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Make the Most of Your Meals by Eating a Variety of Foods

Make the Most of Your Meals by Eating a Variety of Foods

Proper nutrition is critical for your health. It is important to get a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as a well-chosen selection of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. And no single food has the ability to give you everything you need.

So, what is the easiest way to make sure your dietary needs are met? Try eating a wide variety of healthy foods!

And you want to do more than simply cover the major food groups. The higher amount of variety within each of those categories means there is a greater chance that you are covering your bases. To help you make wise choices regarding your nutrition, use these tips to help increase the variety in your average meal.

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Focus on Color with Fruits and Vegetables

One of the easiest ways to ensure you are getting a wide range of nutrients is to choose fruits and vegetables with a variety of colors. Different compounds cause the color variances and also indicate that they contain varying selections of antioxidants.

Differing types of antioxidants in foods help keep your body functioning optimally. They fight free radicals, which can damage cell membranes and even affect your DNA. You are exposed to free radicals every day, so keeping a regular influx of antioxidants is important for your health.

Change Up Your Meats

When people think of protein, they normally think of meat first. But the other health benefits you can get from meat varies depending on the type.

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For example, certain kinds of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered one of the good kinds of fat.

Lean poultry, such as chicken or turkey, is lower in saturated fat than similarly sized portions of red meats, like beef. Often, this makes poultry a healthier choice, though any lean portion of meat is better than their less lean counterparts.

This is another area where eating a variety can help ensure you get everything you need without becoming bored.

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Plant-Based Proteins

You can also get protein from plant foods. This includes nuts and legumes, as well as tofu products. Often, these sources of protein are easy to work into a healthy diet and can cut down costs.

For example, beans can be much less expensive per serving than servings of most meats. That means you can get the nutrients you need without having to spend a fortune.

Plant-based proteins can help you add variety to your diet, giving you new tastes to enjoy on a regular basis. You can use sunflower seeds to dress up a salad, or snack on almonds to give you an afternoon energy boost.

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Skip the Juice

Many people believe that juice is a healthy alternative to many other beverages, but actually they can contain a lot of sugar. Also, high-sugar juices don’t have some of the benefits associated with fruits and vegetables, as juices rarely contain any of the fiber. (Fiber is something that helps you feel fuller longer, which can make it easier to avoid overeating.)

In most cases, it is better to avoid drinking your calories, period. There are numerous, no-calorie beverage options, including most black coffees and various teas, that can give you flavor without adding a significant number of calories. In fact, drinking green tea can be seen as a healthy choice and may help lower cholesterol, improve circulation, and may help prevent certain heart-related issues.

With all of the benefits associated with a healthy diet, and how easy it is to get a variety of nutrients with every meal, anyone can improve their nutrition with a few simple changes. So, why not start today? So you can work to a healthier tomorrow.

Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/food-fruits-vegetables-cooking-41123/ via pexels.com

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Last Updated on September 15, 2020

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

Life changes are constant. Whether it’s in the workplace or our relationships, nothing in life ever remains the same for long.

Regardless of the gravity of change, it can always be a little scary. So scary, in fact, that some people are downright crippled by the idea of it, causing them to remain stagnant through anxiety.

Have you ever noticed how much of life’s transitional periods are riddled with anxious vibes? The quarter life crisis, the mid-life crisis, cold feet before getting married, retirement anxiety, and teenage angst are just a few examples of transitional periods when people tend to panic.

We can’t control every aspect of our lives, and we can’t stop change from happening. However, how we respond to change will greatly affect our overall life experience.

Here are 4 ways you can approach life changes in a positive way.

1. Don’t Fight It

I once heard one of my favorite yoga instructors say “Suffering is what occurs when we resist what is already happening.” The lesson has stuck with me ever since.

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Life changes are usually out of our control. Rather than trying to manipulate the situation and wishing things were different, try flowing with it instead.

Of course, some initial resistance is natural if we’re going into survival mode. Just make sure you are conscious of when this resistance is no longer serving you.

If you’re feeling anxious about impending life changes, it’s time to practice some techniques to address the anxiety directly. These can include meditation, exercise, talking with friends about how you’re feeling, or journaling.

If you’re worried about a big life change, such as starting a new job[1] or moving in with your partner, do your best to control your expectations. It may help you to talk with people you know about their experiences going through similar changes. This will help you form a realistic picture in your mind of what things will look like post-change.

2. Find Healthy Ways to Deal With Feelings

Whenever we’re in transitional periods, it can be easy to lose track of ourselves. Sometimes we feel like we’re being tossed about by life and like we’ve lost our footing, causing some very uncomfortable feelings to arise.

One way we can channel these feelings is by finding healthy ways to release them. For instance, whenever I find myself in a difficult transitional phase, I end up in a mixed martial arts studio.

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The physical activity helps me channel my emotions and release endorphins. It also helps me get in shape, which generally increases my mood and energy levels.

Exercise is important in cultivating positive emotions, but if you’re struggling with anxiety in particular, it’s important to cultivate a regular exercise routine as opposed to a one-off workout. One study found that “Aerobic exercise can promote increase in anxiety acutely and regular aerobic exercise promotes reduction in anxiety levels”[2].

If exercise isn’t your thing, there are other, less intense ways of cultivating positive emotions and reducing anxiety around life changes. You can try stretching, meditating, reading in nature, spending time with family and friends, or cooking a healthy meal.

Find what makes you feel good and helps you ground yourself in the present moment.

3. Reframe Your Perspective

Reframing perspectives is a very powerful tool used in life coaching. It helps clients take a situation they are struggling with, such as a major life change, and find some sort of empowerment in it.

Some examples of disempowered thinking during life changes include casting blame, focusing on negative details, or victimizing[3]. These perspectives can make awkward transitional phases much worse than they have to be.

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Meanwhile, if we utilize a more positive perspective, such as finding a lesson in the situation, realizing that there may be an opportunity for something, or that everything passes, we can come from a greater place of ease.

4. Find Time for Self-Reflection

Having time to reflect is important at any stage in your life, but it’s especially important during transitional periods. It’s quite simple really: we need our time to step back and get centered when things get a little crazy.

As a result, big life changes are perfect for doing some self-reflection. They are opportunities to check in with ourselves and practice getting grounded for a few minutes.

Take a look at this reflective cycle adapted from Glibb’s Self-reflection guide (1988):[4]

Use self-reflection when facing life changes.

    Self-reflective exercises include meditating, yoga or journaling,[5] all of which require some quiet time to get yourself together.

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    One study found that journal improves “self-efficacy, locus of control, and learning”[6]. A healthy sense of self-control can make the process of change easier to bear, so that in itself is a great reason to try self-reflection through journaling.

    To learn how to start journaling, you can check out this article.

    Final Thoughts

    Big life changes may rock us for a little while, but they don’t have to be as bad as we initially perceive them. If handled in a positive manner, transitional periods can pave the way for some serious self-growth, reflection, and awareness.

    Cultivate a sense of positivity and find ways to diminish the anxiety around life changes. Once you make it to the other side, you’ll be grateful that you made it through in the best way possible.

    More Tips on Facing Life Changes

    Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

    Reference

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