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10 Necessary Items For A Healthy Shopping List

10 Necessary Items For A Healthy Shopping List

There is just so much conflicting advice about what’s healthy and what’s not these days. What should actually be on a healthy shopping list?

1. Choose Water in Glass Bottles

water

    If you buy bottled water, choose water in glass bottles. Unlike plastic, no chemicals leak out of glass, so the quality of the water put into the bottle is preserved.

    The compound BPA was shown to be leaking into water from plastic bottles. It has been linked to a variety or serious health problems. Although this chemical has been phased out of a lot of bottles, other unpleasant compounds are still present in plastic that find their way into the water. How long is it going to be before other chemicals are also linked to health problems? Perhaps it’s a good idea to avoid plastic bottles altogether.

    2. Choose Organic Produce

    fruit and veg

      Produce that is not grown organically may be covered in chemical pesticides. Pesticides are designed to kill things, so it’s unlikely they are going to do the human body any good! Additionally, chemical fertilizers have been added to encourage growth. Again, these are completely unnatural chemicals that your body has difficulty coping with. This type of produce isn’t really compatible with a healthy shopping list.

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      Organic food contains far fewer, if any, pesticides. The other huge benefit is that organic food has much higher levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These smaller nutrients are important to keep your body healthy and protect you against cancer.

      3. Choose Food That Creates a Rainbow of Colors

      One of the keys to eating a healthy diet is to get a wide variety of smaller nutrients.

      Natural food gets its colour from the nutrients it contains. So, if you look into your shopping basket and see an array of natural color, you can be fairly certain that you have a good variety.

      4. Choose Fruit With a Lower Sugar Content

      fruit

        Regardless of where sugar comes from, too much of it isn’t good for you. It is a major factor that contributes to weight gain.

        However, there are loads of benefits to eating fruit, and you can reap those benefits by choosing fruit with a lower sugar content. These include berries, raspberries, and strawberries. Berries are also particularly high in healthy antioxidants.

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        5. Choose Dark Green Vegetables

        green veg

          Dark green, leafy vegetables and salad leaves are densely packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

          A mixed salad that includes things like spinach is going give you loads of nutrients that will maintain your health. The paler the vegetable, e.g., iceberg lettuce, the less quality nutrition there is.

          6. Choose Genuine Free Range Eggs

          When a chicken is allowed to forage for its own food, it ends up eating a natural diet for a chicken – vegetation, worms and insects. A naturally-fed chicken will produce fabulous quality eggs which are rich in nutrients and natural fats. The yolk will be a deep orange.

          Unfortunately, most commercial eggs come from chickens that fed on grain, a by-product of corn. This isn’t a natural diet for a chicken, and as a result the eggs aren’t quite up to scratch. You can tell this by the pale yellow colour of the yolk.

          Chose free range eggs and check their quality by the color of their yolks.

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          7. Choose Grass-Fed Meat

          meat

            A cow’s natural diet is grass, not grain. Most farmed animals are fed grain to fatten them quickly. This isn’t a natural diet for a cow, so the meat of this cow won’t be as high-quality as that of a naturally-fed cow would be.

            Exclusively grass-fed animals have a lower fat content in their bodies. Also, the fat that is present is quite rich in healthy fats that are good for the people eating them, such as omega 3. These healthy fats are not nearly as plentiful in grain-fed animals.

            8. Choose Wild Fish

            Farmed fish suffer from effects similar to those of farmed land animals. They don’t tend to be fed on their natural diet, and they can’t swim as much as they would in the wild. For these reasons, farmed fish have more fat and less protein in their bodies.

            Wild fish eat a natural diet. Consequently, the protein and fats in their body are in perfect proportion.

            9. Choose Good Sources of Omega 3 Fats

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            oil

              Omega 3 fats are extremely important for health. They play a role in keeping your heart healthy, your joints supple, and your immune system working well. Deficiency leads to a wide variety of health problems, ranging from dry skin to obesity. Yes, a lack of (the right) fat, can make you fat!

              It’s thought that the most common deficiency in Western countries is omega 3. A really good source is wild oily fish like mackerel, sardines, and herring. Salmon and tuna are good sources as well. Grass-fed meat and quality eggs can also supplement one’s supply of omega 3. Additionally, flax seeds and chia seeds provide vegan options for omega 3.

              10. Don’t Choose Refined and Processed Foods

              butter

                The refining process removes many, if not all, of the health benefits of natural foods. For example, refined white flour has lost most of its fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

                Man-made and processed foods have few (if any) health benefits, regardless of what clever marketing might want you to believe. A prime example is margarine, which was created in a French chemist’s laboratory. The French emperor at the time wanted a cheap substitute to butter, which was needed to feed the army in addition to poorer people. Margarine was the answer.

                You’ll make massive leaps with your health by avoiding food that is no longer what it started out as, or is the creation of a chemist.

                Featured photo credit: Berry, Brie & Almond Salad/Amazing Almonds via flickr.com

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                Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                1. Exercise Daily

                It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                The basic nutritional advice includes:

                • Eat unprocessed foods
                • Eat more veggies
                • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                  5. Watch Out for Travel

                  Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                  This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                  If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                  6. Start Slow

                  Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                  If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                  7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                  Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                  My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                  If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                  I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                  Final Thoughts

                  Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                  Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                  More Tips on Getting in Shape

                  Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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