memories.
The study stated, “If participants took a photo of each object as a whole, they remembered fewer objects and remembered fewer details about the objects and the objects’ locations in the museum than if they instead only observed the objects and did not photograph them.”

As a result, Ms. Farkel was able to conclude that taking photographs, in an effort to “capture” the moment, was actually impairing the ability to recall the moment.

The university psychology study states, “This finding highlights key differences between people’s memory and the camera’s ‘memory’ and suggests that the additional attentional and cognitive processes engaged by this focused activity can eliminate the photo-taking-impairment effect.”

I, however, did not need a study to prove this to me – it was evident in what was happening around me.

Fellow travelers were not experiencing the moment, they were not appreciating the deep shade of green, the blue sparkling ocean or the fresh, crisp smell.

They were stepping out of the bus, snapping a few quick photos, posing with friends, and preparing for the next stop.

As the trip continued I became more and more aware of different ways that myself, my friend and those around us, were (and were not) living in the moment.

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During a separate day trip, one that led to the coveted destination of Ireland’s west coast – the Cliffs of Moher – I realized a similar occurrence.

While standing along the beautiful five-mile long shoreline of Ireland’s west coast, looking out upon Galway Bay, the Aran Islands and the Twelve Pins when I noticed the dreaded fate of failing to live in the moment once again.
Constant photo taking, standing with friends to pose for photos, standing with their backs away from the cliffs to look at pictures taken – as well as the floods of selfies being taken.

Very infrequently did I notice a fellow traveler contentedly sitting/standing along the cliffs taking in the beautiful sights and appreciating the current moment that they were in.

While walking back into the bus I realized how upset I was by this.
I was so overwhelmingly happy to have the opportunity to visit the cliffs that I could NOT stop looking up (and smiling!).

I loved and cherished every moment that I was there and could not wait to stop, sit and stare out into the beautiful sights.

… I wished that others felt the same.

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What is the reason behind this behavior?
And how can we teach others to be present in the moment and really experience and appreciate what is in front of them?

I don’t know the answer to this question but as my trip continued I realized that this behavior is not only true while visiting landmarks and beautiful landscapes. It is true when walking the streets of a town, visiting a restaurant or bar, and even while boarding a plane.

We are so busy trying to capture and share the moment that we are in that we are not taking the time to actually experience it for ourselves.

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Travel Tips
I would like to share with you some tips before departing on your next trip.

1. Take one or two photos, then put the camera away.

2. Stop, inhale, experience and fully take in the moment you are in.

3. Be thankful for and appreciate each experience.

4. After returning to your hotel, or while traveling to the next destination, write down your experiences. It is easy to forget intricate details and you will be so grateful that you have memories written down for you to come back to.

5. Instead of buying a shot glass or key chain, buy a postcard and write down an important memory from your trip, with a special note, and give these to friends and family upon your return. The gift will be more meaningful and they will keep for years to come.

6. Wait till you are home to share events with friends and family. Enjoy the trip while you are. Try your best to be present during the trip instead of focused on what lies at home.

7. Before traveling save up money so that you don’t have to skimp out on experiences, excursions or delicious meals. You may only visit that location once in your lifetime – experience it to the fullest.

8. Don’t be anti-social. Talking and communicating with locals allows you to fully understand the culture you are visiting. I enjoy listening to locals communicate with one another. I was able to learn their mannerisms and how they treat one another.

9. Try not to be TOO obvious that you are from America. Unfortunately, Americans are often treated differently. Try not to be too obvious to allow yourself to better experience the journey.

10. Do all that you can in the time allotted, but also allow yourself time to rest and relax. Travelling can be incredibly strenuous so allow yourself an early night or late morning. If you have only two hours of sleep how can you be fully present the next day?

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Overall what I learned from my trip was this:

The photos that I have from Ireland are wonderful. However, the memories that I hold are unsurpassable.

Memories hold meaning, value, sounds, sights and smells. They are unmeasurable. They can brighten any day and awaken any conversation.

Happy travels!

-Angela Joy ❤

Link to study: http://bit.ly/1FNMeGf

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