5 Post Workout Snacks You Should Try Today

by Head Health Nutter on February 25, 2015

We’re on a role with nutritious eating tips lately! Here’s another article along the same vein from guest blogger, Hayley Irvin, who shares 5 really delicious, healthy snacks to have after a workout. 

Exercise is a vital component of healthy living. Experts suggest a minimum of two and a half hours per week, though it never hurts to do more. To get the most out of a workout, it’s important to hydrate and fuel up before you hit the gym.

However, having a snack after working out can be beneficial as well, helping restore the energy and nutrients your body used while exercising. To improve your mood, energy levels, and muscle fatigue after a workout, try eating one of these healthy snacks:

1. Turkey Sandwiches

promax-post-protein-snackTurkey sandwiches are a great mix of protein and carbohydrates to help refuel and reenergize your body after a workout. Try to use freshly sliced turkey as opposed to lunch meat, and opt for whole grain breads or wraps instead of products made with white flour. The protein will provide your body with the amino acids necessary for muscle growth and tissue repair, while the healthy sugars in the whole grains will help regulate your blood sugar throughout the day, helping you feel fuller for longer. Load up on avocados, sprouts, tomatoes and other veggies to add a little something extra to your sandwich!

2. Hummus & Pita Bread

A staple of Middle Eastern diets for centuries, hummus is made of chickpeas, tahini (ground sesame seeds), olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. This tasty combination of legumes and oils contains just the right amount of protein, fiber, healthy fats and antioxidants to help keep your heart and muscles in great shape. Like other whole grains, pita bread will help you maintain a steady glucose level throughout the day. You can also spread hummus on sandwiches or wraps or dip fresh veggies in it for extra vitamins and minerals.

3. Nut Butter with Apples or Bananas

Nuts and seeds are full of protein and healthy fats that our bodies need to grow and repair tissue on a cellular level. Thankfully, you don’t have to limit yourself to peanut butter. Butter can also be made out of almonds, walnuts, cashews, soy nuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, etc. For carbohydrates, healthy sugars, and extra fiber, pair your nut butter with a banana or an apple. This combination will not only give you an immediate boost of energy after your workout – it will also help curb hunger later on in the day.

4. Tuna on Crackers or Whole Grain Bread

Like turkey, tuna is a great source of lean protein. It’s also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that are great for your heart, skin, hair, eyes, and muscles. Avoid sandwiches swimming in mayonnaise – the fatty, creamy sauce will cancel out all of the good things in the tuna and you’ll only end up wasting an otherwise nutritious and delicious sandwich. Remember to use whole grain bread for a carb-induced boost that will last hours. If you want something a bit lighter, try tuna spread on crackers.

5. Low-Fat Yogurt with Fruit & Nuts

It’s why easy to see why some people consider yogurt a superfood of the dairy group. Not only is it packed with protein and fiber, yogurt also contains a number of probiotics that improve immune and digestive function while also preventing weight gain and its associated risks. Nuts and seeds provide heart-healthy unsaturated fats, lean protein and extra fiber, while berries contain amino acids that encourage cell growth and tissue repair. Combined, these foods are a great way to improve your energy, alertness and blood sugar while reducing muscle soreness and fatigue. If you’re looking for something more convenient to carry around, try eating a protein bar that contains some combination of nuts, yogurt, and fruit.

Soreness and sluggishness do not have to stick with you all day after exercising. With the proper snack after a workout, you can give yourself a quick boost that will last for hours afterwards. Avoid the smoothie bar at the gym – the sugary, syrupy concoctions they serve are often loaded with enough calories to cancel out your workout. Instead, opt for whole grains, lean protein, and healthy sugars and fats. You’ll thank yourself later.

PS: Here is an added bonus post workout snack – protein-licious Yogurt (photo image above).

About the Author

Hayley Irvin is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. When she’s not creating awesome content for Marketing Zen Group & Promax, she’s writing about basketball, learning about space, and thwarting her cats’ attempts to take over the world. Catch up with her on Twitter @HayleyNIrvin.

What’s your favourite post-workout snack?

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Diet Tips For Healthy Skin & Hair

by Head Health Nutter on February 23, 2015

Who doesn’t want stronger, vibrant, healthier hair and skin? Today’s guest blogger, Jefferey Morgan suggests a plethora of healthy foods to grow us some beautiful hair and complexion.

When it comes to the hair and skin, creams and shampoos used on a daily basis will not provide proper health. The processes and cells that support vibrant, strong hair and skin rely on a balanced diet. The changes usually take longer, so don’t expect your skin to start shining again immediately after you had a bowl of fresh fruit. Bad dieting leads to acne, red, dry, and even swollen skin. As for the hair, nutritional deficiencies usually lead to weak hair susceptible to breakage.

naturally-grow-hairA proper diet is important if you want to look and feel healthy again; also, you must quit bad habits like drinking lots of alcohol and smoking, as these accelerate your complexion’s unhealthy appearance. Here are some tips on what to eat to have beautiful hair and flawless skin.

Berries for Younger-Looking Skin

Include sizeable portions of berries into your daily diet if you want to have younger-looking, rejuvenated skin. Blueberries in particular, are rich in antioxidants that protect the complexion against damaging free radicals and pre-mature aging. Blackberries are also a great choice; they’re rich in vitamin C and A, and they don’t contain high amounts of sugar either.

Berries in general, hydrate the skin because their composition is 85% water and fiber, which are both essential for the healthy appearance of the complexion. Consuming berries on a regular basis detoxifies the body, thus making you feel better and more energized, too.

Salmon for a Suppler, Moisturized Complexion

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential in creating moisturized and supple skin. It also contains selenium, an important mineral that shields the skin from intense exposure to the sun. Salmon is a wonder food that can be prepared in numerous delicious ways. It also contains vitamin D – which strengthens teeth and bones, and it can also improve overall cell function and maintain proper brain health, too.

Include Spinach in Your Daily Salad

Leafy greens in general are excellent sources of antioxidants and nutrients that nourish the skin. Spinach in particular, is packed with a compound called lutein – which is a carotenoid vitamin that improves vision. This leafy green is an excellent source of potassium, vitamin B, E and C, magnesium, calcium, omega-3 and iron. Including abundant quantities into your diet keeps your skin protected from the sun; the nutrients contained in spinach cure acne and prevent premature aging, as well as promote hair growth.

Biotin & B Vitamins

Biotin is part of the B-vitamin complex, and it is scientifically known as vitamin H. Apart from helping you metabolize carbs and fats, biotin is deeply connected to the health of your hair, skin and nails. Nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables and nuts contain high amounts of biotin, although under the strict supervision of a nutritionist, you can also opt for supplementation.

The vitamin B complex is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system; deficiencies may lead to hormonal imbalances (acne, greasy, weak hair, skin redness, and more), which is why we must include healthy sources into our daily diets. When the complexion is not properly nourished and taken care of from the inside out, severe skin problems emerge, such as psoriasis, rashes, dermatitis, and additional skin itchiness.

Protein for Healthy Hair

Considering that the hair is manufactured from protein, it’s important to include solid sources of protein into your diet to keep it healthy, glowing and strong. When your diet doesn’t include eggs, milk products and lean meat, the hair becomes susceptible to breakage. Deficiencies may even trigger severe hair loss. Sufficient quantities of dairy, fish, turkey and chicken must be incorporated into your daily meals to have beautiful hair.

Maintaining proper skin and hair health is a lot easier than you think. A change in your diet is required to see results. Make sure you also include plenty of water in your regime, apart from fruits and veggies. Healthy fats are extremely important, as well as antioxidants.

In certain circumstances, supplements may be advised; however, before starting a treatment, you should consult a nutritionist who will let you know if you have any deficiencies. Always remember that supplements are meant to fill in the gaps, and not replace food.

About the Author

Jefferey Morgan is interested in writing about health and fitness related issues. He has a deep knowledge at this field. Also he writes for a site https://www.supplemented.co.uk/ which offers high-quality vitamins and supplements at the best possible prices.

Do you have any diet tips for healthier hair and skin?

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Heart Smart Food Substitutions

by Head Health Nutter on February 21, 2015

Here’s a great followup article to our last entry, Getting Fit With Food, where guest author (Kimberley Laws) suggested healthy substitutions for many unhealthy foods. Today’s guest author, Stu Lieberman, does the same but suggests specific food and drink that will help improve our heart health. 

Eating a heart healthy diet doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of delicious food. Here are four easy food and beverage substitutions you can make to boost your heart health, without sacrificing flavor.

apple with a heart In place of vegetable or canola oil, use olive oil. Vegetable oils like soybean, sunflower, and corn oil, as well as canola oil are loaded with polyunsaturated fats which oxidize easily and become rancid. (Many supermarket oils are deodorized, so you can’t even tell when they’ve gone bad.) When you consume oxidized fats, you’re putting your body at risk for inflammation. These types of oils are also loaded with omega-6 fatty acids. While omega-6s are essential for good health, most Americans are already getting enough omega-6s in their diets. Too many omega-6s can lead to inflammation.

Olive oil is a great heart healthy alternative because it’s a monounsaturated fat, which helps lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, while supporting “good” HDL cholesterol. Olive oil also contains plant sterols and stanols, also called phytosterols. Phytosterols have a similar structure to cholesterol, so they compete with cholesterol for absorption in your intestines, essentially blocking cholesterol from being absorbed. Unabsorbed cholesterol is eliminated from the body and blood cholesterol levels are reduced.

In place of white wine, drink a robust red. In terms of calories and carbs, red wine and white wine are pretty even. What makes red wine more heart healthy are the antioxidants and polyphenols. Top of the antioxidant list is resveratrol, and red wine is brimming with it. Resveratrol has been found to help prevent damage to blood vessels, reduce LDL cholesterol, and prevent blood clots. [click to continue…]

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Getting Fit With Food

by Head Health Nutter on February 19, 2015

I’ve heard a time or two that nutrition is more important than activity when determining health. While I feel both are equally important, here is an article by Kimberley Laws, where she lovingly and logically speaks about how food can make you more fit and provides you food substitutes for your favourite junk foods. 

Are your taste buds and your waistline in a state of perpetual disagreement? Your palate is no dummy. It knows that a tossed salad tastes like lawnmower clippings when compared to a juicy cheeseburger and a side order of golden fries. But your waistline knows where your fast food meal will end up–doled out equally on each side of your muffin top. It seems that your body parts will never meet “eye to eye.”

baked appleThankfully, you can appease your taste buds and your midriff. Yes, it’s true. There are foods that have the sinful tastiness of “junk food,” without all of the waistline-expanding calories, fats, and sugar.

Faux French Fries

Mm. When it comes to the preferred way to eat the potato, the French Fry tops most Americans’ lists. Whether you like your fries topped with ketchup, salt, or, as the French Canadians like them–in the form of poutine–these slender, fried potato sticks are a taste-bud treat. Surely, nothing can compare to this crispy starchy goodness.

Think again. The sweet potato packs significantly higher amounts of vitamins, has more fiber, and lower levels of carbs and calories. Plus, their sweet flavor will make you feel like your indulging, when you really aren’t. And, instead of deep-frying your sweet potatoes, they can be lightly fried in a saucepan or–better yet–roasted.

Befriend a Flavonoid [click to continue…]

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Best Fat Burning Exercises for Your Buns

by Head Health Nutter on February 15, 2015

Here’s another interesting and informative article by guest blogger, Brooke Chaplan. This one is about firming up flabby buns!

Your backside is one of many areas many people find difficult to tighten and tone. Fortunately, there are many exercises that can help you burn fat and build muscle in your buns. Below are some examples of the exercises you may want to try to make a new effort in your exercise routine.

Reverse Lunge
Best Fat Burning Exercises for Your BunsLunges not only target your buns, but also work the muscles in your legs. The first step in performing a reverse lunge is to stand up straight with your arms at your side. After that, you will need to step backwards until your knee nearly touches the floor. The opposite knee should form a 90 degree angle. Return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise using the other leg.

If you want to make this exercise a little more challenging, then you should perform it with a weight in your hand. Twist your torso to add a bit of core work as well.

Squats
Squats are often one of the first exercises that come to mind when people think about toning up your buns. In order to perform a squat, you will need to stand with your feet hip-width apart. After that squat down like you are sitting in a chair. Make sure that you keep your back straight while you are performing the squats. (Editor’s Note: I’ve found that a proper squat can be performed by tensing your core and sticking out your butt when you squat down.) To increase intensity, jump out of them each time.

Step-Up
You will need a step or a bench to perform this exercise. The bench or step should be about knee-height. Place your foot on the step or bench and step up. Step back down using the opposite leg. Repeat the same exercise using the opposite leg. This exercise is very effective even if you only use your own body weight as resistance. However, you can challenge yourself and burn more calories if you hold a weight while performing this exercise. [click to continue…]

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Athlete Spotlight: What Dancers Bring to Their Art

by Head Health Nutter on February 12, 2015

Who isn’t impressed with a dancer’s body? Did you know that you can obtain a body of a dancer, too? Today’s guest blogger, Brooke Chaplan, shares with us how dancers achieve their look and skills. 

Dancers combine the finest aspects of art and athleticism while performing. It is important for them to be physically strong in many areas in order to be able to move efficiently and achieve many of the different body positions. Even though the specific skills needed depend on the particular genre of dance, there are a few common athletic traits that are necessary for dancers to perform with precision. Dancers who master these areas of fitness may also have a greater advantage over other athletes who do not always train these skills as much.

Muscular Strength
Athlete Spotlight What Dancers Bring to Their ArtStronger muscles enable dancers to sustain the weight of their bodies while holding positions and performing intricate movements. Core strength, in particular, keeps the body under better control and helps achieve cleaner lines.

If a dancer is performing with a partner or in a group, strength can make it possible to execute lifts and other similar movements. Muscular strength can also increase endurance and enable a dancer to finish a performance with energy.

Weight training and callisthenic exercise that use the body’s own weight (such as pushups and squats) can dramatically increase muscular strength. Don’t forget Pilates to supplement core workouts and help in performances.

Flexibility
The more limber the body, the easier it is to move with fluidity. Splits, arabesques, and other movements commonly seen in dance are best performed when a dancer’s body is flexible. Dancers who are more flexible often have the ability to contort their bodies into unique positions that can really wow an audience. [click to continue…]

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Learn to Live a Well-Balanced & Healthy Life

by Head Health Nutter on February 10, 2015

Living a healthy lifestyle is easier said than done, isn’t it? In our Information-filled society, taking advice and acting on it is difficult because you don’t know where to start! Today’s guest blogger, Evenlyn Golston, shares with us some of the basics of living a healthy lifestyle.  

What is a Healthy Lifestyle?

In today’s rapidly evolving and changing world, it is sometimes hard to find a truly reliable and trustworthy source of information. And because there are so many preventable illnesses and diseases in the Western culture, many people are struggling to discover how to live a healthier lifestyle.

balanced-healthy-lifestyleAlthough Live Lighter teaches that everyone is an individual with a unique composition, several aspects of the human body (physical, mental, emotional, etc.) require the same type of maintenance and care. Working on all of these aspects, internally and externally, you can dare to achieve full harmony (e.i. balanced well-being).

List of Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Let’s take a look at each aspect of a healthy life separately in order to figure out what we need to do as a lifestyle:

Physical

First, a healthy body is a healthy mind (or can it work both ways?). You’ve got to take a look at how to develop your body and remain in a good shape. There are several ways to keep your body healthy.

Initially, of course, you should check what you are eating. A well-rounded diet of fresh, wholesome foods will definitely ensure the health of your body from the inside out. Reducing the amount of food rich with the “bad” fats (e.g. saturated) will definitely be a good start. Maintaining cholesterol levels within acceptable limits drastically increases the chances that you’ll live a happy and long life. [click to continue…]

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Who wants to live longer? If you’re reading blogs like Live Lighter, I’ll bet you’re looking to be a healthy senior. Today’s guest blogger, Brooke Chaplan, has 5 tips to help us with this goal.

These days, more and more people are interested in learning how they can increase their life span. If this is your goal, it’s important to note of several simple strategies you can implement to make it happen. Here are five different changes you can make today to help feel your best even in your later years.

Healthy Habits How to Live Longer With Five Simple Lifestyle ChangesMeditate
In a society where the go go go mentality is quite prevalent, it’s not surprising to note that many people never stop to clear their minds and breathe slowly. This is a shame, because the practice of meditation (which involves both of these things) can have profound health benefits can can help you live longer. Specifically, consistent meditation can lower blood pressure, regulate the heart beat, and combat the onset and effects of stress. With this idea in mind, get in the habit of setting aside five minutes a day to meditate.

Eat Fruit
The health benefits of fruit are infinite, so individuals trying to find viable strategies to increase their life span should definitely invest in this delicious, nutritious food group. Whether you like strawberries, bananas, apples, oranges, peaches, pears or some other fruit, note that you’re filling your body with a wide range of anti-aging vitamins, minerals, and nutrients with every bite! You might make a habit of making your own fruit smoothie every morning to get your serving of fruit right away. [click to continue…]

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Fitness Mistakes We Are All Guilty Of

by Head Health Nutter on February 5, 2015

It’s February and your New Year’s motivation is probably starting to wane. Well, to help you reignite your spark and get you back to being effective with your efforts, here’s guest blogger, Evenlyn Golston, with a few corrections for common fitness mistakes. 

Yesterday I woke up at about 4 AM to start on my daily jog .When I finally went on track, I was surprised that there were more people jogging than usual; a lot of new faces, I told myself. I don’t know if the increase in the number of joggers can be attributed to the guilt that everyone felt after eating far too much during the holidays, or everybody suddenly just got health conscious, but I really am glad that a lot of people went out of their way to shed some calories that morning.

fitness-mistakesAfter the jog, I started cooling down in the benches and overheard some youngsters talking among themselves. I really had no plan snooping around them, but incidentally their conversations were very much audible from where I was. Apparently, this group had just started out on their routine and at that moment, I can hear them making promises not to eat this food, substitute this for that, etc. I may not be a nutritionist or a fitness expert, but from the little knowledge I have, I knew that they had some misconceptions.

Let me share with you some mistaken fitness beliefs that even I had once been guilty of:

1. Skipping Meals
If you want to lose weight, aside from burning calories you should also control your food intake. Yes, you read it right, control, not neglect or disregard. If you skip your meals, most especially in the morning, you’ll have the tendency to overeat at night, and that’s not going to help. When it comes to controlling your food intake, the key is eating the right kind and amount of food. Personally speaking, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the practice of calorie counting or measuring every amount of food we consume, but sometimes this practice just puts too much pressure, often resulting in guilt and binge-eating. [click to continue…]

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What You Need to Know About Cataracts

by Head Health Nutter on February 3, 2015

Do cataracts run in your family? Or perhaps you simply value your eyesight and wish to protect it for as long as possible. If so, you’ll enjoy today’s post by guest blogger, Hayley Irvin.

Though many people first experience cataracts with their aging pets, cataracts are also quite common among humans as well. In fact, they are the most common cause of blindness in the United States, affecting more than half of all Americans over the age of 80. If untreated, cataracts can lead to vision loss and eventually blindness, so prevention and early detection are of vital importance. Read on to learn more about cataracts so you will be able to recognize the signs and symptoms if or when you start developing them.

cataractsCataracts are a result of the clouding over of the eye’s natural lens. As we age, proteins clump together and begin to build up on the lenses of our eyes. As more build-up occurs, our lenses are less able to filter light to the retinas at the back of our eyes. The light becomes distorted, leading to varying degrees of vision loss including blurriness, double vision, glares, etc. Without treatment, proteins will continue to build up on the lens and may eventually lead to complete vision loss.

Though cataracts are usually a result of the aging process, other factors can also lead to their development. Behaviors like smoking and drinking may also contribute to the development of cataracts, as will certain types of steroids. Cataracts can also develop secondary to another medical condition, such as diabetes, eye injuries, and other laser eye surgeries. Congenital cataracts form as a result of genetic factors, and exposure to radiation also speeds up the development of cataracts. [click to continue…]

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