Do You Make These Healthy Eating Mistakes?

Could some of your healthy eating habits actually be working against your health? Though we may have the best of intentions when it comes to our health, sometimes our efforts aren’t as effective as we think. Consider some of the most common mistakes healthy eaters tend to make.

  1. You rely on marketing, rather than nutrition labels, when deciding what to eat.

Don’t assume that just because a food item is “organic,” “all-natural,” or marketed to athletes, that it’s healthy. Many items marketed as health foods contain just as much sugar, fat, salt, and total calories as foods we’d consider outright unhealthy. Let’s face it: those frozen diet entrees, granola bars, and frozen yogurt cups just aren’t as healthy as you’d hoped; but if you don’t check nutrition labels, you’ll never know. It’s also important to read a food item’s ingredients list; what you might assume to be good for you could actually contain concerning ingredients like partially-hydrogenated oil, MSG, or high fructose corn syrup.

Lori Smith Priest nutrition advice

  1. You forget about coffee calories.

Coffee has been shown to have health benefits, right? Right. But not when it’s consumed with added sugar and sweeteners. While a little milk won’t do much damage, if you’re a coffee drinker that loves your sugar packets, or are an avid customer of big-name coffee chains with enticing mocha lattes, your coffee is no longer a morning pick-me-up: it’s a full on dessert. Be conscious about your coffee consumption and what you put in your drinks, and remember that just one 16 fl oz. Frappuccino contains approximately 60 grams of sugar.

  1. You think exercise is enough.

Exercise is important, yes, but eating healthfully is just as important.  Did you know that it would take 4 hours of jumping on a trampoline to burn off the calories of a large bagel with cream cheese? Or that, on average, it would take about a half hour of running to burn off the calories in a Snicker’s bar? Even the most avid of exercisers might have trouble burning off all of the calories that accumulate with a poor diet. The body also has a harder time processing nutritionally-deficient or processed foods as compared to healthy, natural foods, and exercise does not mitigate this challenge.

  1. You skip meals.

If you adhere to the theory that consuming fewer calories is always the healthiest choice, it’s time to change your tune. Our bodies depend on calories from nutritious foods to provide us with energy; skipping meals deprives our bodies of these important calories and causes a dip in blood sugar, which triggers a host of biological responses like a slowed metabolism and cognitive deficiency. Whether you prefer eating six small meals or sticking to three large meals a day, always respond to what your body tells you. When you’re hungry, that means it’s time for a healthy, well-portioned meal.

If we want to lead truly healthy lifestyles, we’ll need to pay closer attention to how our eating choices actually impact our health. For more tips on healthy living, be sure to stop by the blog of Lori Smith Priest on a regular basis.

The Key to Balancing a Busy Life

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Today, many people live hectic lifestyles and find it difficult to balance their career, family, social life and personal time. Though it may seem impossible, balancing your life is extremely important and something that can be done. Lori Smith Priest is a busy teacher who also has to balance supporting her very busy husband and his television show Trained Assassins. She has found that the best way to balance every aspect of her life is by prioritizing and making time for what matters most. And, with a hectic lifestyle, relaxation is also essential to prevent yourself from becoming overstressed and overworked.

Consider these tips for balancing a busy life from Lori Smith Priest:

  1. Stick to a schedule – Making a schedule and sticking to it can help you balance your life and ensure you don’t overwork yourself. Utilize your phone’s calendar and apps to manage your schedule, or use the old fashioned method of keeping a planner or agenda. Crossing things off your schedule will make you feel accomplished, as well as help you keep track of everything you need to do.
  1. Find time to relax – Making time for yourself to relax can seem difficult for a busy person, but it’s essential for reducing stress, increasing happiness and stimulating your mind. Spend a few minutes every day unwinding and doing something you enjoy or even absolutely nothing. You can sit quietly, do yoga, paint or read.
  1. Exercise – With a busy schedule, your health and body can be ignored. While you likely don’t have time to hit the gym, you can still make time to exercise. Like relaxation, exercise can help reduce stress and improve your mood, while also keeping you fit and healthy. You can find time to exercise by walking on your lunch break or waking up 10 minutes early to do some strength training exercises like pushups, situps and planks.

 

6 Great Benefits of Strength Training

shutterstock_167044349While strength training activities like sits-ups, pushups and crunches may take you back to high school gym class, they are important exercises that should remain a part of your daily workout regime. Strength training exercises require little or no equipment and produce many outstanding health benefits.

Let’s take a closer look at the major health benefits of strength training from Lori Smith Priest:

  1. Reduces the risk of disease – Performing strength training exercises regularly can reduce your risk for many diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and some types of cancer. It can also lower your risk of getting colds or the flu
  1. Strengthens bones – Strength training exercises strengthen your bones, increase bone density and reduce your risk for osteoporosis. By strengthening your bones, you can perform everyday tasks, such as lifting heavy objects and walker longer distances with ease.
  1. Increases flexibility – Strength training exercises work out your muscles in a full range of motion, thus increasing your body’s overall flexibility. Being more flexible also lowers your likelihood of experiencing back pain and muscle pulls.
  1. Improves Posture – How you sit and stand is affected by the health of your neck, shoulder, back, abdominal and hip muscles. Strength training exercises strengthen your muscles and help you sit and stand up tall.
  1. Better state of mind – Exercising regularly can improve your mood, reduce stress and lower your risk of anxiety, depression and insomnia. You’ll be able to handle stressful situations better, as wells a fall asleep quicker and for longer.
  1. Weight Management – Strength training exercises can help you lose weight and keep it off. According to Everyday Health, performing your strength training routine three times a week can increase the amount of calories you burn in normal daily activity. Gaining more muscle allows you to burn calories more efficiently.