6 Reasons Why YOU Need More Greens in Your Life!

View More: http://ambrosiophotography.pass.us/jacqueheatherheadshotsGreens, greens, glorious greens! The more you eat, the more you want! Unfortunately they are grossly under consumed in the Standard American Diet (SAD). So why should you focus on eating more greens? I will highlight (in no particular order) SIX reasons why you should be eating more glorious greens:

  1. They are good for eye health. Leafy greens like spinach & kale are good sources of essential carotenoids called lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids act as protective shields to the macula and can help prevent eye problems like macular degeneration. There are also studies that suggest greens are protective against cataracts and glaucoma (see reason #2).
  2. Improves circulation. Greens are healthy source of nitrates. A diet rich in plant sources of nitrates can improve cardiovascular health by thinning blood and widening blood vessels, which can decrease the risk for clots and strokes. When you consume nitrates in plants, bacteria in your mouth convert them to nitrites. Nitrites are then absorbed &stored in your cells until they’re turned in to nitric oxide, a compound that’s proven to relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. So not only is this good in terms of heart health, it can also be beneficial around exercise. Leafy greens, beets, cabbage, celery, endive, fennel, leeks, and parsley are great plant sources of nitrates. Nitrates in animal sources do not have the same effect, and can actually be harmful to your health. Processed meats are considered Group One carcinogens (have been shown to cause cancer in humans).
  3. Energy booster. Iron is an essential mineral found in your red blood cells (called hemoglobin) and in your muscle cells (called myoglobin). Iron helps transport oxygen from your blood to the lungs and to other tissues. When you are low in iron, often times it results in lethargy. Iron is abundant in leafy green vegetables. However, the type of iron found in leafy green veggies isn’t easily absorbed, so adding Vitamin C (squeezing the juice of a lemon on your greens) can help absorb the iron.
  4. Good source of fiber. Our gut microbiome is considered our second brain. Fiber feeds our gut microbiome, so we want to eat foods that have fiber. You should strive to eat 25 – 30 grams of fiber/day. When we eat the SAD (processed foods, sugar, refined foods, fast foods) it can decrease our immunity, and may be a contributor to chronic disease. Strive to include a green veggie in every meal. Some examples include kale, bok choy, mustard greens, collard greens, and beet greens.
  5. Weight loss/weight maintenance. Greens are naturally low in calories, and high in health promoting nutrients. So, you can eat unlimited amounts of greens. Just make sure to minimize (or avoid) cooking them in oil, or drenching them in salad dressing. Instead choose the juice of a lemon or salsa as a tasty companion.
  6. Improves immunity. Dark leafy greens are rich in chlorophyll, and chlorophyll is what gives them their green color. Chlorophyll is the chemical that allows sunlight to be transformed into energy. Chlorophyll has been shown to kill harmful bacteria (strep and staph) in the GI tract; it increases the number of red blood cells which increases oxygen utilization throughout the body; and it also reduces the binding of carcinogens to DNA in the liver and other organs. Spinach is a rich source of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is also found in alfalfa, asparagus, beet greens, bell pepper, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green cabbage, celery, collard greens, green beans, green olives, green peas, kale, leeks, parsley, romaine lettuce, sea vegetables, swiss chard, and turnip greens.

One of my favorite ways to start my day is with a green smoothie. One of my favorites is the glowing green smoothie, but I also experiment and create my own most days of the week!

If you’re interested in taking a proactive approach to your health, schedule a complimentary consultation with me here!

XO Coach Jacque

Sitting is the new smoking

Stand with me!So, I’m training for a bikini competition, which is keeping me dedicated to my fitness routine and eating healthy most of the time. However, there are many days that I end up coming home from the gym and sitting at my desk, working on my laptop most, if not ALL, of the day. Sitting. All day.

Dr.James Levine, Co-Director of the Mayo Clinic – Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative and inventor of the treadmill desk, has been studying the adverse effects of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles for years and he summed up his findings in two sentences.

“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”

Woah!

All of that sitting is negating all of my training! If you are like me, and sit more than an hour at a time through out the day, there are several options to get you standing. There are a couple tracking devices that track your inactivity;  some devices remind you to stand every hour; there is a plethora of standing desks available; consider walking while talking on the phone; and try eating a meal at a high top table, while standing. Check out this cool infographic for more deets.

Make a #thursdate with me and stand up once/hour! And if you’re ready to take your health to the next level, click here to schedule a complimentary coaching consultation with me! XO

6 Tips for Healthy Holidays!

We are smack in the middle of the holidays and salty, sugary, and fat laden foods & treats are everywhere! By being prepared, you can make it through the holidays without gaining an ounce!! Here are six simple tips to help you stay mindful during your holidays:

  1. Take a healthier version of your favorite holiday food to your parties and holiday get together’s. Since I follow a plant strong diet, I like to take dishes that don’t have any butter & cheese. That way, I know I will have some good food to eat, and others usually end up asking me for the recipe so they can make it at home! I loved this cauliflower mash with mushroom gravy!
  2. Make sure not to go to a party hungry and on an empty stomach! I’ve definitely learned my lesson there!! I like to eat an apple before going to dinners or a party. The fiber helps satiate you, so you avoid overindulging and feeling like crap the next day! ?
  3. Once you get to the party, focus on eating the whole foods and watch out for sauces, creams, fried foods, and desserts. Fruits, veggies, hummus, & nuts are healthier options than the cheese and crackers, meatballs, and fried ethnic foods.
  4. If you really want to try a calorie rich food, or something that you do not normally eat, take a small amount and have a bite or two. You don’t have to finish it.
  5. Eat slowly! It takes your brain about 20 minutes to recognize that you’re getting full. Enjoy conversations with your loved ones, while being mindful of the foods that you’re consuming.
  6. Get in a daily workout during the holidays to stay refreshed and energized! Don’t know what to do? There are plenty of free workouts on youtube and I personally love the BeachBody on Demand options!

I’d love to hear what your favorite tips and tricks are to stay mindful during the holidays!!

Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah!!

Love & light,

Coach Jacque

 

Journey to Healthy Living

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