Wednesday, 14 December 2022

How to Read Labels on Food Products

How to Read Labels on Food ProductsFood labels contain a lot of useful information, but it can be difficult to make sense of it all. Fortunately, you can eat healthy without having to learn a lot of complicated scientific equations or mathematical calculations.


This is a simple guide to clearing up the most common sources of confusion about food labels and mastering easy choices for better eating.


Common Sources of Confusion


Regard all sugars equally.

 Manufacturers sometimes use many different names for sweeteners, knowing that consumers may be trying to avoid sugar. You’re still getting a lot of empty calories if a food is high in molasses, honey, or high-fructose corn syrup.


Pay careful attention to serving sizes.

 Portions are another tricky area. You may expect to get 4 servings out of a small ice cream container, but the label is actually based on half that much. Ensure you know how many calories you’re really eating!


Calculate the true value of organic food.

 Organic food is usually more expensive, but there's no guarantee that it is nutritionally superior. However, you may still want to buy it if you’re concerned about avoiding pesticides.


Be vigilant about trans fats.

 The "trans" fats found in many processed foods have been associated with heart disease and other health issues. A product may contain these fats even if the label says "0 grams." That’s because the FDA allows this as long as the amount is below 1 gram. Your best protection is to eat mostly whole, natural foods.


Hold out for 100% whole wheat.

 Phrases like "100% wheat" or "stoneground" sound promising but may actually be the refined grains you want to eliminate. Always check the label to ensure that whole wheat or some whole grain is listed as the first ingredient.


Master the Easiest Choices.

Load up on vegetables and fruits. Getting most of your calories from fresh produce is the simplest way to eat healthy, and you can mostly forget about reading Labels.


Eat more fish. 

Most experts agree that the benefits of eating at least two servings of fish a week outweigh any concerns about mercury. When buying canned tuna, choose "light" rather than "white" products. They’re likely to be lower in mercury and usually cost less.


Choose the leanest cuts of meat. 

Look for packages that include the words "round" or "loin." Meat that is labeled "extra lean" typically has half the fat of meat that is labeled "lean".


Buy plain yogurt

Yogurt is a power food that most people can eat even if they are lactose intolerant. Adding your own flavors to plain yogurt lets you avoid added sugars. Try stirring in fresh fruit, granola, or cinnamon.


Include healthy fats in your diet. 

While it’s best to limit saturated fats and avoid "trans" fats completely, there are other fats that are good for you. Go ahead and indulge in sensible servings of extra virgin olive oil.


Diet plays a big role in the quality of our life and our overall well-being. 


Learn to read food labels like a pro and make healthier choices for you and your family. 

Thursday, 1 December 2022

Traits of a Highly Sensitive Person


Traits of a highly sensitive person



You notice absolutely everything. The odd smell, the way the sunlight hits the water, the emotions of the person you’re with, and a million other thoughts vie for your attention. You’re Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), and you are absolutely amazing.

 

You might not feel that way. If you’re one of the 15 – 20% of the population to experience this kind of awareness, you’ve probably been called a few names. The world can be harsh with people who seem ‘oversensitive’ and react accordingly. You might have been told to ‘toughen up’ or ‘not let things get to you.’ Chances are, your intuition has even been called into question, with no one understanding how you see all the connections so quickly.

 

What the world doesn’t realize is the Highly Sensitive Person actually is the one with the edge. Noticing the details, being in tune with what’s going on, and even having a deeper understanding of emotions and how things fit together, all make for the perfect person to succeed where others fail. Read on to find out the traits of a Highly Sensitive Person and  the advantages. In fact, some might even call these traits your superpowers.

 


 

Your Sensitive Superpowers

 

You Understand the Emotions of Others

Someone who can seemingly sense how others are feeling is seen to have the edge in every walk of life. These are the people who make for excellent counselors or social workers because they have so much compassion. Coupled with action, someone with this kind of empathy makes for a social justice warrior or even the best kind of politician. Empathy means you’re that awesome friend who knows just how to comfort someone when they’re feeling down or cheer them on when they’re flagging. This also makes you more considerate of others, a trait that makes people want to work with you or spend time in your company.

 

You’re a Great Listener

Empathy is what helps you to open up to others, and more importantly, to be open to them. Highly Sensitive People understand what’s it like to feel like no one is listening to them because they listen to the pain of others and feel it deeply when it’s expressed to them. That’s why you listen and listen so well. People love this about you and know just who to go to when they need a sympathetic ear.

 

You Take Time to Think

Highly Sensitive People have a lot of information to process, all the time. This gives them a lot to consider when they’re making decisions. This can lead to some frustration on the part of those who work with the HSP, as they generally aren’t quite as fast as others might be when it comes to deciding a new direction or strategy. On the other hand, your HSP will have considered all the angles, so you know when they do give their opinion, it’s well worth the wait.

 

You Know Who to Trust…and Who NOT to

All that information collected by a Highly Sensitive Person is always put to good use. It’s the HSP who notices when something is ‘off’ about someone, far quicker than anyone else would figure out the same thing (if ever). This is because the HSP is tuned into the fine details of the world around them. All those ‘tells’ that give away a liar, for example, might as well be advertised on a billboard when an HSP is around. More often than not, though, the HSP doesn’t always consciously know why they do or don’t trust someone. They process so much information! This usually comes out more like intuition. If this sounds familiar, you might want to spend more time listening to your gut. If you don’t feel good about a person or situation, pay attention. More often than not, you’re going to be right.

 

You Get Things Done

When you’re a Highly Sensitive Person, you’re more likely to have figured out one of the secrets of the universe: multi-tasking doesn’t work. The HSP knows just how much they can get done when they concentrate, and so they tend to do it well. Single-tasking is their strength. If this is you, you already know just how amazing you are when it comes to getting things done and are frequently surprised how everyone else seems to struggle with this so much.

 

You Know What’s Going On

Do you really need someone to explain what someone said just now? Probably not. The Highly Sensitive Person uses their eye for detail, and couples it with their listening skills to put together the finer nuances of conversation better than anyone else. You probably understand the subtext better than anyone else and are frequently the one called upon to explain to your friends what that guy meant when he said your friend was ‘interesting.’

 

You’re More Open-minded

The Highly Sensitive Person is so good at seeing where others are coming from, and they have a tendency to refrain from making judgments until they’ve had a chance to hear things from the other person’s point of view. This means you’re willing to give another viewpoint a shot and even willing to have your mind changed if the other person has the facts to support what they’re saying. This makes you more open-minded, a definite superpower in this day and age.

 

You’re Really Creative

Being able to think outside the box is one of the true benefits of being a Highly Sensitive Person. The HSP is used to noticing details and facts and has a great facility for putting things together, usually in ways the rest of the world wouldn’t think to. Also, the connection to emotions and the desire to express them tends to draw the HSP into highly creative career choices. As an HSP, your creativity is probably constantly being put to the test. You can’t help but think about things in new ways. When encouraged, you’ll come up with all kinds of ideas, and have the ability to be a great problem-solver.

 

You Bounce Back Quickly

There’s a lot to be said for being resilient. The Highly Sensitive Person is used to overcoming stuff. With so many stimuli, they’re frequently overwhelmed. At the same time, just in order to live halfway normally, they have to learn how to cope when overwhelmed and get past the discomfort. This means if you’re an HSP you face new challenges better than those around you and are back on your feet again quicker when knocked down by a challenge.

 

You Hang in There

Once you’ve bounced back, the Highly Sensitive You is more likely to try again. What makes the HSP so stubborn about continuing where others would quit? Simply put, they know how to keep their eyes on the prize. All that thinking means they’ve already considered why the end goal is beneficial and what it’s going to take to get there. With this kind of clarity, it’s no wonder you’re so great at keeping going, even when the going gets tough.

 

You’re Good at Being Alone

While this doesn’t seem like a superpower at first glance, it is. Alone time is where the Highly Sensitive Person recharges, so they’re going to seek it out naturally. But this is also great for you when you’re an HSP because it means you also don’t need to be entertained. You know the value of quiet, meaning you’re not cluttering up your life with people who are only so much noise or distractions that only cost you time and money you can’t afford to spend.

 

You Are the Calm

Where do people go when they need refuge from the chaos of the world? They seek out the Highly Sensitive Person, who is the expert at creating a peaceful oasis. Why? If you’re an HSP, you already know – it’s because you hate the wild emotions of conflict and with your empathetic nature, will work hard to soothe the drama and restore peace.

 

You’re Good at Taking Care of You

All that listening to what goes on around them makes Highly Sensitive People very good at knowing how to best take care of themselves. They’re more apt to notice when they need a break, or even just how good it feels to work out. If you’re HSP, then you’re in the position to be the master of your health, making you a hero to yourself.

You Notice EVERYTHING

Perception becomes a superpower when all those details you’ve constantly noticed can be put together into solutions. This makes the HSP incredibly valuable in the workplace or even socially. More than that, you are more apt to gain true enjoyment from things like art and music, as you’re going to discover the nuanced detail everyone else missed. All this combines to make your life incredibly rich and fulfilling.

 

You Know How to Live…and Love…Well

The Highly Sensitive Person experiences everything so completely. You experience every range of emotion so deeply it becomes part of every experience. So while a regular person might have a good time hiking in nature, your experience is going to be richer, with vivid memories of every detail from sights and sounds, to the way the pine trees smelled, and how the water in the stream felt when you stopped to go wading. What’s more, you share these experiences just as fully, meaning when you hit on something particularly strong like love, you reflect that love so fully and completely, the relationships of others seem paltry by comparison.


 

Conclusion

 

The Highly Sensitive Person experiences so much more than everyone else in life, and while this sometimes can become overwhelming, more often than not, it leads to a fuller, more exciting life. This ability to experience things so deeply is, in fact, your greatest superpower. So, if you have the traits of a Highly Sensitive Person, rejoice! Sure, things are more challenging sometimes, but the benefits are so worth it!

 

  

Friday, 11 November 2022

7 Ways To Silence Your Inner Critic

7 ways to silence your inner critic

 

Were you ever about to do something - and then suddenly, that voice inside your head starts talking?


 Why did you do that? You’re a bad person. No one wants to talk to you. You will never achieve anything in life.


 That negative voice inside your head that judges, criticizes, or demeans you is your inner critic. Your inner critic plays an important role in how you see yourself and your self-esteem.


 When you don’t know how to deal with your inner critic, you can feel ashamed, worthless, or low on self-esteem.


 Your inner critic might undermine your every accomplishment. Or it might show up as you enter a room of people you’ve never met before. That harsh inner critic can lead to self-doubt or lack of confidence.


 When you let your inner critic control too many of your actions, it could hold you back from things like growth, connection, and your full potential.


 Even though the way we think influences how we behave, those thoughts we have are not always true! If someone feels insecure and believes no one wants to talk to them, how charismatic do you think they will be in social settings?

 

These are seven ways to silence your inner critic and take control of your life:

 

  1. Acknowledge and understand. When negative thoughts come up, acknowledge your thoughts. Try to understand the source of where your thoughts are coming from.

 

     How old do I feel right now?

     Why do I feel this way?

     What are some patterns I recognize?

     Where do these thoughts come from?

     How do these thoughts affect my behavior?

 

  1. What advice would you give a friend? If a friend came to you in the same situation as you feel, what advice would you give to them? Many times, we are harder on ourselves than we are with others.

  2. Separate facts from feelings. Your brain might be hardwired to think that no one wants to talk to you or that you’re a bad person. But is that actually a fact? Practice sorting through facts and your feelings.
     

 What is another, more positive way you could look at the situation?

 

  1. Practice self-acceptance and self-compassion. Replace negative or critical thoughts with accepting and compassionate ones. Have a selection of empowering, compassionate beliefs that you can tell yourself instead of succumbing to negative ones.

  2. Write down positive thoughts. When your inner critic comes out, what is it saying? How can you challenge your inner critic?

 

 Write down times in your life that people have said positive things about you.

 Focus on your strengths and what you are good at.

  1. Distract yourself when you start replaying mistakes in your head. Have you ever made a mistake and replayed those moments over and over again? That doesn’t resolve the issue. If you find you’re ruminating instead of actively problem-solving, distract yourself from those thoughts.

 

     Take a walk.

     Read a book.

     Listen to a podcast.

     Play a game.

     Cuddle your pet.

 

  1. Remind yourself that everyone has an inner critic. Having an inner critic is a human function. It comes from the parts of our brain that evolved to protect ourselves. If you find yourself in a loop of critical thoughts, remind yourself that every human experiences self-doubt at one point or another.

 

Your inner critic does not have to control your life! Taking these steps to silence your inner critic and nurture a more empowering inner dialogue can help you grow and expand your horizons.

 

There’s a difference between that harmful voice telling you that you are not good enough and wanting to improve yourself. Use the tips above to silence your inner critic so you can reach your full potential.

Monday, 31 October 2022

Meal Planning With Intention

 

meal plan with intention

Meal planning is taking time to plan and write down your meals for a period of time, which could be a week, biweekly or monthly. Meal planning is not just about making a list of groceries and being sure you get everything on that list. It also takes having a solid plan, expecting the unexpected, and being realistic.

A big part of meal planning with intention involves considering you and/or your family’s specific needs  knowing that sometimes things come up and your meals won’t always be perfect. The idea is not to start any meal from scratch.


Benefits of Meal Planning


Eat Healthy Meals

If you want to make the switch to being a healthy eater who transforms their diet, one way to look at it is just by balancing your plate. Meal planning helps you to control your food choices because you get to plan and prepare your meals ahead of time. Planning out your meals makes it easier to stick to your food choices.


 Healthy, Balanced Plate

Meal planning can help you create a balanced plate. A balanced plate is simply one that contains all the necessary nutrients for a healthy meal. Not every plate will have these in the same portions, but it is a good place to start when transforming your diet to a healthy, sustainable one. The basics nutrients to focus on with a balanced plate include having a protein, carb, and a healthy fat, with some fruits or veggies in for fiber. 

For example, a dinner with salmon, brown rice, and roasted vegetables fit all the categories. Salmon is both protein and healthy fats, the brown rice is your carb, and vegetables allow you to get in more fiber, plus also have some carbs. If you used oil to cook your vegetables, that can be a fat as well.


What Nutrients Are You Missing?

Planning your meals can help you figure out if you might be missing out on some important nutrients, Start by listing all your favorite meals and snacks, and what you eat most often. Next to each meal, write down the components, like protein, carb, fat, fiber. Do you notice a trend of one category of foods you always eat? Maybe you have found you are really good at getting your carbs in, but tend to be missing out on fiber. Or perhaps you are great with protein and carbs, but don’t have a lot of healthy fats in your diet.


Read: 9 Heart Healthy Low Cholesterol Foods


Finding the Missing Ingredient

Of those food groups or nutrients you notice you don’t have much in your meals, which ones do you enjoy in those food groups? If you are not getting enough fiber in your meals, then you need to find some foods with fiber, and list the ones you enjoy. This might be healthy grains, vegetables, or fruits. Make a list of these foods that you can incorporate more into your meals, and your diet will start being a lot healthier and more balanced.


Eat the Right Portions

Planning and portioning out your food ahead of time can help to stop you from overeating. 


Reduce Food Waste 

You buy only what you need for your meals.


Save Money

Planning and cooking your meals at home can be less expensive than eating out.


Save Time

 Planning and cooking meals you love ahead can save time, You don't have to waste time deciding what to eat or cooking from scratch. This is helpful if you have a busy schedule or need to leave your home early in the morning.


Reduce Grocery Store/Market Time

When you have planned your meals ahead, you will have a list of the exact food items and groceries you need. This reduces time you spend going to the stores frequently to buy an ingredient for an unplanned meal. It also reduces time spent wandering at the grocery store because you have a list of the food items you want to buy.


Meal Planning Tips


Start With a Plan

You should always have a good plan when you are meal prepping. For some people, they like to write down days they know they will be eating out and just plan the remaining days, while others are on a budget and want to use what they have in their fridge as much as possible in the meal plan.

Create a weekly habit where you go through the food you have, decide on meals with those ingredients, and make a list of what you need. This is a really easy way to start with healthy meal planning.


Use Ingredients That Cross Over Multiple Meals

To avoid getting bored, think of foods or ingredients that you can add to your meal plan that you are able to use for multiple types of meals. 

For example, you might have veggies that you are using for a salad, and use the leftover veggies in sandwiches or wraps throughout the week. You can use parmesan cheese for pizza, pasta, and even to top salads, and use leftover chicken for  new types of casseroles.


Don’t Cook Too Many New Recipes at One Time

If you try to cook 5 brand new recipes in one week, you will probably get overwhelmed, and by day 3 or 4, be over cooking altogether. When you first get started with meal planning and meal prep, choose just 1-2 new recipes to try each week. 

This allows you try new recipes and new foods for your healthy diet, but you can avoid becoming stressed or overwhelmed. It also ensures you are also cooking some meals that you already know your family enjoys.


Be Realistic With Your Own Needs and Preferences

It is great to use other meal plans people recommend, but if your family hates pasta, for instance, why are you trying to make a pasta salad with dinner one night? The great thing about meal planning is that it is easy to personalize to your own family’s preferences. Always start with foods you enjoy, and use those to create healthy meals.


Read: How To Eat Healthy On A Low Budget


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