5 Good Reasons To Drink Coffee Every Day For Better Health

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By contributing author– Rudy Caretti (biography below)

“So, you love coffee? You are not the only one. Fortunately, an everyday dose of coffee in the right quantity is attributed to various health benefits.

5 Reasons To Drink Coffee Every Day

1. Coffee helps you perform better during workouts.

You may already know, but most supplements taken by athletes contain coffee extracts such as caffeine. There is a scientific reason behind this. Caffeine has several effects on the human system that causes one to do better during physical activity. When taken 30 minutes before any physical activity, black coffee promotes the release of endorphins. These hormones are responsible for our happy moods and adrenaline. These two hormones cause the body to respond positively to any training, leading to better results.

Besides, caffeine alters the way the nervous system responds to pain. This causes the body to endure more strenuous reasons to drink coffeesituations. In this case, your muscles will tolerate longer sessions of intensive endurance- and strength-building exercises.

In a nutshell, caffeine can propel one to train harder, thus improving their results. No wonder scientific research has found coffee can improve athletic performance by about 11-12%.

2. It is loaded with minerals and antioxidants.

The red berry is one food substance packed with many essential nutrients. If you prepare your cup rightly, you are sure to ingest these into your body.

Also, some of the nutrients obtained by drinking coffee include:

  • potassium
  • magnesium
  • niacin
  • riboflavin
  • pantothenic acid

Coffee also contains more antioxidants than a single serving of fruits and vegetables combined.

3. Coffee can keep diseases at bay.

Research shows coffee can help keep dangerous diseases away. Some of these diseases have claimed the lives of many people. Others do not have any known cure. Luckily, one can lower their chances of contracting such ailments by drinking coffee. Some of the said ailments are listed below.

  • Parkinson’s disease: According to Mayo Clinic, “Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It develops gradually.” A 2002 report published in the Annals of Neurology showed those who drank java daily lowered their chances of suffering from Parkinson’s by 32% and 60%. This finding was unique to those who enjoyed caffeinated coffee only.
  • Diabetes II: A study by Harvard School of Public Health researchers looked at information collected over 4 years on people with diabetes II and some without. The study was divided into 3 sections. The researchers were interested in finding the relationship between type 2 diabetes and the kind of diet the study subjects were eating. The results showed that among the 7,269 subjects, the people who took at least one cup of coffee each day for those 4 years decreased their chances of developing diabetes II by 11%.
  • Cardiovascular diseases: Contrary to the popular belief that caffeine in coffee can lead to high blood pressure and consequently endanger your heart, research has shown the effect is dismal. Regular intake will not only cause the blood pressure risk to disappear, but also lower your chance of developing heart disease by 20%. This finding was upheld by a Korean study published in 2014. The study found that taking coffee in moderate amounts reduces one’s disposition to coronary artery calcium (CAC). CAC is a key indicator of possible cardiovascular disease.

With the burden of such ailments off your shoulders, you are likely to lead a long, healthy and happier life. No wonder, another benefit you could be enjoying by simply sipping your cup of Joe is the possibility to live longer.

4. It makes your skin and hair blossom.

As mentioned earlier, coffee is packed with many antioxidants and minerals which could help keep your skin healthier and glowing. When the body is getting rid of various toxins successfully, one part that is likely to blemish is your skin. Also, the vitamins and minerals cause your hair to grow faster. Also, did you know you can treat your hair with a cool brew of a strong pot of coffee to make it shiny, stronger and healthier?

reasons to drink coffee5. Coffee improves your mental health.

Good mental health is a result of a combination of several factors. However, the most important one is happiness. Most benefits of coffee discussed above work together to make you a happier person. In this regard, you are likely to enjoy better mental health. There are other ways, however, coffee could be good for your mental well-being.

Based on a 2011 Harvard study, people who enjoyed at least 4 cups of coffee daily lowered the risk of falling into depression by 20%. Depression is one of the many mental disorders that can deprive one the joy of leading a fulfilling life.

The Takeaway

In conclusion, coffee is a delicious beverage many of us enjoy each and every day. There are many reasons to drink coffee including health benefits for our skin, hair, mental health and disease prevention.

For more about coffee, you might like you check out: reasons to drink coffee


Author, Rudy Caretti, has more than 15 years of experience in the coffee industry, a passion that started in Italy within the family business and brought him to found Gimoka Coffee UK and G Coffee Pod with a group of friends, who share the same passion.

Since he roasted his first batch of coffee seeds as a teenager, he was fascinated by the many ways it can be processed to get the many distinctive flavors we all love.

As a coffee connoisseur, Rudy has always been aware of the vital role coffee plays in people’s social life. And he is especially active through the company’s social media and blog. He loves sharing his knowledge with readers around the world, writing and posting articles that range from the coffee brewing techniques to raising awareness of the importance of responsible production to help protect the rights of farmers and protect the environment.

Facebook | Twitter | Google+


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Top 20 Best Healthy Snacks

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Who can deny that snacking is an American tradition (at least in my family it is)? What we graze on during the day has a big impact on our health.

Do you have a favorite snack food? Chips, Oreos, Cheetos or Twinkies perhaps? No judgement here. My snack choices haven’t always been perfect either.

Just some food for thought….

As you probably guessed, the best snacks are those packed with nutrients and protein, which fuels the body until the next meal. These snacks are full of flavor, and dare I say, even fun to eat!

I used to teach preschoolers, what can I say? 🙂

20 Healthy Snacks

  1. Nut Butter

    Peanut butter, peanut butter, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways….but, I digress.

    Seriously, who can resist the creamy, nutty confection that is peanut butter?! And don’t forget the lesser known nut butters: hazelnut, cashew, almond and walnut.

    According to the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Source, several large studies over the past few years “have shown a consistent 30 to 50 percent lower risk of heart attack, sudden cardiac death or cardiovascular disease associated with eating nuts several times a week.”

    Plus, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter has 7 grams of protein and 180 mg of potassium. Just make sure to check out the ingredient list and avoid added sweeteners and trans fats, especially “partially hydrogenated oil”. Also, don’t bother buying the “low-fat” nut butters. Manufactures of these products simply replace the fat with sugar.

  2. Cottage Cheese

    Once considered a “diet food”,  cottage cheese is now a fan favorite of weight lifters, other athletes, and health foodies alike. This is no surprise considering the whopping 28 grams of casein protein in each cup of cottage cheese.

    A summer favorite of mine is eating a sliced tomato, straight from the garden, topped with cottage cheese and plenty of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. Sounds weird, tastes great! You also might like to try cottage cheese with fresh pineapple. Delish!

  3. Berries

    healthy snacks
    Berries are a low-sugar, antioxidant-rich snack.

    Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, gooseberries and elderberries just to name a few…They are colorful, juicy, sometimes sweet, and full of vitamins and antioxidants (1).

    Enjoy a cup of berries with a splash of cream for a decadent treat.

  4. Whey Protein Shake

    Whey protein can help you gain muscle, lose fat, and increase strength (2). I sometimes drink one as a meal replacement and I’m amazed how long it satisfies my hunger. You might like to try My Favorite Peanut Butter Protein Shake.

    Most people tolerate regular whey protein concentrate, but if you have digestive symptoms you might find that isolate or hydrolysate is better suited for you.

  5. Hard-Boiled Eggs

    Eggs are incredibly nutritious (3). Like, the perfect food. They are high in protein, healthy fats and amino acids.

    They’re also high in cholesterol, but despite what you may have heard in the past, eating high-cholesterol foods does not increase cholesterol for the majority of people (4).

  6. Plain Greek Yogurt

    It’s creamy and rich in protein and probiotics. It can also cut the appetite and help with weight loss (5).

    You may want to add berries, other chopped fruit or nuts to raise the vitamin and fiber content.

  7. Cheese

    Cheese has many vitamins and minerals, including calcium, zinc and vitamin K2. Eating it can help prevent osteoporosis and heart disease (6). And the fat in cheese can help you feel full longer, preventing cravings and helping you make it to the next meal.

  8. Jerky

    Jerky is meat, such as veal, beef, turkey or venison which is dried and cut into strips. It is low in carbohydrates and high in protein.

    The healthiest kind is made at home. But the kind you see at the grocery store has all sorts of added preservatives and sugar so please keep this in mind.

  9. Dark Chocolate

    healthy snacks
    Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and makes the perfect snack.

    Are you surprised chocolate made it to this list of healthy snacks? Pretty cool, huh?

    Studies have shown that dark chocolate eaters have a lower risk of heart disease (7). Eating chocolate can also improve brain function.

    Choose dark chocolate with a 70-85% cocoa content (minimum). Any less and you’re looking at a lot of sugar.

  10. Deli Rollups

    Simply take a slice of meat, such as turkey and a slice of cheese. Roll it up, and voila! Another favorite is spreading cream cheese on the turkey and wrap it around a dill pickle. You can slice it first, or simply eat it like this.

  11. Canned Tuna

    Another high-protein snack, tuna is a great choice if you’re on the go. Just be sure your office buddies are cool with the smell if you decide to pop open a can in the afternoon.

  12. Veggies And Hummus

    If you’ve never tried hummus I encourage you to give it a try. Some might say it’s an acquired taste, but I’ve loved it from my first taste and make my own from home.

    I throw some white beans, garlic, lemon juice, cumin and olive oil in the blender and it makes the most delicious hummus in no time.

    Here’s a similar recipe you might like to try:  Super Easy Hummus

  13. Protein Bar

    Homemade ones are the best, in my humble opinion. But if you like to have prepackaged ones on hand I recommend you try the Luna, Kind and Quest ones.

  14. Kefir Smoothie

    Kefir (pronounced like “Kiefer Sutherland” the actor in 24, love that show) is full of tummy-loving probiotics and protein.

    On its own, kefir is tart (and perhaps a little “gloppy”), and many prefer to drink it in a smoothie.

    I love this handy Mix-And-Match Kefir Smoothie Chart for creating tasty smoothies, chock full of delicious flavor and nutrition.

    (You can read more on probiotics in What Are Probiotics And Where Can I Find Them? and 7 Reasons To Take Probiotics)

  15. Seeds

    Pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, flax and chia seeds give you quick, long-lasting energy and satiety. They can be eaten by themselves or in smoothies, oatmeal or granola. One serving of pumpkin seeds (pepitas) has 7 grams of protein.

  16. Bean And Cheese Mini Quesadilla

    Smash 1/3 cup of black beans and spread it on a small tortilla. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons of salsa. Warm in a skillet or pop it in the microwave for a few seconds just until the cheese melts.

    This is a tasty mini-meal/snack that stays with you.

  17. Milk (2% Or Whole)

    Milk is a great source of high-quality protein, as well as vitamin D, calcium and B12. It is linked to higher bone density in humans (8).

    Do not, I repeat, do not worry about the fat in whole milk. As long as you drink a serving size you’ll be fine. The fat keeps you satisfied longer. More importantly, growing research shows a myriad of health benefits of consuming full-fat food versus low-fat (10).

    According to Dr. Mercola, “Accumulating research is showing, however, that this switch to low-fat has not only caused rates of chronic disease to skyrocket; it’s also been making people fat.”

    Please keep in mind, some people are allergic to the sugar in milk, lactose. If you’re lactose-intolerant you’ll want to stay away from milk and other dairy products. There are dairy-free milks on the market, such a coconut, soy and cashew milk which should be fine for you to drink.

  18. 4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Energy Bites

    Liv over at Healthy-Liv.com posted this easy recipe for these incredibly yummy energy bites.

    I just made them for my family to enjoy. But let me warn you, it’s hard to eat just one!

  19. Frozen Grapes

    The perfect sweet treat!

    The anthocyanins and resveratrol in grapes reduce inflammation and lower your risk for disease (9)

  20. Homemade Guacamole And Tortilla Chips

    My personal favorite. 😉 I can eat an entire bowl of freshly made guacamole all by myself…it’s that’s good! (Not that I’m recommending you do this, just keepin’ it real.)

    Here’s my favorite recipe:

Quick And Easy Guacamole

Quick And Easy Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 medium avocados
  • 1/4 to 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 firm tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut the avocados open lengthwise. Remove the pit with a large knife. Scoop out the flesh into a bowl.
  2. Mash the avocado flesh with a fork, to your liking.
  3. Chop and stir the other ingredients.
  4. Enjoy the guacamole right away.
  5. Store in the fridge, tightly covered with plastic wrap to help prevent browning (if you have any leftover)
http://www.lorigeurin.com/top-20-best-healthy-snacks/

The Takeaway

There are so many delicious snacks to choose from. And the best ones are those that help you become the healthiest, strongest version of yourself.

What are your favorite healthy snacks? Please share below in the comments.

Also, you may want to check out this video below for more great healthy snacking ideas.


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22 Essential Tips To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

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Many people experience weight gain during the holidays.

With colder weather, comfy sweaters and family gatherings it’s easy to pack on a few pounds.

Please tell me I’m not alone here.

But you can still enjoy the holidays and avoid holiday weight gain by following these essential tips.

22 Tips To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

1. Eat a protein-rich snack before you go out.

If you arrive at a holiday party famished you’re likely to overeat. Avoid mindless snacking by choosing a healthy snack, such as the one of the following:

  • Greek yogurt and berries
  • a handful of healthy fat-rich nuts, such as almonds, pecans, cashews, or walnuts
  • an apple with peanut butter, or other nut butter
  • a protein shake, like My Favorite Peanut Butter Protein Shake
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • string cheese
  • jerky
  • hummus and veggies

2. Stay active.

Many families enjoy sitting around and watching parades, Christmas music specials or ballgames during the holidays.

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with these traditions, all this inactivity can lead to weight gain. This is especially true if we’re also eating too much rich food (1)

Rather than lounging around all day, consider:

  • taking a family walk, either outside or inside a mall
  • going ice skating
  • building a snowman with your kids
  • going sledding

These activities will burn calories while giving you the opportunity to bond with loved ones.

3. Pay attention to portion sizes

With all the delicious foods prepared during the holidays, it can be tempting to overeat.

But, people who eat larger portion sizes tend to gain weight more than those who don’t (2).

Makes sense, right?

Read food labels to discern correct portion sizes. Use measuring cups and spoons to measure your food.

4. Get adequate sleep.

Did you know that not getting enough sleep can lead to weight gain and a slowed metabolism (3, 4)?

When we don’t sleep enough we tend to eat more and exercise less. Our hunger hormone levels increase and this raises calorie intake.

5. Don’t hang out by the food at a party.

If you linger by the delicious dishes and desserts, the temptation to indulge is greater.

But if you step away from the food and focus more on talking to people you’ll save calories, and you just might have more fun. 😉

I’m reminded of the phrase, “Out of sight, out of mind”.

The same thought applies to your pantry at home. Throw out the junk food so it’s not there tempting you to eat it.

avoid holiday weight gain
Shake it off! Reduce holiday stress.

6. Keep stress under control.

The holidays are stressful sometimes.

There are people to see, presents to buy and wrap and recipes to make.

But it’s important to keep our stress levels under control.

When we are chronically stressed, our levels of cortisone go up. This can cause us to eat more and gain weight (5).

Focus on activities that reduce stress, such as exercise and deep breathing techniques.

I found an app that helps you focus on reducing stress. It’s called Calm.

7.  Prep a healthy dish to share.

Bringing a healthy dish to holiday gatherings can give you something healthy to eat even if everything else is rich or sugar-laden. This can help you keep your healthy eating goals in check.

It also gives others the opportunity to try a delicious and healthful recipe!

8. Use a smaller plate.

Using large plates often leads us to consume more calories. If not kept in check, this can lead to weight gain (6).

Using a small plate helps you control portion sizes and reduce overeating.

9. Avoid processed food.

This includes most foods packages, boxes or bags of food.

Processed foods are often stripped of nutrients. And most have added unhealthy fats, sugar and preservatives.

10. Keep a food diary.

Write down everything you eat, or use an app to help you.

If you’re like me, I often underestimate how much I eat in a day.  Keeping a food diary helps me stay on track with my goals and be more aware of what I’m putting in my mouth.

My favorite app is MyFitnessPal. You might like to try it.

11. Weigh yourself weekly.

Okay, so there are conflicting viewpoints when it comes to weighing yourself. Some people weigh a few times a week. Some never.

It’s good to keep in mind that weight fluctuations are normal day-to-day.

But, many people find it helps them stay accountable and makes them more aware of their progress if they weigh weekly (7).

12. Watch your beverage and alcohol intake.

Soda, juice, alcohol and other beverages are full of empty calories and sugar. These factors contribute to weight gain (8).

The best thing to drink?

You guessed it….water!

13. Take smaller bites and chew your food thoroughly.

Eliminate distractions, such as electronics, and eat mindfully, savoring each delicious bite (9).

14. Keep a consistent workout routine.

Stick to your regular fitness routine as much as possible. Consistent training produces better results.

And that leads me to tip, #15.

15. Stay positive even if you get off track.

Don’t beat yourself up or stress about it. Simply restart your commitment a healthy life and get back on track.

Simply focus on your health and fitness goals and keep moving forward with your plan.

It might help to use Motivational Quotes And Power Phrases.

16. Drink a glass of water before meals and snacks.

Sometimes we think we’re hungry when our body just needs water. Drinking water fills us up and helps prevent overeating (10).

17. Leave a few bites of food on your plate.

Are you a member of the “clean plate club”?

It’s okay to admit it, I used to think I had to clean my plate too.

Try leaving a few bites of food on your plate. You probably won’t even miss them and the calories you’ve saved add up and can help prevent weight gain.

18. Eat loads of veggies.

Filling up on plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits can help prevent obesity (11). They’re filled with vital nutrients and vitamins as well as healthy fiber.

19. Lift weights.

Building muscle is one of the best ways to increase your metabolism and burn more calories.

A great way to build muscle is by doing a kettlebell workout.

You may want to check out 20 Reasons To Try A Kettlebell Workout to learn more.

20. Fill up on fiber.

Eating more fiber fills you up faster which can prevent you from eating as much and gaining weight (12).

Fiber-rich foods include:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • legumes
  • whole grains.

21. Buddy up.

Find a friend who has similar health goals and give each other accountability.

Having someone to work out or swap health recipes can help you stay on track.

22. Avoid sugar and simple carbs.

Eating too much sugar is a common cause of weight gain and obesity (13).

When you come face to face with the desserts this holiday season, focus on selecting only your favorites and leaving the rest.

This will save you from sugar overload and help keep your blood sugar in a manageable range.

The Takeaway

What are ways you try to stay healthy during the holidays?

Please leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this, you may want to read:


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20 Reasons To Try A Kettlebell Workout

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Are you a part of the kettlebell revolution?

Yep, it’s a real thing.

Although it may seem like a fitness fad, it’s been around for years and has research-backed benefits for strength, balance and flexibility.

Kettlebells look like cannonballs with a handle on top.

They are made of cast iron or vinyl-coated and filled with sand, concrete, or gravel.

Kettlebell training focuses on whole-body functional training, not just the isolated muscle movements you get with weightlifting. No one is knocking weight training here at all, because it is beneficial too.

But if you want to see amazing strength gains and you’re short on time,  you may just want to try a kettlebell workout for yourself.

It’s my new favorite!

20 Reasons To Try A Kettlebell Workout

1. It’s Functional Strength Training

Training your body this way can help you do everyday activities.

2. Doesn’t Take Up Much Space

Kettlebells are compact and portable.

Compared to a weight bench and a set of free weights, they take up minimal room. You can stick them in the closet when they’re not being used.

3. Improved Posture

Did you know having poor posture can actually steal your body’s energy?

When your posture is out of alignment it stresses your body by trying to keep it upright. This can cause back pain.

When using a kettlebell focus on your hips, core and shoulder movements to correct your posture.

4. Great For Busy People

They give an intense workout in much less time than most others. Some people see incredible results with as little as 10 to 20 minutes twice a week!

Although many of us are busy, most people can carve out 10 minutes in a 24-hour day.

5. They’re For Everyone

Anyone can do it.

Whether you’re a muscled-up weightlifter or a 50-year-old couch potato (no judgement here), you can learn the proper form and train with kettlebells.

(Please check out the instructional video at the end of this article for help with your form.)

kettlebell
Kettlebells are filled with a variety of materials and come in different weights.

6. Increased Strength

The strength gains are quite impressive! (1)

And because it gives you a whole-body workout your entire body gets stronger.

This can help you do everyday tasks such as housework, yard work and lifting boxes. Being strong can also protect against injury.

7. Fat Loss And Calorie Burn

By increasing muscle mass, your body will burn more fat, even when it is at rest.

Some say you can burn up to 20 calories or more per minute training with kettlebells.

8. Combines Strength, Cardio And Flexibility For A Full-Body Workout

The strength and cardio gains are real! And the fluid full range of motion movements increase flexibility.

This is one of the best quick workouts you can do for your health!

9. It’s Fun!

If you’re like me, you get bored doing the same workouts all the time. But, I’ve never been bored with my kettlebell.

There are so many different types of workouts you can do.

10. Saves Money

I spent around $40 for my vinyl-coated kettlebell. You can easily find them on Amazon and in sporting good stores.

Compared to a gym membership or purchasing a weight bench and dumbbells, they’re much more cost-effective.

11. Ladies Won’t Bulk Up

Some of you girls might be concerned if you do any form of weight training you’ll end up looking like the Hulk. I used to have this same concern.

Fortunately, kettlebelling (my made up word) builds long, lean muscles, not bulky ones. 😉 So, never fear, your kettlebell is here! (You get the point.)

12. Easy On Your Joints

The ballistic physics at work when you perform different kettlebell movements actually protect your joints from injury. They encourage natural movements.

13. Simplicity

If you’re into simplicity and minimalism the kettlebell is perfect for you!

With just one simple movement, such as the swing, you can experience amazing strength and cardio improvements.

14. Great For Core Strength

When you do kettlebell movements correctly your core stays engaged. This results in a stronger, shredded core.

15. Engages The Entire Body

When you lift weights isolated muscles are used. But with kettlebells your entire body is activated and involved.

16. Can Help With Lower Back Pain

This is a big one for many people who suffer with low back pain.

Your back was not intended to compensate for weak hips and glutes. When it does your back hurts.

By strengthening your core (not to mention all the other muscles in the body) kettleballing engages the hips and glutes. This trains the body how to correctly lift objects and do everyday tasks more efficiently.

17. Relieves Body Pain And Stiffness

Kettleballing is my go to when I’m dealing with chronic pain. If you have ongoing pain you might try it and see if it helps you too.

18. Boosts Weight Loss

Because so many muscles are involved you can get a serious calorie burn.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin‚ La Crosse have studied how many calories are burned during a workout. They equate it to running a 6-minute mile!

19. Improves Balance

A recent study conducted by ACE Fitness experts found that training with kettlebells significantly improved balance. (1)

20. Superior Results

kettlebell
INFOGRAPHIC: 20 Reasons To Try A Kettlebell Workout

Because training with kettlebells involves the entire body, results are impressive. It’s a fierce cardio-respiratory workout which involves all the major muscle groups.

People often see faster gains doing a kettlebell workout twice weekly than doing just about anything else.

Kettlebell Weight?

Depending on who you talk to, here are some general recommendations:

  • For men, start with a 16-kg (35lb) kettlebell
  • For women, start with an 8-kg (18 lb.) kettlebell.

Please keep in mind that everyone is different. These weights are merely suggestions, but if you are already strong and fit you may want to start with more weight.

Alternatively, if you are chronically ill or have recovered from an illness or injury you might need to start with less weight. Use your judgement.

Special Considerations

If you haven’t exercised in a while you may want to consult with your physician before training with kettlebells.

Please watch the instructional videos below to learn proper form and prevent injuries.

kettlebellThe Takeaway

Kettlebell workouts offer an intense workout and incredible results for the entire body. They increase overall body strength, burn calories and deliver impressive cardiovascular improvements.

Have you tried working out with a kettlebell? Please leave your comments and questions below. I love hearing from you!

Kettlebell Swing Tutorial

This short video shows how to do the basic swing move with proper form.

 

Beginners Kettlebell Workout

If you enjoyed this, (you health nut, you) you might like to check out:


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Body Image: You’ve Always Been Beautiful

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Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

When you think of things that are beautiful what, or who, do you think of?

Maybe,

  • the beach
  • the sunset
  • a lovely bouquet of flowers
  • a bride on her wedding day
  • a blanket of pure, white snow covering as far as the eye can see
  • a vibrant painting
  • a waterfall
  • the Grand Canyon
  • early morning light
  • butterflies
  • the view from atop a mountain
  • a desert
  • a dessert (see what I did there?)
  • a starry night
  • fall leaves
  • a rugged landscape

And the list goes on and on. Beauty is such a relative term. We each have our own idea about what is beautiful.

Words Of Wisdom

As a girl I remember my sweet Mom once telling me, “Beauty is as beauty does”.

body image
My Mom and Me

I’ve passed this advice along to our daughters, and remind them that true beauty comes from what’s inside our heart.

But, if you have teenagers, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. It’s not an easy concept to encourage a healthy body image to a young person who is growing up in our culture. This becomes especially true when they become more mobile and get social media accounts.

Obsessing about outward appearances can be quite discouraging and damaging to our self concept, young and old alike. It can make us feel that we’ll never quite measure up to the airbrushed photos that we see everywhere. Believe me, I’ve been there.

Years ago, body image was an issue mostly girls and women dealt with, but it’s becoming more prevalent with boys and men now.

Media Overload

The belief that “beauty comes from the inside” is completely opposite from the messages we’re bombarded with daily.

From photo-shopped magazine covers and newspaper ads, to TV commercials and movies–It’s incredibly challenging to teach this concept to girls (and boys) when we are inundated (courtesy of our culture) with YouTube videos, our nations strange obsession with celebrities, selfies and plastic surgery.

Where Does True Beauty Come From?

In Psalms it says “Those who look to Him (God) are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”

Ultimately, I believe God is the only one who can make me into a truly beautiful person. And I’m definitely a work in progress!

I’m thankful that no matter how badly I mess up, He can bring beauty from ashes. 

He can bring good out of the bad in our crazy, mixed-up world.

I truly believe everyone is beautiful in their own special way. But so many people, men and women alike, believe the lies we’ve been taught from our appearance-obsessed society.

body imageWe were created for a purpose that is so much greater than simply being a certain size, or having the perfect hair, makeup, shoes, abs, biceps, skin, face, eyes…et cetera, et cetera.

I’m certainly not saying there’s anything wrong with improving our appearance, dressing nicely or looking put together. I’m into fashion and love to wear the latest trends as much as the next girl (when I’m not working from home in yoga pants and t-shirts).

We can also make positive changes by working out and eating healthy, whole foods. We can use natural remedies, such as coconut oil and apple cider vinegar. Or sculpt our bodies by lifting weights. We can also lose weight or lower our body fat.

These things can make us healthier and even fit into our favorite pair of  jeans more easily or give us a longer life expectancy.

But, they don’t change the beauty that’s inside us.

I hope you know you’re beautiful!

What do you think about the media and it’s influence on body image? Please share your thoughts below in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you!


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9 Impressive Health Benefits of Coffee

health benefits of coffee
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Coffee is incredibly healthy. Research has recently found coffee has impressive health benefits such as helping prevent diabetes and improve liver and brain health.

It’s the second most consumed beverage in the world, after water. And did you know that 54% of Americans report drinking coffee every day (1)?

Personally, I’m not a morning person, but the robust scent of coffee brewing helps me (and several members of our family of six) wake up each morning.

The delightful experience of drinking coffee brings with it the promise of each new day. Who can relate? 🙂

Coffee is extremely high in antioxidants, which can help protect against aging, oxidative stress and many diseases, such as cancer.

Nutrition Information About Coffee

One cup of coffee has about:

  • 2 – 5 calories
  • 0 sugar
  • 10 mg magnesium
  • 0 carbs
  • 124 mg potassium
  • 0 fat
  • 11% of the RDA of Vitamin B2
  • 6% of the RDA of Vitamin B6

The amount of caffeine in coffee varies, depending on the type of bean used and the manufacturer.

Health Benefits of Coffee

1. Coffee Is High In Antioxidants

According to research, coffee provides more antioxidants in American diets than even fruits and vegetables (2).

Antioxidants reduce inflammation in the body. And, because inflammation leads to all sorts of diseases and conditions, this is a very good thing for coffee drinkers!

The polyphenols found in coffee may also help prevent oxidative stress and raise the body’s immune function.

The strong antioxidants, caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid found in coffee, help fight free radical damage.

2. Coffee May Reduce The Risk Of Some Types Of Cancer

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, but drinking coffee may help prevent it.

In fact, research has shown coffee drinkers have up to a 40% reduced risk of liver cancer (3) (4).

Colorectal cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death worldwide (5). In a large study of 489,706 people, drinking 4-5 cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of colorectal cancer by 15% (6).

3. Coffee May Improve Brain Function And Give You More Energy

health benefits of coffee
Drinking coffee can give you more energy!

The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant, which can help you be more alert and diminish fatigue (7).

Coffee has also be shown to help reduce your risk, or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in older adults (8).

In other research coffee was shown to protect against Parkinson’s disease (9). Also, patients with Parkinson’s were shown to have an overall improvement of symptoms when they drank coffee regularly.

4. Coffee Can Boost Your Metabolism

The caffeine in coffee was shown to boost the metabolism 3-11% (10).  Most supplements designed to burn fat contain caffeine.

Another study showed caffeine can boost the burning of fat by as much as 29% in people who are lean, and 10% in people who are obese (11). That’s pretty impressive!

If you add coconut oil to your coffee you might able to boost your fat burn even more.

(For more about natural ways to burn fat, please check out 8 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar.)

5. Coffee Could Lower Your Risk Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

About 300 million people worldwide have Type 2 Diabetes, and those numbers continue to increase.

Research suggests drinking coffee (six cups or more per day) could lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes (12).

Another study showed that people who drink four or more cups of coffee per day could reduce their risk of Type 2 Diabetes by 50% (13)!

If you’re drinking this much coffee, just make sure to drink plenty of water to counteract the diuretic effects of coffee.

6. Coffee Can Help Protect Your Liver

The liver is the largest organ (and gland) in your body. It’s responsible for more than 500 important roles in the body. It removes toxins and produces chemicals which help with digestion.

And, a fun fact about the liver is that it is the only organ in the body that is able to regenerate! Pretty cool, huh?

Cirrhosis of the liver happens when healthy liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue. This is caused by alcohol or viral hepatitis B and C (14).

People who drink 4 or more cups of coffee per day have up to an 80% reduction in their risk for cirrhosis of the liver, or alcoholic liver disease (15).

health benefits of coffee
Coffee can boost your mood and help you feel happier.

7. Coffee Can Help You Feel Happier

Depression is an illness that affects the brain chemistry. Depression has a variety of symptoms such as insomnia, feeling hopeless or worthless, feeling persistently sad or irritable and having trouble concentrating.

Coffee is a mild anti-depressant because it aids in the production of neurotransmitters, like seratonin and dopamine.

A Harvard study showed drinking 2-4 cups of coffee per day could reduce the risk of suicide by 50% (16).

8. Coffee Boosts Your Athletic Performance And Endurance

Coffee is a performance enhancer.

Many athletes know drinking a cup of coffee before athletic training or an event can boost their endurance and performance.

Caffeine increases the levels of Adrenaline in the blood (17).  This “fight or flight” hormone primes the body for intense exertion.

In fact, caffeine can boost athletic performance by about 11-12% (18).

9. Coffee Can Improve Heart Health And Reduce The Risk Of Strokes

Consuming coffee regularly is associated with reduced mortality for all causes, including cardiovascular disease (19).

In addition, coffee was shown to reduce the rate of heart problems and stroke (20) (21).

The Takeaway

Despite any bad press you may have heard about coffee, it actually healthy and chock full of antioxidants.

Regularly drinking coffee can help with athletic performance, boost your metabolism, protecting against cancer, strokes, heart disease and cirrhosis of the liver.

All in all, coffee is pretty awesome, don’t you think?

Drink coffee. Be well!

You might like to try My Healthy Coffee Drink (With Coconut Oil) Recipe.

Can you think of more health benefits of coffee you would add to the list? Please leave your comments or questions below. I’d love to connect with you!


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Small Changes Can Make A Big Difference In Your Health

small changes

Small changes can make a big difference!

Persistence, even in little things (like nutrition and fitness) can have a big impact in your overall health.

Here are some ideas to help you get started.

Small Changes

  • Drink 8 or 9 glasses of water per day and not your usual 6 or 7.
  • Chew your food slowly instead of scarfing down your meal.
  • Power walk 30 minutes instead of your usual 15.
  • Work out while you watch TV instead of vegging out, munching on chips.
  • Wake up early in the morning and work out instead of waiting until after work when you’re tired and busy and less likely to follow through.
  • Park your car further away from your destination so you can take more steps on your way in to work (or the grocery story, movie theater, church, etc.).
  • Avoid self-defeating messages. Instead change your thoughts to reflect the positive goals you’re working to achieve. You might want to journal about your feelings and goals. Some people like to have a mantra that they repeat when the start being hard (unforgiving) on themselves. I like these:
    1. Stop beating yourself up.  You are a work in progress; which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.
    2. Ask yourself, “Who do I want to be?”
    3. The true measure of your success is how many times you can bounce back from failure.
    4. The story of your life has many chapters.  One bad chapter doesn’t mean it’s the end.  So stop re-reading the bad one already and turn the page.
    5. This too shall pass.
    6. You got this!
    7. With change comes opportunity.
    8. And one of my favorites, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” (from The Help) You might want to check out the video clip below.

Food for Thought

What changes have you made? What have you noticed as a result of your efforts?

 


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