[:en]Health and Wellness[:es]Health and Wellness[:]

HEALTHY CHOICE RECIPES FOR YOUR HOLIDAY FEASTS

It’s the holidays and for most, that means eating, lots of eating. It’s no wonder that one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is losing weight. Going ham over the holidays is bound to pack on a few extra pounds! Why not take a healthier approach to what we eat during this holiday season and beyond? Below are a few healthier choice recipes to try during this holiday season.

 

Maple Glazed Carrots

3 or 4 carrots

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

pinch of salt and pepper

1. Peel and slice the carrots into rounds.

2. Place them in a skillet with the water. Cover and cook for 6 to 7 minutes until soft.

3. Add the maple syrup, butter and vinegar. Sauté uncovered for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring.

4. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Apple and Pear Cobbler

Dough

¼ cup sorghum flour

¼ cup tapioca flour

¼ cup potato starch

¼ cup almond flour

1 teaspoon fine salt (or sea salt or kosher salt should be ground fine)

4 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon cardamom

¼ teaspoon cloves, ground

¼ cup sour cream

3 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Combine gluten-free flours and potato starch, sugar, cloves, cardamom, and salt. Add butter and cut in until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add sour cream and blend until dough begins to come together. Do not form ball.

Place the completed dough between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Form a large ball of dough between the sheets, and then gently flatten into a square. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Filling

2 pounds crisp, fresh apples

2 pounds Bartlett pears

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

¾ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon cloves, ground

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°

Transfer fruit slices to a pie dish or a 9” baking dish. Combine lemon juice and vanilla in small bowl. Pour over apples and toss to coat. Combine 3/4 cup sugar, flour, and cloves in small bowl. Sprinkle over fruit and toss to coat. Rearrange fruit to make compact and wipe rim of dish clean. Place dough atop fruit and gently tuck edges under at 3-inch intervals. Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons sugar. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sliced almonds over top. Bake for 35-40 minutes. The cobbler is done when

the topping is golden brown and the fruit bubbles around the edge of the pan.

 

Macaroni and Cheese

This recipe is more involved than the other recipes, so be sure to have someone to help you!

8 ounces macaroni

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon dry mustard

3-1/2 cups milk or soymilk

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

3/4 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

1-1/2 cups grated raw cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the macaroni according to package directions.

3. Rinse under cold water and set aside.

4. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the flour and mustard and cook over low heat for 2

to 3 minutes, stirring continuously.

5. Add milk slowly while whisking to remove any lumps.

6. Remove from the heat and add cheese. Add the salt, pepper and macaroni, stir to

combine and pour into a greased baking dish.

7. In a bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, herbs and oil. Sprinkle over the macaroni and cheese.

8. Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned.

 

Brownies

1-1/2 cups carob semisweet chips

2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

4 eggs

2/3 cup agave nectar or 1-1/4 cup date sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1. In a small bowl, melt carob chips in microwave for 2 minutes. Or place carob chips in a heat-resistant bowl on top of a boiling pot of water until melted.

2. In blender or food processor, combine chickpeas and eggs.

3. Add sweetener, baking powder and melted chips; process until smooth.

4. Pour batter into an approximately 9-inch nonstick pan.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

6. Allow to cool; cut and serve.

These are surprisingly delicious, and nobody will be able to guess that they’re made from chickpeas!

 

Richard Martinez

Intl. Transformation Expert

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HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO WITH FLAXSEED OATMEAL PANCAKES

Did you know that pancakes are a delicacy that has existed since the Stone Age? Researchers trace origins of the pancake back to prehistoric humans who would mix crude flour from cattails and ferns, then blend it with water and bake this batter on heated rock. Generation after generation since then has improved on this basic concept to yield the delicious treat we now commonly recognize as pancakes. If you’re trying to eat healthy this holiday season, or you’re just looking to mix things up with some new flavors, here’s a recipe for Flaxseed Oatmeal Pancakes that’s sure to amaze your taste buds:

Ingredients

1/3 Cup of Whole Wheat Flour.

3 Tablespoons of Quick-Cooking Oats.

1 Tablespoon of Flaxseed.

½ Teaspoon of Baking Powder.

¼ Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon.

1/8 Teaspoon of Baking Soda.

1 Pinch of Salt.

1 Separated Egg Yolk/Egg White.

½ a Cup of Buttermilk.

1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar.

1 Tablespoon of Canola Oil.

½ Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract.

  • 20-Minute Preparation Time.
  • Recipe Makes 4 Pancakes.

Instructions

  1. Sift the Flour, Oats, Flaxseed, Baking Powder, Cinnamon, Baking Soda and Salt into a container.
  2. Whisk and blend the Egg Yolk, Buttermilk, Brown Sugar, Canola Oil and Vanilla Extract in a separate large mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, Whisk the Egg White until stiff.
  4. With a large wooden spoon, stir all the wet ingredients into each other, then stir all the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until a viscous pourable batter forms.
  5. Heat up a pan or griddle to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (5 Notches on a Gas Stove), and glisten it with a very thin layer of vegetable oil or cooking spray.
  6. Pour a ¼ cup of batter onto the hot griddle to form a round cake and let it cook until bubbles from on the top.
  7. Once bubbles evenly cover the top of the cake, flip it over to the other side with a spatula and let the second side cook until it turns golden brown.
  8. Stack each pancake onto a plate and serve when ready.

Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on healthy living, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love our many informative workshops and events listed on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/rise-programs-10789866034 Join RISE Programs any time to learn how to break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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5 QUICK PICK-ME-UPS TO GET YOU GOING AFTER THAT 2PM CRASH

The Problem:

It’s torture. Blinking your eyes in rapid-fire just to stop them from clamping shut. Nodding profusely to seem like you’re listening, even though every word coming from your boss’s mouth sounds like a stifled mumble. Struggling to concentrate because every muscle in your body is shrieking at you to fold over and take a quick nap. That afternoon crash happens to everybody. It happens every day, and it always feels like complete torture.

The Solution:

Most people’s instinct to remedy the afternoon energy slump is to grab a quick shot of caffeine. We drink countless gallons of coffee and energy drinks every day – completely ignoring the fact that this slump isn’t a chemical issue, it’s a biological one. The human body has an internal clock that regulates various functions such as sleep, digestion, immune responses and other processes. When our bodies become accustomed to a specific routine, our energy levels fluctuate from high to low depending on how fatigued we are within a 24-hour period. Energy levels typically dip dramatically right before we sleep at night, and usually after having been awake for half a day.

Stimulating your nervous system with caffeine or sugar might feel like you’re fixing the problem, but all you’re doing is forcing your body to overexert itself under the influence of a chemical substance. In the long run, this can disrupt the natural functions of your body by creating dependency. Instead of handling this problem with a quick shot of stimulants, handle it the right way with the following preventative measures:

  • Get Enough Sleep At Night:

The more of a sleep deficit a person has, the more fatigue experienced during the afternoon slump. Our bodies need adequate rest in order to metabolize efficiently. If you force yourself not to sleep, your internal clock will kick in instinctively regardless of whether you want it to or not.

  • Do Some Portion-Control:

There’s a reason why they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s because a hearty breakfast provides the nutritional foundation necessary to sustain the body throughout an entire day of activity. Instead of eating a small breakfast and a heavy lunch, have a heavy breakfast and a light lunch. This has the benefit of giving you more time to burn calories, and also prevents your body’s metabolism from diverting energy towards increased digestion after lunch.

  • Get the Right Nutrients:

The majority of sugar you eat should come from complex carbohydrates. Simple sugars, which mostly come from processed foods, flood the body with glucose which may rapidly generate energy, but is also metabolized quickly which results in an equally rapid plummet of energy. Skip that donut and replace it with some whole grain food, starchy vegetables or legumes.

  • Get Some Fresh Air:

A big part of that energy dip is plain old boredom. If you’ve been looking at a computer screen all day, break up the routine and get some fresh air. Go for a walk and think about something other than work for a while. Your brain needs to reset just as much as the body does, which can only happen if you take a little timeout.

  • Hydrate:

Water is as essential to vitality as solid food is. If the majority of what you drink has caffeine, electrolytes, sugar or sodium in it, that means your body is actually draining water away from its own cells just to digest it. Water is necessary to flush out toxins from our bodies and support every feature of our physiology. Drink it in plenty, and drink it often.

Our overall energy completely depends on how well we conserve our bodies. The more you take care of your body, the more your body will take care of you. It’s just that simple. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on healthy living, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the many informative workshops and events listed on our website: http://riseprograms.com/rise/events-rise/ Join RISE Programs any time to learn how to break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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HOW TO CREATE HEALTHY HABITS IN FOUR EASY STEPS

Have you ever felt like you’re just stuck in a rut? As if you’re dealing with the same problems over and over again? As if you spend more time making goals, than you do actually accomplishing them? All people struggle with this frustration on some level. We passively watch one hour blend into the next, and the next, as we promise ourselves that tomorrow will be the day. Tomorrow will be the day that we start eating healthy. Tomorrow will be the day that we start saving money. Tomorrow will be the day that everything’s going to change and we’ll start living life the way we know we should. But then… tomorrow never comes.
You owe it to yourself not to let your dreams slip through your fingers. You owe it to yourself to turn every ounce of potential within you into success. Instead of pledging in vain to do things tomorrow, do them now. Don’t wait for New Year’s resolutions or some life-changing epiphany to jolt you into action. Do it now when there’s no pressure. Do it now when there’s no expectation. Do it now and the momentum you build will last. Here are four easy tips on how to create enduring healthy habits in life:

Stop Procrastinating:
Understand that in most instances, the word later actually means never. Procrastination is poison to progress. This is why you must abandon every excuse, and eliminate every distraction that prevents you from acting on decisions in the moment. If you think to do something, simply get up and work on it. It’s as simple as that.

Learn:
There’s a reason why they say knowledge is power. Knowledge opens the mind. Knowledge reduces uncertainty. Knowledge provides a solid foundation upon which to make effective and desirable decisions. Always embrace knowledge and use it to your advantage. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from your past experiences. Learn from others as much as you can, and you will discover that knowledge inspires healthy transformation in your life.

Make Time:
Healthy decisions always demand time. If a goal you seek is actually worthwhile, you have no choice but to sacrifice and work for it. It might mean giving up certain habits or friends. It might mean changing your routine. It might even mean adding a little more muscle to your hustle. Whatever it takes, make the time to chase your dreams instead of standing by the wayside as opportunity fades.

Stick to It:
Life is a marathon. Don’t get caught up in the excitement of thinking up something new, only to give up on it at the first sign of resistance. Once you start a journey, fight to finish it. Pace yourself if you have to, take breaks if you have to, but whatever happens, don’t stop.

Whether or not the healthy habits you desire are personal, or professional, they can only become a reality if you adopt a deliberate mindset and act on your plans. Your effort doesn’t even have to be monumental. It just has to be consistent. Start with a crawl, turn that crawl into a walk, then turn that walk into a sprint that carries you past the finish line. You just might end up surprising yourself. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on healthy living, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love our many informative workshops and events listed on our website: http://riseprograms.com/rise/events-rise/ Join RISE Programs any time to learn how to break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

 

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5 REASONS WHY HOBBIES ARE THE BEST WAY TO SUPERCHARGE YOUR LIFE

We all do it. We all like to build castles in the sky and imagine what the future will be like. We envision fame and fortune. We dream of limitless wealth or having the perfect body. We stand ready to sacrifice everything, and work tirelessly in the name of transforming into the best possible versions of ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming. There’s nothing wrong either with having the gumption to turn our dreams into reality. However there’s one essential ingredient to this process that many of us take for granted, yet we shouldn’t. We forget the value of investing in ourselves through hobbies.

The Stats

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people spend an average number of five hours per day on leisure activities. This might sound impressive, however, out of all this time, roughly three hours is spent watching television while a microscopic fraction of the remaining period is dedicated to wholesome activities such as socializing, meditation, or physical fitness. Ignoring constructive hobbies is one of the biggest reasons why people get tangled in sedentary lifestyles. Even when we choose to rest, we do it glued to TVs and computer screens rather than rejuvenating ourselves through the right relaxation. Leisure time is meant to be food for your soul. It’s meant to reclaim your life from the demanding daily grind. In case you haven’t paid much attention to your hobbies recently, here are five important reasons why now is a good time to start.

  • Stress Relief:

Hobbies are in intrinsic way to release stress. Thinking about work, family, school and life in general subliminally burdens people with tension that causes fatigue. When we take the time to escape this cycle of preoccupation with lighthearted leisure, it allows our minds to reset and prepare to take on future challenges.

  • Creative Exercise:

Beyond making it possible to zone out, hobbies also allow people to engage their creative side and flex their imagination. People spend a majority of their lives conforming to rules, expectations and procedures. Hobbies offer a chance to forget all this structure and just let your thoughts run wild. Not only is this fun, it’s also healthy because it can spark inspiration that carries over into your daily routine.

  • Growth:

Choosing to engage in constructive hobbies isn’t just entertaining, it can also bring about growth and development in a person’s life. To illustrate, a physical hobby such as golf helps keep the body fit. Beyond this basic benefit, interacting with fellow golfers can end up establishing close friendships. It can even create networking opportunities that end up impacting one’s life beyond the golf course. The possibilities are limitless if you choose the right activity to engage in.

  • Intellectual Stimulation:

There’s nothing more enjoyable than having curiosity for a hobby that you are passionate about. A simple hobby can transform into an opportunity to learn new things that broaden your knowledge and provide a sense of intellectual satisfaction. For example, taking up photography can end up teaching you about graphic design, publication, studio design, and much more.

  • Confidence:

When you figure out how to engage in a hobby and do it well, this instills a sense of achievement that no other activity can produce. It makes you feel capable, it makes you feel special, and it makes know that you can excel at something outside of the confines of work. This might seem trivial, but for many who are stuck doing work they have no passion for, the simple opportunity to shine at something with enthusiasm can erase the drudgery of life’s hardships.

Few investments in life are as important as the investments we make in ourselves. If you find yourself overwhelmed by stress, it may surprise you to discover just how much something as painless as a hobby can make you feel on top of the world. Give it a try and you won’t regret it. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on healthy living, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.

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5 REASONS WHY YOU NEED YOGA IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW

Yoga is a complex spiritual discipline that is rooted in Indian beliefs and culture. It’s a combination of philosophical and physiological practices that are designed to foster good health. Yoga is ancient and enduring. It is such a long-standing practice that its origins date as far back as the Iron Age. Given this extensive history, Yoga as a practice has transformed significantly over time. It may have begun as a strictly spiritual tradition, but its adoption beyond Indian culture has seen it develop into a series of fitness routines that vary in focus. For example some schools of Yoga concentrate on meditative exercises, whereas other schools of Yoga concentrate more on physical conditioning.

The Gains

Because of its spiritual origins, Yoga can be misconstrued as an exclusively mystical ritual. On the contrary however, Yoga’s physical elements offer so many health benefits that it is now regularly integrated with secular fitness programs. At the heart of its intricacy Yoga encourages conscientiousness. It encourages people to slow down and be attentive to the needs of our minds, our bodies, and our souls. In this way, Yoga is a perfect exercise to help decompress from the overwhelming demands of a hectic lifestyle. Here are just a few of the numerous advantages that Yoga can provide:

  • Discipline

Yoga emphasizes routine regardless of how advanced, or strict, the technique. Yoga as a concept isn’t just a cosmetic activity. It has to be adopted as part and parcel of a person’s daily routine. This repetition naturally instils a sense of discipline when adhered to. The more you do Yoga, the more self-control you discover.

  • Mindfulness

Yoga is contemplative. It encourages meditation and mental concentration as a way to challenge the abilities of both the mind and body. As such Yoga enhances self-awareness that is integral to personal growth and wellness.

  • Balance

Both the philosophy and physical exercise involved in Yoga help establish balance in how we maintain our bodies. Most conventional approaches to fitness emphasize endurance and resistance training in order to develop strength. Yoga on the other hand incorporates flexibility training that complements other approaches to fitness.

  • Stress Management

Yoga is a low-intensity exercise. Whereas conventional workouts require complicated equipment and heavy exertion, Yoga only requires a floor mat and some free time. This simplicity acts as an antidote to the noisy commotion of life. It would surprise you just how soothing it is to be still and meditate.

  • Good Health

Yoga isn’t just hypothetically advantageous, it is medically proven to enhance biological functions. For instance:

  • Lung capacity can improve significantly after practicing Yoga’s breathing exercises over time.
  • Its low-intensity and mental engagement helps manage cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure.
  • It builds muscle strength.
  • It increases range of motion.
  • It sustains a healthy Body Mass Index, and does much more to keep the body in good condition.

Don’t let the Sanskrit intimidate you into thinking that Yoga is a nightmare. Taking it up can in fact open the doors to fulfilling self-discovery. Once you discover just how simple Yoga is, you’ll wonder how you could ever hesitate to take it up in the first place. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on healthy living, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love our many informative workshops and events listed on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/release-stress-with-yoga-meditation-tickets-39528339327 Join RISE Programs any time to learn how to break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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6 DIET TIPS FOR THE BUSY GO-GETTER

We all know the undeniable truth about what it takes to get fit: do plenty of exercise and eat a balanced, nutritional diet. We also know the unspoken truth about what it takes to get fit: which is that finding the time or energy to exercise and diet is almost impossible given the hectic schedules that most people keep every day. Life gets so busy sometimes that staying true to a healthy routine feels out of reach for many. Regardless of these challenges, we must never give up because it still makes a difference to keep trying. Even if you never manage to transform your body into a physical masterpiece, consistent healthy living is imperative to prevent illness or diminished health during old age. That alone makes every effort worth it.

If taking the leap with a gym membership or counting calories is too demanding for now, there are still many ways to introduce impactful healthy choices into your lifestyle. One of them is portion control. Portion control refers to the habit of reducing caloric intake by replacing high-calorie food with low-calorie alternatives, and limiting the serving size of your food. Portion control is a subtle way of modifying one’s diet because it doesn’t require the technical measurement of calorie counting. Even without exercise, portion control can help guide you towards weight loss by increasing your awareness of exactly which food you ingest and by how much. Here are six tips on portion control that can dramatically improve progress towards weight loss:

Drink Water:
Whereas drinking water is beneficial for the sake of overall hydration, it can also be used to reduce how much food we eat unnecessarily. People sometimes have a tendency to misconstrue thirst for hunger. We think we need a meal when in actuality, we need water. Drinking one full glass of water at least five minutes before each meal not only quenches thirst, it partially induces satiety thereby reducing how intensely we crave food.

Add Fruit and Vegetables to the Menu:
Current nutritional standards heavily emphasize consumption of protein and dairy. Because we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to eating protein, we have to take initiative in order to eat fruits and vegetables. Regardless of what your meal is, always make sure that it either has a majority serving of fruit or vegetables along with it. Eating more meat than vegetables deprives our bodies of essential vitamins and minerals.

Listen to Your Body:
Many of us consume food out of procedure. We eat when we feel hungry, but instead of stopping when we’re full, we push ourselves to finish whatever we’re eating – even if it’s excessive. Learning to listen to your body and how it reacts to food is vital to gaining control of your diet. When you start to feel full, stop eating. If something tastes too sweet or too salty, don’t eat all of it. Your palate instinctively responds with displeasure to excessive nutrients and substances. Don’t ignore this physiological signal.

Go Easy on the Condiments:
Complementing meals with condiments has become part and parcel of eating food. While there’s nothing wrong with using condiments in moderation, once they become compulsory with every dish, their harmful effects begin to accumulate. The reason why condiments taste so good is because they have strong flavors. Unfortunately those strong flavors typically come from concentrated salt or sugar. Instead of using these ingredients to accentuate every single meal, condition your body to appreciate the natural flavors of your food.

Don’t Trust the Food Industry to Measure your Serving Sizes:
One of the easiest mistakes to make when it comes to managing food portions is trusting mass-producers to package or serve their food into reasonable portions. The food industry’s highest priority isn’t to ensure consumers’ health. Their highest priority is to sell as much food, to as many people as possible. Whether it comes from a restaurant, or from a grocery store shelf, blindly devouring prepared food without measuring how much you actually need to get satisfied is only setting the stage for overindulgence.

Use Fresh Ingredients:
If you ever have an option to eat fresh food, take it. The more a food item is exposed to conditions such as refrigeration, additives, canning, or use of pesticides, the more its nutrients become denatured and contaminated. The fresher the food we consume is, the fewer poisons and persistent substances end up circulating in our bodies.

Healthy living is a matter of lifestyle. This means that a decision to change your diet for the sake of well-being should be something you’re prepared to do for the rest of your life. It might not be realistic to eliminate entire food groups from your diet forever. But it’s definitely realistic to adhere to these six steps even when you eat high-calorie food. The most important thing is never to give up on trying to do the right thing – even with small measures. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on healthy living, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. Please Note: Always consult a medical doctor before making any changes to your diet or nutrition program. Any advice offered by RISE Programs is purely academic and will not help cure, heal, or correct any illness, metabolic disorder, or medical condition.

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5 STRESS- FREE TIPS THAT WILL HELP YOU EAT HEALTHY OVER THE HOLIDAYS

It’s the same vicious cycle. Pumpkin spice starts to pepper the coffee as poinsettias emerge strewn across every storefront in sight. Halloween costumes are on sale, and the Fall season premieres of your favorite shows are underway. It strikes you out of nowhere that half the year just swept by, and it’s only a matter of time before jingle bells backdrop every song on the radio. You can practically taste the succulent roasted turkey at every single dinner and party you’ll inevitably attend. It’s enough to paint a satisfied grin on your face already, but then, there’s also that sting of guilt about how fat you’ll probably get by the time everyone’s drunkenly murmuring “Auld Lang Syne.” It’s understandable to stress about packing on the pounds over the holidays. Even so, it’s not an impossible goal to stay true to a healthy diet. Just follow these easy tips and you’ll be sure to keep your weight gain in check by slashing all those excess holiday calories:

1 Hydrate:

One of the biggest reasons people overeat is a confusing thirst for hunger. The simple routine of drinking plenty of water before every meal effectively prevents the body from trying to quench thirst with solid food. The more water you drink, the smaller portions of food you’re likely to eat. Beyond drinking water, make sure your plate has servings of juicy fibrous vegetables. A hydrated body is a healthy body.

2 Listen to your Body:

The majority of people today eat food for entertainment rather than sustenance. This is to say that meals are consumed more for the sake of enjoying flavors as opposed to actual nourishment. If you expect to prevent overindulgence on food, you must learn to abandon this mindset and recognize when you’re physically satisfied with a meal. If you feel full, stop and put away the food no matter how much is left on your plate.

3 Ruin your Appetite:

If you know you have plenty of parties and events to attend, don’t visit them on an empty stomach. Being gluttonous while you dine out only translates into higher consumption of rich food. Snacking on some fruit before you eat out will make you get full faster. In turn, if you get full quickly while eating out, it gets easier to rein things in and turn down that 3rd… or 12th helping. Anything you can do to practice conscientious portion-control makes a difference.

4 Skip the Appetizers:

Just because holiday dinners come with all the trimmings doesn’t mean that you have to gobble up every last one. Focus instead on what entrees you actually enjoy, then savor them as the core component of your meals without filling up on any extras like bread. Opting out of starters and hors-d’oeuvres simultaneously reduces how much food you eat, and leaves more room to enjoy the main course.

 

5 Easy on the Alcohol:

If you absolutely cannot do anything to cut down on the food you eat, at the very least go easy on the alcohol. Painful as it may be, choosing not to drink is, in fact, a good way to reduce caloric intake. This is because the average alcoholic beverage contains around 10-20 more calories than soft drinks do. Nobody’s saying you have to give up your beer altogether, but taking a break for the holidays will definitely make those meals a little lighter.

Always remember that even though making the right choices can be difficult sometimes, it’s always worth it to strive for them even with the smallest gestures. It doesn’t matter if your effort slows down, however, it does matter if you stop trying altogether. Don’t let the complacency of the past hold you back from changing your future. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on healthy living, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.

 

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4 PAINLESS BABY STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO FIGHT DEPRESSION

Life can be ironic. So many of us have more blessings than we can possibly count. We wake up every morning with our five senses intact. We have good jobs and good education. We live surrounded by friends and family who love and support us. Yet somehow, getting out of bed to take on the day happens to be a struggle. Simply because thoughts of anxiety suffocate what little optimism we can muster. If you are reading this and it’s difficult for you to find your smile – take hope. Because in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct.”

It’s your Choice

Happiness is a byproduct of self-determination. It’s a byproduct of a conscious decision to live in your own truth and be at peace with who you are. Regardless of what you may be going through, do not let your mind become consumed by negative thoughts. Choose instead to take responsibility for your own life, and your own attitude. Choose to be hopeful in the face of despair. Choose to be composed in the face of threat. Choose to have the courage to lift your head high, and make it known that your problems do not own, or define who you are. Even if choosing to be optimistic at this moment seems impossible, fighting against your sadness is worth it for the sake of your health, and peace of mind. Be deliberate about pressing through your struggles and you will eventually weather the storms of life. It may be hard, but rising above adversity is not impossible.  Here are four small things you can do to find your way back to the joyful person you are meant to be:

1.- Get Active:

Exercise does more than condition the human body. Physical activity specifically releases endorphins that improve mood and boost energy. Not only does exercise improve the way you feel in the moment, it also helps eliminate the restlessness of insomnia by inducing fatigue which compels the body to sleep soundly. Both physically, and mentally, exercise can provide activity that significantly distracts from the issues which bring about stress and sadness. If you’d like to learn more about how to maintain a fitness routine, check out the RISE Fitness posts on our YouTube channel.

2 .- Lighten the Load:

One of the biggest reasons why people wrestle with depression today is overexertion. This might sound like a problem that’s mostly professional in nature, however overexertion can happen because of multiple reasons beyond work. On top of the demands that come with having a job, we all have to make time for family and friends; do chores and errands; keep up with current events; exercise to stay fit; satisfy religious responsibilities; attend school; practice hobbies… and the list goes on. If you find yourself gasping for air at the end of the day, try to reduce or eliminate activities in your life that aren’t essential. If everything you do is essential, try breaking down your schedule into small tasks and making sure to take intermittent breaks. Pushing yourself too much will only cause frustration and feed stress.

3.- Get in Touch:

Human beings are social creatures by nature. We instinctively experience the most fulfillment in life when immersed in strong communal environments. If there is someone you can talk to about difficulties you’re experiencing, even if it’s purely to vent, take the opportunity to converse with them and express your feelings. In fact the deeper your sadness, the more important it is for you to be able to reach out to someone and have a therapeutic talk. Experiencing prolonged sadness that lasts for weeks is a symptom of clinical depression which can even require medical diagnosis in order to alleviate. Don’t bottle in your feelings until they boil over into destructive habits.

4.- Get Away:

If it’s been a long time since you took a vacation, stop putting it off and set some time aside to get away. Breaking monotony is always an invigorating experience. In the same way that our bodies need time to shut down during sleep, our psyches need time to dissociate from predictable routines that can end up dulling our passion. It doesn’t even have to be some elaborate trip overseas. A vacation as simple as a road trip on the weekend can end up resetting your perspective and refreshing your enthusiasm for life. Don’t wait, don’t think, just let loose and go for it.

Life is always going to be unpredictable and demanding. This is exactly why tethering your happiness to a specific goal or set of circumstances is a mistake. Stop expecting other people, and other things, to provide you with contentment that can only come from loving yourself and appreciating the little things. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on healthy living, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.

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BREAST CANCER AND EARLY DETECTION

Did you know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month? The Department of Health and Human Services projects that in 2017, there will be an estimated 252,710 new cases of breast cancer in the United States. Whether or not this population survives their diagnosis depends entirely on how early they detect their cancer before it spreads and grows. Here’s a simple summary of breast cancer and how to preempt its development.

The Basics

Cancer is a disease that is caused by abnormally escalated growth and division of cells in the human body. When cells become cancerous, they form lumps of tissue known as tumors. Tumors are a unique type of swelling in that they aren’t accompanied by inflammation. This is what makes cancer a particularly dangerous disease. The symptomless nature of early tumors means that people won’t even notice them unless they’re distinctly visible. Tumors can either be benign, or malignant. Benign tumors settle in a single area of the body without spreading to any neighboring tissue. On the other hand, malignant tumors not only grow in one area of the body, they also invade surrounding tissue and regenerate persistently. As indicated by its name, breast cancer is a type of cancer that exhibits these aforementioned characteristics, but is localized to the breasts or chest area. Even though it occurs rarely in men, both men and women can suffer breast cancer.

Normal breast cells become cancerous as a result of mutations in DNA. DNA is a material in each human cell that comprises genetic instructions – including instructions that dictate cell-division. As a result, when DNA in the breast cells mutates, it triggers dysfunctional cell-division which forms tumors. Most breast cancers originate in the mammary glands, which are the ducts that carry milk to the nipples. The lumps which form in other areas of the breast are either referred to as sarcomas or lymphomas. Any presence of breast lumps is cause for alarm, however the majority of them actually tend to be benign. Early detection through regular screenings not only discovers breast cancer before its symptoms can be felt, it increases the odds of successful treatment.

Early Detection

The most effective way to fight breast cancer is to hinder it with early detection. Conversely, early detection can only happen if you make the decision not to ignore the possibility of cancer. Take the time not only to learn your body, but also to take care of it through healthy living and routine medical checkups. If you make a habit of keeping watch for indications of cancer it automatically increases your chances of diagnosing it before it becomes malignant.

  1. Schedule Regular Screening Tests: Screening Tests are specialized medical examinations that are designed to find or diagnose a given disease. Routine screenings make it possible to detect cancer before it spreads. The earlier cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat.
  2. Schedule Routine Mammograms: Both mammograms and screening tests are essentially medical exams that evaluate patients for cancer, however mammograms are strong enough to detect cancer-related changes in tissue years before tumors start to form.
  3. Breast Self-Exam: Self-exams are not the most effective way to preventively diagnose cancer, however they still create a chance that you’ll detect a lump that needs treatment. At the very least, breast self-exams allow you to become familiar with your body and pay attention to any unusual symptoms you may notice.

There’s an age-old saying that says prevention is better than cure. This especially stands true when it comes to cancer. Screening tests and mammograms may sound tedious and involving, however their importance can’t possibly be understated. Be proactive and take charge of your health by making the right decisions today. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on healthy living, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.

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