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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 December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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