Have a Stress-Free and Healthy Holiday

On paper, the holidays should be a time of happiness, giving, and joy. The reality is that between the common cold making its way into most homes and the stress of buying those last minute gifts, the holidays can become anything but happy and joyful. That does not mean you have to let the chaos of the holiday into your life. Learn from our list of the best tips and tricks for ensuring your holiday truly is happy, healthy, and memorable.

Get Your Sleep

Chances are you have plenty of presents to wrap and more than enough food to cook. Regardless of your task list for the holiday season, you will not be able to do much if you aren’t getting enough sleep. A lack of sleep taxes your immune system and is an open invitation for colds to take hold. What’s more, basic reasoning and cognitive performance decreases as you lose out on those precious hours. Strive to sleep between 6 and 9 hours per night.

nashua nutrition - working out

source: ppmapartments.com

Stay Active

You may be too busy for the gym but that doesn’t mean you can’t get up and move about. Climb the steps in your home, put on a workout DVD, or take a nearby cardio class. The goal is to remain physically active between 20 and 30 minutes every day.

Make Positive Time For You

Stress is just an inevitable part of life. No matter the time of year, you are likely to find yourself feeling overwhelmed at some point. This is where it’s very important to make time for yourself. No, this is not an invitation to cheat on your diet and watch television. Do something positive and creative. Take a painting class, practice yoga, or try actively meditating. The options are fun and limitless.

Give Your Immune System A Boost

As mentioned above, the common cold, flu, and other viruses will be looming in every store, home, and work place you visit. Make sure you properly arm your immune system to fight off any possible invaders. Drink green tea, get some exercise, fight your stress factors, supplement with a multi-vitamin, and remember to laugh as much as you can.

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Healthy Holiday Cookies : Quinoa Gingersnap

source: eatingbirdfood.com

The holidays are a time for eating your favorite cookies, cakes, pies, and candy. Unfortunately, these food choices do not always fit in with your weight loss goal. Who says you can’t have your dessert and eat it too? Try out this great recipe from Brittany Mullins for Quinoa Gingersnap cookies. Get ready for compliments and requests for the recipe.

INGREDIENTS (separated by the order you’ll need them)

  • 1 small bowl
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 medium bowl
  • 2 cups of quinoa flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 electric mixer
  • ½ cup of coconut oil (liquid state)
  • 1 cup of packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of molasses
  • 1/3 cup of crystallized ginger (cut into small pieces)
  • ¼ cup of cane sugar (for rolling)

INSTRUCTIONS

source: eatingbirdfood.com

  • Preheat your oven to 350° F
  • Take the small bowl and place the flaxseed and water inside.
    • Whisk them together.
    • Set the small bowl aside.
  • Take the medium bowl, place the quinoa flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and sea salt inside.
    • Mix these dry ingredients together.
    • Set the medium bowl aside.
  • Place the brown sugar and coconut oil in the large bowl.
    • Use your electric mixer to mix the ingredients until creamy (approximately 2 minutes).
    • Add in the molasses.
    • Add in the flaxseed combination.
  • Place the electric mixer on a low setting.
    • Slowly add in the flour mixture.
    • Add in the crystallized ginger pieces.
  • Roll the dough into balls measuring approximately one inch.
    • Put sugar in a bowl.
    • Roll each dough ball in the sugar and coat evenly.
  • Place the cookies to a baking sheet that has been sprayed or lined with aluminum foil.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until dark golden brown.
    • Be sure to rotate the baking sheet halfway through the process.
    • Remove from the oven.
    • Press the center of each cookie with a fork to flatten.
  • Allow them time to cool (approximately 20 minutes) before enjoying.

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Boost Your Immune System for the Cold Season

boost your winter immune system - nashua nutrition

source: mynaturalfamily.com

From your co-workers to your children, getting the common cold seems unavoidable each year. There is no reason to believe that you have to put up with the coughing and running nose. When you give your immune system a boost, you help your body fight off any looming illness. Let’s take a look at the best ways to give yourself a leg up on the common cold.

Sleep
Sleep is crucial for the body as this is when it has time to effectively repair and protect itself. When you lose out on sleep, you weaken your immune system, leaving yourself open to different illnesses. Try to aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. If circumstances call for it, be sure to get no less than 6 hours.

health foods for immune system

source: pumpingmarvellous.com

The Right Foods
Making poor choices when you eat is a way to weaken your immune system. It’s always important to eat a well balanced diet, but especially so when the winter arrives. Place your focus on greens such as kale, broccoli, and spinach. Make sure to also incorporate super foods into your diet such as ginger, lemon, honey, and garlic.

Supplement Your Diet
It’s tough to get in all of your daily required vitamins and minerals through food intake alone. Supplements allow you to bridge those gaps. Using a multi-vitamin during cold season gives your immune system the fighting edge it needs. If you are looking for a trusted multi-vitamin, try the Advanced Multi EA from Bariatric Advantage. It has all of the vitamins, minerals, and herbal remedies you need to stay protected.

Exercise
This is a topic you will be hearing plenty about as New Year’s resolutions start being made by family and friends. Exercise is important to ensure a proper level of overall health. It reduces body fat, strengthens bones, joints, and muscles, and also helps you feel great. When it comes to fighting off colds, exercise is crucial. A number of recent clinical studies have shown that high intensity exercise can reduce your chances of getting sick by up to 50 percent!

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Bariatric Surgery Improves Taste Buds

For many people who have battled obesity, a stomach-shrinking procedure known as a bariatric surgery has been providing the results they have always wanted. Recent studies suggest that this life changing surgery may come with the added benefit of increasing the ability of your taste buds to taste certain foods. While this may not seem like much, it is suggested that being able to indulge in the intense taste of certain foods may contribute to a healthy and successful weight loss.

BARIATRIC SURGERY AND YOUR TASTE BUDS
According to recent studies, those who have undergone the stomach shrinking surgery have reported that they can taste their food better. Being able to enjoy the taste of food provides a feeling of extreme satisfaction, more so than it once did before the surgery. This increased satisfaction from the taste of food is an excellent method to maintaining a healthy weight loss. The benefit to sensitive taste buds is less calories. Those who had undergone the surgery reported not eating as much due to the fact that the food tasted better and they felt no need to continue eating to attain that high level of satisfaction.

THE ROLE OF YOUR TASTE BUDS IN WEIGHT LOSS

bariatric surgery improves taste buds

source: sharlapatrick.com

When you are not able to taste or enjoy certain foods, this desire for flavor typically leads to overconsumption. How you interpret and enjoy these flavors are determined by your taste buds. As studies are suggesting, once you undergo a bariatric surgery, the procedure increases this ability, ensuring that those intense flavors offer the enjoyment they were meant to.

 

SUPPLEMENT YOUR SURGERY OR DAY-TO-DAY
Regardless if you have had a bariatric surgery or not, it is highly recommended that you are getting in plenty of fiber. Fiber is important, especially after a bariatric surgery, as it can improve digestion and nutrient utilization, helping you to avoid any cramping or bloating. Nashua Nutrition is proud to feature Bariatric Advantage – Advanced Fiber, a daily fiber supplement that helps you to meet your daily recommended fiber intake. Enjoy all the benefits that fiber has to provide with the Bariatric Advantage.

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Healthy Pecan Pie Bars Recipe for the Holidays

source: popsugar.com

Which flavors remind you of Fall? Pumpkin? Egg nog? How about pecans? Nothing is more reminiscent of what season you are in quite like a pecan pie. The trouble comes in the form of the calories that a traditional pecan pie can provide. When you want to have your pie and eat it too, try this delicious, easy-to-make, calorie-friendly treat. Best of all, it is allowed on many popular diets such as the Paleo diet. Even if you aren’t on a diet, you can enjoy a guilt-free treat this holiday season.

INGREDIENTS

For the crust:

  • 1 ¾ cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan salt
  • 1 egg (preferably organic)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (preferably organic)

For the filling:

  • 10 pitted dates (preferably organic)
  • 2 eggs (preferably organic)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped raw pecans

 

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Place parchment paper in a 10 x 15-inch glass oven safe dish.
  • In a food processor, combine the almond flour, arrowroot powder, and sea salt. Pulse it through for a few seconds before adding in the egg and coconut oil. Turn it back on until it begins to form a dough ball.
  • Press the dough evenly in the dish.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a clean food processor, blend the dates, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract on high until you have a smooth filling.
  • Remove the crust from the oven.
  • Pour the filling mixture over the crust.
  • Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top filling.
  • Bake the bars for another 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Allow the bars to cool for 15 minutes then cut them into even squares.

 

MAKE IT INTERESTING
Want to include a little vanilla flavor to your pecan pie bars while increasing your protein intake at the same time? Try adding in one or two tablespoons of BSN – IsoBurn into the batter, available from Nashua Nutrition. This popular protein powder contains an innovative fat burning formula that is ideal for any diet. Isoburn is a protein supplement that will turn these pie bars into the perfect post-workout snack.

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Nashua Nutrition’s Planksgiving Challenge

Ladies and gentleman, we have a new challenge for you! Remember the June Slim-Down Challenge? This is similiar, but is a bit shorter and easier to follow. We are doing a 2 week Planksgiving Challenge! As a countdown for Thanksgiving we have a plank challenge that will engage your abs and help keep your core tight. How does it work? Everyday you have to do a plank for that days suggested time.

After this 2 week challenge you won’t feel as guilty for over-eating at Thanksgiving dinner. Tomorrow is the first day! So print it out and let’s get planking!

nashua nutrition planksgiving infographic

 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to plank:

  1. Start off on a yoga mat or on flat surface. Start in push-up position.
  2. Lower both your forearms to the ground so that both your elbows and fists are flat to the ground. Your palms should be balled up, and directly underneath your shoulders.
  3. Engage your abs by tilting your pelvis and pulling your belly button towards your spine.

    source: marksdailyapple.com

  4. Straighten your body but make sure to keep your neck and spine neutral.
  5. Hold the Plank for the Suggested time.

If you want to get creative, try some side planks:

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5 Healthy Tips to Prepare for the Holidays

It’s that time of the year again! Fall is upon us and with it comes pumpkin pie, turkey, stuffing, family, and celebration. While the holidays are a time for joy, many people get caught up in the excitement and forget about the weight loss goals that were set in January. By following the following tips and tricks, you can ensure that you beat the bulge without becoming a holiday grump.

healthy thanksgiving

source: everydayhealth.com

SMALL PORTIONS
Don’t overload yourself with too much on your plate in one sitting. You’ll cause more harm than good as your blood sugar will spike then you’ll crash. Try eating small portions every 3 to 4 hours throughout the festivities.

GREENS FIRST
Just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean you should forget about your vegetables. Most holiday parties will have a party tray complete with vegetables and fruit. Every time you grab meat or poultry, we recommend you load up on your veggies. They are filled with much needed fiber, as well as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

LEAN TOWARDS LEAN
If you’re the host or you are able to make suggestions, try to go for leaner meats and poultry. If you’re making turkey, try to stick to white meat as it contains less fat. If you’re cooking ham, we recommend a quality brand that isn’t packed with artificial ingredients or fillers.

SUPPLEMENT TO FILL IN THE GAPScelebrate multivitamin ADEK
Let’s be honest, you might not always eat as healthy as you should, especially when the family is around. If you foresee a day of indulgence in your future, be sure to supplement to fill in those nutritional gaps. A great multi-vitamin supplement we recommend is the Celebrate Chewable Multi-ADEK, available from Nashua Nutrition.

DON’T FORGET YOUR WATER
Obviously, water should be something you are drinking regardless of the day. When holidays arrive, a lot of beverage options become available. If you are going to enjoy a coffee-based beverage, we recommend a skinny latte as it is lower in calories.

Alcohol might also be making quite the appearance. You’ll probably have beer, wine, and sugary cocktails to choose from. Out of those three options, you may want to try a craft beer. It doesn’t have as many calories and it contains the powerful free radical fighting, polyphenols. Clear liquor can be a better choice as long as you watch the mixers, which are loaded with empty calories. Opt for mixers like club soda or tonic water.

Also check out our Planksgiving Challenge.

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5 Fat-Burning Tips

Pay attention to your numbers: A crucial component of fat loss. It’s amazing how caloric balance is overlooked. You should consider a creating a caloric deficit to burn fat.

fat burning tips - nashua nutrition

source: healthcoachpenny.com

Pass on the carbs: Once you’ve moved past caloric intake, macronutrient balance comes into focus: favor protein over carbs. When you consume more protein and less carbohydrate, your body uses stored carbohydrate and fat for energy. Try cutting some carbs and replacing it with veggies and lean meat.

Cue the heavy breathing: There’s a reason runners are so lean. Cardio burns more calories per unit of time than strength exercises. Cardio burns more calories, while resistance/weight training has the upper hand in building muscle.

Speed it up: Slow and steady doesn’t necessarily win the race.

You don’t need to sprint, but setting your treadmill on “the fat burning zone” probably isn’t doing what you think it is: at low intensity, and at rest, our bodies burn a higher percentage of calories from fat than stored carbohydrate.

However, we’re also burning less calories overall during those low-intensity periods.

Let’s make this simple: if you work out in the fat burning zone, and burn 100 calories, 60% from fat and 40% from carbohydrate, you’ll have burned 60 calories worth of stored fat, correct?

But if you work out more intensely, outside of the fat burning zone, and burn 150 calories, with 40% from fat and 60% from carbohydrate, you’ll have burned 60 calories from fat, and more calories overall.

See how that works? Essentially, if you’re trying to lose fat, you want to burn as many total calories as possible- the actual breakdown of those calories is less important. Your body will burn through both as you create a caloric deficit.

Kick booze to the curb: When you consume alcohol, your body prioritizes its metabolism over stored fat and stored carbohydrate.

Alcohol also tends to contribute to harmful fat accumulation around the internal organs, visceral fat, or what is commonly referred to as “belly fat”.

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Excercise Video Fails

In modern gyms there are knowledgeable regulars and amateur athletes. It’s only a matter of time before something goes horribly awry, and while we’d never laugh at a truly gruesome accident, some of these bloopers are just plain funny.

Regardless of whether the amateur athletes in the following videos set up for success or were doomed from the start, they all have one thing in common: complete and utter failure, immortalized on video.

1. This first video is really just incredible. Is it real? It seems quite possible. One moment, he’s stepping on what appears to be a perfectly innocent treadmill, and the next, well let’s say he’s just paid off his plastic surgeon’s student loans.

 
  
2. This one could have proven dangerous if he’d been alone, but as it were, this poor fellow failed in plain sight, at a weightlifting competition.  Yes, he gets the bar up, to the polite support of the audience. However, we have a feeling his recollection of the incident is a little fuzzy after that point.

 

3. Ever notice how no story that starts with a self-installed pull up bar never ends well? This home-gym genius receives a near perfect 10 for sheer execution points. Not only does he manage to completely tear down his newly installed supergym, he manages to knock the wind out of himself, and a recycling bin. Well done, sir.


4. Not only did this gentleman inadvertently turn himself into a human pretzel, but he had to then be rescued from his predicament by his fellow exercisers. They are both in for a major fall!

 

5. Social media has made team exercising a hot trend. Doing sit-ups on your friends back sounds like a cool workout, but what if your friend can’t hold you up?

 

6. Good Job! We know how much people like showing off with how much weight they can squat with. However, you should never try to squat with more than you can carry. This guy learned the lesson the hard way.

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High Protein Carrot Cake Recipe

In a season filled with opportunity for overindulgence and weight gain, carrot cake seems like a healthy (and even innocent) option. It may come as a disappointment when you find that carrot cake is actually one of the highest calorie cake options available.

Since carrot cake incorporates fibrous shreds of vegetable matter, recipes use more oil, butter, or other fat source to give the cake a fine crumb and soft texture. Add in chopped nuts, raisins, and cream cheese frosting, and even a small carrot cupcake can easily pack 500 calories.

Take a look at these ridiculously high-calorie carrot cake variations and their Hershey’s Bar equivalents, and prepare to be spooked:

  • Panera Carrot Cupcake- 650 calories, the equivalent of 2.95 Hershey’s bars
  • Ruby Tuesday Carrot Cupcake- 325 calories, the equivalent of 1.47 Hershey’s bars
  • Red Lobster Carrot Cake- 600 calories, the equivalent of 2.72 Hershey’s bars
  • The Cheesecake Factory’s Carrot Cake Cheesecake- 990 calories, the equivalent of 4.5 Hershey’s bars

Sure, you could spend your time making substitutions on your aunt’s “famous” carrot cake recipe, devoting precious hours to googling oil substitutes and butter-free frosting, or you could try these brilliant, no-bake Carrot Cake Balls.

carrot cake balls recipe - nashua nutrition

source: popsugar.com

A hybrid mix between a carrot cake and a donut hole. This awesome recipe, courtesy of the lovely folks at PopSugar fitness, clocks in at a mere 88 calories per serving.

Best yet? Unlike junky, processed 100 calorie packs and other “diet treats”, these carrot cake bites are naturally healthy to boot! Free of any added sugars and chock-full of heart-healthy poly and monounsaturated fats, these fall treats are even dairy-free and gluten-free (if you care to use gluten-free oats).

Protein-Packed Carrot Cake Balls

Ingredients

1 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dates
4 ounces unsweetened applesauce
1 serving vanilla protein powder (about 35 grams)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 carrot, grated
1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts)
1/3 cup rolled in unsweetened coconut

Directions

  1. Add the cashews, oats, dates, applesauce, protein powder, and spices to the food processor. Turn on for several minutes until a choppy dough forms.
  2. Add the grated carrot and pecans until thoroughly mixed. The dough will appear slightly sticky.
  3. Pour the unsweetened shredded coconut into a bowl.
  4. Roll dough into balls, roll each one in the coconut, and place on a clean cookie sheet.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to set. Store uneaten balls in an airtight container in the fridge.

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