Healthy everyday

Junk food cravings get worse if you don’t get enough sleep

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Pulling an all-nighter might help when it comes to cramming for a high school chemistry test, but it can also make you reach for a Big Mac the next morning. When people don’t get enough sleep, they are more likely to eat junk food, say researchers.

A new study from the University of California, Berkeley found that people who did not get enough sleep had impaired decision-making skills and the reward center of their brain was heightened. So people who didn’t get a good night’s sleep were more likely to reach for an unhealthy snack than someone who was well rested. Continue reading →

Making healthy choices at the salad bar

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Salads can make a wonderfully healthy meal, but when the ingredients aren’t chosen wisely, they can also be deceptively fattening with rich creamy dressings and fatty toppings like bacon that pile on the calories.  Learning how to navigate the salad bar options can take some time, but the reward is certainly delicious.

When you go to choose a salad, fill your bowl with healthy, low-fat ingredients. Here are some of our favorites: Continue reading →

Drink Up: How to stay hydrated this summer

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Did you know that water makes up between 45% to 75% of your weight? That your blood is 80% water? That if you don’t replace what’s lost every day, blood thickens, forcing your heart to work harder and raising your risk of a heart attack? But you choose your drinks wisely, because many are packed with calories.

In hot weather, maintaining a healthy fluid balance can be difficult. Yet staying properly hydrated not only helps you stay alert, but helps control appetite, improve your activity and athletic performance, and keeps every day symptoms like fatigue, headaches, and dry skin at bay.

While a large 24-fl oz glass of iced soda or a fruit juice or a chilled juice concoction or energy drink will keep you cool on a hot day, it can pack nearly 300 calories daily from sugar and other unhealthy ingredients!. So that clearly is not a good choice. But there are terrific low-calorie alternatives to a Big Gulp, and they can be just as tasty. Continue reading →

Raquel’s Thoughts on Health and Weight

Raquel Allen

Live Light participant Raquel Alen wrote a wonderful article for her school newsletter. We were so impressed by how eloquently she spoke about weight and health. We just had to share it. 

Part of being healthy is getting to and staying at a healthy weight.  I am not talking about being model skinny either! We’re simply talking about how you can get to a weight that reduces your risk for diseases, like diabetes, in the future. Continue reading →

Feeding Your Newborn: Tips for New Parents

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If you are overweight, gained excess weight during pregnancy, had gestational or pre-gestational diabetes, read this. If your baby weighed more than 9lbs or less than 5lbs at birth, read this. These are all risk factors that increase your baby’s risk of developing obesity, diabetes and cardiac risk factors earlier in life.  But you can improve your child’s health now, when he’s newborn.

Here are 8 easy steps to help your baby have a healthier life: Continue reading →

Pick the Fruit

Fruits are a good for getting vitamins and minerals, fiber, and even your daily water intake. Because different fruits contain different vitamins, it’s important to eat a variety of them. Here are some benefits of different fruits:

Continue reading →

Protein Power!

Protein is important for your body cells, hair and nails, for healing an injury, and building bones, muscles, skin, and blood. You need protein in your diet along with carbohydrates and fats, and vitamins and minerals. Getting enough protein from your food is not usually a problem. But getting protein from better sources is.

Continue reading →

Protein Power!

Protein is important for your body cells, hair and nails, for healing an injury, and building bones, muscles, skin, and blood. You need protein in your diet along with carbohydrates and fats, and vitamins and minerals. Getting enough protein from your food is not usually a problem. But getting protein from better sources is!

Continue reading →

The Skinny: How to Read a Food Label

Food labels can be totally bewildering. Just because something says “low fat” doesn’t mean it’s not fattening. Confused? You’re not the only one. We’ve put together a tip sheet on how to shop smart so you go home with groceries full of healthy, nutritious ingredients.

  1. Start with the serving size. See how many servings are actually in the container. For example, an Arizona iced tea bottle usually has 2 ½ servings in it. Would you drink less than half the bottle and then put it away for another day?
  2. Calories. Check how many calories are in each serving. Let’s say there are 100 calories per serving in the drink you are about to drink. But there are 2.5 servings in the container. Multiply 100 by 2.5, and you’ll see that there are actually 250 calories in the container. This can be tricky! 1 container does not mean 1 serving.
  3. Fats. Try to make sure the foods you eat are low in total fats, saturated fats, and cholesterol. The Trans fat should say zero. Saturated and Trans fats raise your risk of heart disease.
  4. Sodium. Even though the food or drink might not taste salty to you, it can still be full of sodium. Sodium raises your blood pressure and you should not eat more than 2400 mg total in a day.
  5. Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates (or “carbs”) are important for giving your body energy, but try to limit the amount that comes from sugars. Sugar makes your blood sugar level rise, and turns to fat when you don’t use it. Check for anything that ends in “-ose” in the ingredients- that means sugar! Dietary fiber should be high. Fiber helps move your digestive system along and prevents heart disease and cancer.
  6. Protein. Most of us don’t have to worry about not getting enough protein, but try to have your protein come from foods like skinless chicken, turkey, fish, and beans, and not red meat like beef and pork.
  7. Vitamins and minerals. The goal is to get to 100% of what is recommended for each.