It’s a new year and welcoming the new year usually means that we are all looking to work on resolutions, goals and in many cases, losing weight. For me, trying to lose the weight and improve my health are a never ending journey but I am always so thankful for the little tidbits and tips I learn along the way. While losing weight is great, to me – it’s all about improving my nutrition and overall health and today I’m excited to share with you a few tips that help me keep my body and mind in check.
When you are reassessing your health and nutrition goals for the year, the biggest advice I can give you is to make smarter choices but don’t completely strip your body or mind of the things you love. Here are a few tips to help you on your journey:
1.) Replace your sodas with flavored sparkling waters if you simply can’t give up the carbonation and fizz. I am a huge water drinker and love it, but I’ve been told time and time again that eliminating soda is one of the hardest things for a person because sometimes it’s not the flavor you crave, but the fizzy. By replacing your favorite soda with a Zero Calorie drink, you’ll be making a big difference in how you feel. On average a 20oz soda has 66 grams of sugar – wowzers! When I need the fizzy bubbly drinks I crave (I’m a Pepsi lover by the way), I turn to Cascade Ice Sparkling Water. Cascase Ice has no sugar, sodium, calories, gluten or caffeine. Cascade Ice drinks come in so many fun flavors (my family and I have probably tried them all) and they can be purchased at most stores.
“I love my Pepsi and I’ll admit that from time to time, I’ll have a small sip to not only wet my whistle but quench that craving, but when it comes down to it – it’s rare. Again the key to success in improving your nutrition is not to deprive yourself of the things you love but substitute them for healthier versions or cut down how much of it you consume.”
2.) Replace your white rice with Quinoa to give your taste buds a little variety and to add more fiber in your diet. I love Quinoa and it’s something I can eat daily. Transitioning to an “all Quinoa” diet for my family is not something we are ready to commit to yet, but it’s something we slowly incorporate into our meals. White rice is a huge part of who we are as locals of the Hawaiian Islands. Everyone eats white rice here and most local restaurants have it on their menu consistently. But, that’s what I love about changing up your meals – there’s no need to complete omit and discard your favorite foods. If you’re not sure that you like Quinoa, instead of eating it on its own – try mixing it with your white rice. Just like with brown rice mixed with white rice (we call it “hapa rice” here in Hawaii) you can easily incorporate both to make it more tolerable for you and your family. Like I said before – I love Quinoa, so I use it to top my salads or as a side to my favorite veggies and protein. I also enjoy mixing it with vegetables or in a stir fry. The options are endless. I’ll try to post some of my favorite Quinoa dishes this year so you have a little inspiration.
Why Quinoa? Quinoa has over 21% of the recommended daily intake of fiber while white rice only has 14%. Quinoa also offers 50% more protein which makes it ideal for those days where you need the extra fuel. Studies have shown that white rice is linked to obesity when consumed on a daily basis, but while I can’t give up my rice just yet – supplementing and replacing my rice with Quinoa is definitely something I can do.
3.) Substitute your favorite snack foods for a healthier alternative. Oh – this one is absolutely my favorite tip of all. Thankfully, I’m not a huge snacker and not someone who craves chocolate or candy often. But, when I do – I’ll pull at anything and everything in the house to fill that craving. Whether it be chips, cookies, cake or candy bars… if it’s in the house and I don’t have an alternative – I’ll eat it if the need and craving arises. My suggestion – try taking out your stock of junk food in the house. If you like to keep a candy bar or two around or a small bag of chips – hey, sometimes we need it, but eliminate shopping for them in bulk if at all possible. Small portions are okay in moderation but if you feel the need to pick up a large bag of potato chips or fries, try going for something like Kale Chips or unsalted no butter popcorn. I find that instead of candy or chips, I love snacking on carrots and broccoli with hummus. Fried foods like chips are high in saturated fat and salt which can make you vulnerable to diabetes, among other diseases. Don’t get me wrong – it’s okay to have a few of your favorite foods from time to time – but again, all in moderation and only enough to satisfy that taste – don’t over indulge.
Here’s the deal – at the end of the day, you will only truly improve your nutrition or diet if you put in the effort. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was the habits that you developed over the years. I’m a believer that change never happens overnight, but making the effort to change – even if only a little at a time, makes a huge difference. I never believed in weight loss fads and diets (let’s just say I have been down that route and know how it worked or didn’t work for me), but I do believe in hard work, determination and one day at a time. If your goal is to improve your nutrition, making little changes each day will make a huge different in the long run.
How about you? Are you a healthy eater already? If not, what steps can you take to change up your nutrition, diet and overall health?
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It’s no secret if you have been visiting here on my blog, that I’m a huge fan of coconut oil, coconut water and just coconuts in general. I love the flavor and I love the scent but I also love the ingredient in itself as it has definitely been a huge part of my skin care routine, health and overall well being. Recently I was given the opportunity to try INVO Coconut Water. I haven’t particularly heard about the brand before and being a coconut water connoisseur myself, I thought I would try it out. Today I share with you my thoughts on this product, it’s benefitis and whether or not I enjoyed it on this week’s Foodie Friday.
I’m a huge believer in the fact that water is such an essential nutrient for our bodies and drinking its minimum amount each day is a necessity. But, I also know that if this is something new for you – new and innovative ways to drink as much water as you can is definitely a must. Because of this, sometimes I like to mix things up a bit and drink some coconut water that helps to not only provide the refreshment my body needs but also the hydration. INVO Coconut Water is a refreshing and flavorful healthy coconut drink that is not only easy to take around with you but it delicious and will easily become your go-to drink from the instant you start sipping on it.
Since coconuts are 99% fat-free and naturally low in sugar and packed with calcium and magnesium it makes a great drink for every day or after an aggressive work out. INVO coconut water drinks are never heat pasteurized and have 100% coconut juice and electrolytes that help to aid in rapid hydration. This drink is seriously a must for those warm summer days or a nice day out at the beach. It’s available in three great flavors – Pure, Green Tea and Tropical. Because of INVO’s creative cold water pasteurization, your coconut water is kept fresh, clean, delicious and special!
Besides being very refreshing, coconut water contains 5 essential electrolytes to keep you hydrated. It also has as much potassium as one banana which I love. And, an interesting tidbit from INVO is that there is a pink hue in their coconut water which is a result of a natural enzymatic process that causes the polyphenolics present in raw coconut water to turn pink over time.
As mentioned before, the Coconut water goes through a High Pressure Processing to ensure you are getting the best quality product that tastes and is fresh. What is High Pressure Processing or HPP? Well, it is a cold pasteurization technique which INVO has named “cold-crafting”. This process inactivates bacteria, viruses, yeast and molds that are present in all foods – thereby guaranteeing food safety and extending the shelf life of your product. Unlike most juices, which are heat pasteurized, ‘cold-crafting’ only uses cold water under high pressure. Due to the absence of heat in the process, the organoleptic and nutrional properties of the food are maintained, allowing the product to retain its fresh taste and nutritional content, just like mother nature intended it be. Since the INVO Coconut waters are 100% cold crafted, there are no nasties ever added. INVO prides themselves in giving us the true freshly-cracked coconut water experience.
So now that I’ve taken the time to give you the run down on the products, all the technical and scientific information and everything in between; I’m going to share with you my overall thoughts on this drink.
First of all, if you are not a fan of the coconut flavor (I know some people don’t like it), I suggest going with the Tropical Flavor. My sons all love the Tropical flavor though they enjoy them all. It taste like a tropical fruit punch and the coconut flavor is not as prominent, though you easily have a quenched thirst, feel re-hydrated and it’s delicious. If you are someone that loves Green Tea or Tea flavors, I think you’ll quite enjoy the Sencha Green Tea. It’s got a great tea flavor and if you are someone that enjoys a great green tea, you’ll love this particular flavor. My favorite out of the three I tried is the Pure Coconut Water. It tastes just like fresh coconut juice/water that you would get here in Hawaii right off the tree.
Each drink is not only delicious, but really great for a usual Hawaii day. While these are made in Thailand, they are offered at many retailers through out the US and I have been told they can be found at Whole Foods, though I haven’t found them at my local store. Once they are available, I will admit that this will be a staple in our household because everyone loves them.
The INVO Coconut water is gluten free, Kosher and Vegan. And, like most premium food products, INVO Coconut Water requires refrigeration for optimum quality and safety so make sure you do not drink the water if you suspect that it hasn’t been kept chilled. If you are allergic to nuts, while it is extremely rare to have a coconut water allergy, it is best to seek medical advice prior to consuming these drinks since Coconuts are tree nuts. The INVO Coconut Water is a good source of vitamin C& B group vitamins and great after a work out!
My family and I are really enjoy these coconut waters and I highly recommend them. We give these treats a two thumbs up each and all agree they are delicious but great for keeping hydrated. If I were running consistently or on a jog, I would pull for this directly after to replenish my electrolytes. INVO is coming out with some great new flavors which I’m also really excited to try. I think if you are someone that wants to change up your water routine or try something new, this would make a great treat. And, as I mentioned before, it’s great for the whole family.
Have you heard of INVO Coconut Water? Are you a coconut water drinker like I am? Comment below and let me know your thoughts on the delicious goodness.
Disclaimer: The product(s) mentioned and featured in this post were sent to me for review consideration. All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased and I was not paid to provide my thoughts or feature this product. Affiliate links are posted through out.