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The Year that Just Wouldn’t Quit

The Year that Just Wouldn’t Quit

I think we can all agree that 2016 needs to come to come to an end…the sooner the better. Preferably yesterday.

Down with 2016!

Every social media outlet, friends and family have stressed the trials that 2016 has brought. If you conduct a search on the internet, you will come across countless articles with the same theme; Predictions I Wish Didn’t Come True in 2016. Dear 2016: You are the Worst Year and Here’s Why. Hashtags revolting against this year have emerged to join forces against the evil powers that be.

#RIP; to some of the greats; Price, David Bowie and Muhammad Ali to name a few.

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#BlackLivesMatter; in the wake of shootings and racial injustices creating national conversations.

#Election; creating chains of discussions and arguments around one of the most controversial elections in history. Even a flurry of memes have emerged displaying the “before and after” effects 2016 personally bestowed upon them.

“Me at the beginning of 2016 vs. the end of 2016” are hilarious, yet so utterly truthful. Oh, Leo, we all get it, trust us.

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    Twitter

    Universe, I beg of you. Have we not suffered enough?

    Exploring my own personal struggles, I can’t remember a time where I have felt more pain and anguish spanning over months. Not just a single event, but continuous, hard blows to my psyche. So much change was surrounding me at once that I had never experienced before. My coping strategies were lacking and eventually had a breakdown. My company swallowed a 15% budget cut; which equated to 24 talented and cherished employees. Both my parents were diagnosed with cancer and I was divorced. Those are certainly heavy crosses bear. Somehow, though, every single morning I woke up. I opened my eyes to a day reset. Another chance to take on the world; or in 2016’s case, dodge some more bullets.

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    One of the few good things that I can point out, is the birth of my nephew. But even that was veiled in irony; he was born on April 1st. The universe literally had a laugh at our expenses. Twisted, I know.

    Enough is enough.

    It’s exhausting to regal over all of these events, but it is with purpose. I’ll put a gentle reminder back out to everyone; we are all in the same boat. Though all from different walks of life and experiences, we are sharing the same struggle. We all get it. I have never felt such a rise of empathy and unity. So in the moments where your life has beaten you down and you’re dragging your feet; remember, we are here for you. We support you. As much turmoil as there was, there was a collective joining of forces across not only the nation, but globally. Social media certainly dampened the mood on 2016, yet let us not forget that positive events were still occurring, just may not have been broadcasted as well. The bad always seems to outweigh the good, doesn’t it?

    So as 2017 rapidly approaches, let us collectively have a shift in our mindsets. We shouldn’t let the negative forces follow us into a new year; a mark of a chance to start anew.  Let us instead take our trials, our worries, fears and bad memories and mold not only 2017 but our entire futures with a stronger, braver outlook. We have made it; we have done it. Let’s hold on to that thought and use it as momentum to carry us forward. For time has not crumbled and given up on us. The world is still happening and evolving around us. Let us be an integral part of that with our knowledge and experiences. Though it was hard, the proof of our strength is that we are still standing, persevering and moving forward day by day. So when you find yourself in 2017 facing adversary, frustration, struggle and doubt; just stop and say to the universe:

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    “Try me.”

    #2017strong

    More by this author

    Jillian Skoczylas

    Clinical Liaison for Intensive Care Management at Beacon Health Options

    The Year that Just Wouldn’t Quit Hindsight is 20/20: 5 Lessons From Your Life

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    Last Updated on July 28, 2020

    14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

    14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

    Diet trends may come and go, but a low-GI diet remains one of the few that has been shown to include benefits based on science. Low GI foods provide substantial health benefits over those with a high index, and they are key to maintaining a healthy weight.

    What is GI? Glycemic index (GI) is the rate at which the carbohydrate content of a food is broken down into glucose and absorbed from the gut into the blood. When you eat foods containing carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is then absorbed into your bloodstream.[1]

    The higher the GI of a food, the faster it will be broken down and cause your blood glucose (sugar) to rise. Foods with a high GI rating are digested very quickly and cause your blood sugar to spike. This is why it’s advisable to stick to low GI foods as much as possible, as the carbohydrate content of low GI foods will be digested slowly, allowing a more gradual rise in blood glucose levels.

    Foods with a GI scale rating of 70 or more are considered to be high GI. Foods with a rating of 55 or below are considered low GI foods.

    It’s important to note that the glycemic index of a food doesn’t factor in the quantity that you eat. For example, although watermelon has a high glycemic index, the water and fiber content of a standard serving of water means it won’t have a significant impact on your blood sugar.

    Like watermelon, some high GI foods (such as baked potatoes) are high in nutrients. And some low GI foods (such as corn chips) contain high amounts of trans fats.

    In most cases, however, the GI is an important means of gauging the right foods for a healthy diet.

    Eating mainly low GI foods every day helps to provide your body with a slow, continuous supply of energy. The carbohydrates in low GI foods is digested slowly, so you feel satisfied for longer. This means you’ll be less likely to suffer from fluctuating sugar levels that can lead to cravings and snacking.

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    Let’s continue with some of the best examples of low GI foods.

    1. Quinoa

    GI: 53

    Quinoa has a slightly higher GI than rice or barley, but it contains a much higher proportion of protein. If you don’t get enough protein from the rest of your diet, quinoa could help. It’s technically a seed, so it’s also high in fiber–again, more than most grains. It’s also gluten-free, which makes it excellent for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

    2. Brown Rice (Steamed)

    GI: 50

    Versatile and satisfying, brown rice is one of the best low GI foods and is a staple for many dishes around the world. It’s whole rice from which only the husk (the outermost layer) is removed, so it’s a great source of fiber. In fact, brown rice has been shown to help lower cholesterol, improve digestive function, promote fullness, and may even help prevent the formation of blood clots. Just remember to always choose brown over white!

    3. Corn on the Cob

    GI: 48

    Although it tastes sweet, corn on the cob is a good source of slow-burning energy (and one of the tastiest low GI foods). It’s also a good plant source of Vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron, all of which are required for the healthy production of red blood cells in the body. It’s healthiest when eaten without butter and salt!

    4. Bananas

    GI: 47

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    Bananas are a superfood in many ways. They’re rich in potassium and manganese and contain a good amount of vitamin C. Their low GI rating means they’re great for replenishing your fuel stores after a workout.

    They are easy to add to smoothies, cereal, or kept on your desk for a quick snack. The less ripe they are, the lower the sugar content is! As one of the best low GI foods, it’s a great addition to any daily diet.

    5. Bran Cereal

    GI: 43

    Bran is famous for being one of the highest cereal sources of fiber. It’s also rich in a huge range of nutrients: calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and a host of B vitamins. Although bran may not be to everyone’s tastes, it can easily be added to other cereals to boost the fiber content and lower the overall GI rating.

    6. Natural Muesli

    GI: 40

    Muesli–when made with unsweetened rolled oats, nuts, dried fruit, and other sugar-free ingredients–is one of the healthiest ways to start the day. It’s also very easy to make at home with a variety of other low GI foods. Add yogurt and fresh fruit for a nourishing, energy-packed breakfast.

    7. Apples

    GI: 40

    Apple skin is a great source of pectin, an important prebiotic that helps to feed the good bacteria in your gut. Apples are also high in polyphenols, which function as antioxidants, and contain a good amount of vitamin C. They are best eaten raw with the skin on! Apples are one of a number of fruits[2] that have a low glycemic index. Be careful which fruits you choose, as many have a large amount of natural sugars[3].

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    8. Apricots

    GI: 30

    Apricots provide both fiber and potassium, which make them an ideal snack for both athletes and anyone trying to keep sugar cravings at bay. They’re also a source of antioxidants and a range of minerals.

    Apricots can be added to salads, cereals, or eaten as part of a healthy mix with nuts at any time of the day.

    9. Kidney Beans

    GI: 29

    Kidney beans and other legumes provide a substantial serving of plant-based protein, so they can be used in lots of vegetarian dishes if you’re looking to adopt a plant-based diet[4]. They’re also packed with fiber and a variety of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds. They are great in soups, stews, or with (whole grain) tacos.

    10. Barley

    GI: 22

    Barley is a cereal grain that can be eaten in lots of ways. It’s an excellent source of B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), fiber, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium. It also contains beta-glucans, a type of fiber that can support gut health and has been shown to reduce appetite and food intake.

    Please note that barley does contain gluten, which makes it unsuitable for anyone who is Celiac[5] or who follows a gluten-free diet. In this case, gluten-free alternatives might include quinoa, buckwheat, or millet.

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    11. Raw Nuts

    GI: 20

    Most nuts have a low GI of between 0 and 20, with cashews slightly higher at around 22. Nuts, as one of the best low GI foods, are a crucial part of the Mediterranean diet[6] and are really the perfect snack: they’re a source of plant-based protein, high in fiber, and contain healthy fats. Add them to smoothies and salads to boost the nutritional content. Try to avoid roasted and salted nuts, as these are made with large amounts of added salt and (usually) trans fats.

    12. Carrots

    GI: 16

    Raw carrots are not only a delicious low GI vegetable, but they really do help your vision! They contain vitamin A (beta carotene) and a host of antioxidants. They’re also low-calorie and high in fiber, and they contain good amounts of vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. Carrots are great for those monitoring their weight as they’ve been linked to lower cholesterol levels.

    13. Greek Yogurt

    GI: 12

    Unsweetened Greek yogurt is not only low GI, but it’s an excellent source of calcium and probiotics, as well. Probiotics help to keep your gut microbiome in balance and support your overall digestive health and immune function. Greek yogurt makes a healthy breakfast, snack, dessert, or a replacement for dip. The most common probiotic strains found in yogurt are Streptococcus thermophilus[7] (found naturally in yogurt) and Lactobacillus acidophilus[8] (which is often added by the manufacturer). You can also look into probiotic supplements for improving your gut health.

    14. Hummus

    GI: 6

    When made the traditional way from chickpeas and tahini, hummus is a fantastic, low-GI dish. It’s a staple in many Middle Eastern countries and can be eaten with almost any savory meal. Full of fiber to maintain satiety and feed your good gut bacteria, hummus is great paired with freshly-chopped vegetables, such as carrots and celery.

    Bottom Line

    If you’re looking to eat healthier or simply cut down on snacking throughout the day, eating low GI foods is a great way to get started. Choose any of the above foods for a healthy addition to your daily diet and start feeling better for longer.

    More Tips on Eating Healthy

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Mils via unsplash.com

    Reference

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