For decades women have been told to eat our fruits, veggies and monitor the amount of food we put into our bodies. But what exactly is portion control and how does one go about implementing it into your lifestyle. Let’s be clear…today’s blog is not about losing weight. Portion control is a way of life. Our body only needs so many fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and grains a day (think old school food pyramid). Also, the average women is going to need smaller daily portions than a man. That is where portion control comes in to play…portion control helps you to monitor the amount of food you intake daily, while also ensuring you are meeting your daily serving of fruits and veggies AND allowing you to still enjoy the foods you love.
Honestly though, it’s not practical to practice portion control when out to eat. It’s not as if you can throw measuring cups in your purse and often food sizes at restaurants are massive. In these instances, your hand can be a wonderful approximate guide to how much you should be eating.
Fist = 1 cup
Cereal, Soups, Fruit, Vegetables, Salad
Cupped Hand = ½ cup
Pasta, Rice, Potatoes, Cooked Veggies, Ice Cream (yes…ice cream)
2 Cupped Hands = 1 ounce
Chips and Crackers
Palm Of Your Hand = 3 – 4 ounces
Red Meat, Fish, Chicken, Pork
Thumb = 1 ½ tablespoons
Dressings, Sour Cream, Spreadable Cheese, Peanut Butter
The Tip Of Your Thumb = 1 teaspoon
Butter, Oils, Mayonnaise
It’s 3 o’clock pm and it’s almost time to head home from work, but the day keeps lagging on, your eyes are beginning to get heavy, and your head and shoulders start to sag. Full-time, part-time, stay-at-home moms…We have all been there and it’s called the “3PM Slump.” So often when you find yourself feeling tired around mid-afternoon it’s because you are hungry. It is so easy to reach for a sugary snack, cup of coffee, or salty snack. These will satisfy your immediate cravings, however your body will quickly burn thru the sugar causing you to crash again. Your body needs carbs that are high in protein, fiber and healthy fats to keep you energized longer. In order to beat the 3PM Slump you need to be prepared. Keep foods on hand like nuts, seeds, fruit, greek yogurt, cheese sticks, popcorn and hummus. Most of these are portable and can be thrown in your purse/backpack. Also, KIND bars are great for portable energy (and my personal favorite). They are low in sugar and high in fiber. Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help to sustain your energy levels throughout the day. You can also drink a cold glass of ice water around this time to help wake you up, as dehydration can cause sleepiness.
Protein is essential is building/developing strong bones and muscles. After water, your body is primarily made up of protein. Protein makes up roughly 50% of bone volume and about 1/3 of our bone mass. Sufficient amounts of protein help fight infections and provide our bodies with energy to get thru the day. High protein foods take more time to digest and metabolize, which means you will feel fuller longer and are also burning more calories. Also, if you are attempting to lose weight, a steady diet of lean protein will help you burn fat and not muscle. Proteins are constantly breaking down in your body. The protein we consume daily is being processed into amino acids within our bodies. These amino acids are then used to replace the broken down proteins in our body. Your daily consumed protein also aids in healthier/strong hair, strong nails and radiant skin. The current recommended daily allowance of protein is .08 grams per kilogram, however pregnant woman and elderly people require more protein in their daily diets. Just keep in mind it is important that you eat a well-rounded diet that includes complex carbohydrates, produce, protein and healthy fats.
Foods that contain protein include:
- Red Meat
Fun fact: The word protein was conceived by a Dutch chemist in 1838 and comes form the Greek word “protos” which means “of prime importance.”
Those hot Summer months can be torcher on your beautiful tresses. Especially after spending long lengths of time in the sun, pool, lake or ocean. But there is hope for those of us who need a little hair revamp.
1. Don’t over wash you hair. I know what you are thinking…your hair is far too oily to go without washing multiple times a week. However, it is possible to train your hair so you are only washing it two-three times a week. This is much better than using product on your hair multiple times a week.
2. Limit the heat. Heat products such as blow dryers, curling irons and straighteners make your hair gorgeous, but they can really do a number on those beautiful locks. I try to limit heat products to 2-3 times a week on my hair. If you do plan on using a heat product make sure that you are using a protectant before hand. My personal favorite…argan oil. Extracted from Morocco’s argan tree, argan oil is wonderful at conditioning, as well as keeping your hair soft and manageable.
3. Deep condition your hair once a week. Coconut oil, honey, olive oil and avocados can all provide the basis for a wonderful, nourishing hair mask.
4. Before you get out of the shower stick your hair under cool water. The cold water will seal in the conditioning treatment. You can also think of it as your morning wake up call. 🙂
You have probably stumbled upon an article or two lately referring to GMO’s, but what exactly is a GMO and what do you need to know about them. The term GMO refers to a Genetically Modified Organism. An organism whose genome has been altered by the techniques of of genetic engineering. Thus, the DNA contains one or more genes that are not normally found. Technically this could be a plant or animal. It seems we did not start hearing about GMO’s until recently but humans have been modifying food thousands of years. Today’s farmers use GMO’s to reduce loss of crop damage from weeds, diseases, and insects, as well as from extreme weather, such as drought. It is not the direct threat from a GMO that has raised concerns as of late. Over the years technology in agriculture has created herbicide resistant plants, which has allowed farmers to use increased chemicals without killing their crops. The first genetically modified products to appear on supermarket shelved were corn and soybeans. Because corn and soybean are two of the most common ingredients in processed foods, you are now finding these herbicide resistant plants appearing in virtually all supermarkets. The only true way to know what you are eating is to look for products that contain a USDA Certified Organic seal, or to eat a truly organic product.
** Definition of GMO provided by www.dictionary.com **
A nut is technically a hard-shelled dry fruit/seed, but I just think of them as perfect for snacking time. Although nuts are high in fat, eating them in moderation can be wonderful to add to your daily snacking routine. Eating a portion of nuts/seed for a snack can help control your cravings and keep you from over-eating.
- Almonds – Can help improve skin complexion, lower cholesterol and maintain a healthy heart. They can also strengthen bones because they are rich in calcium.
- Cashews – Cashews contain a lower fat content than all other nuts. The magnesium in the cashews can help regulate muscle tone and also help to build strong bones.
- Chestnuts – The chestnut is the only nut that contains Vitamin C. They also contain higher amounts of fiber than most nuts.
- Hazelnuts – Hazelnuts are a wonderful source of oleic acid, which can help lower bad cholesterol. They can also aid in strong hair and nail growth, from their high amounts of Vitamin E and B.
- Peanuts – Incredibly rich in antioxidants, nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Also a rich source of protein to keep you full of energy and rid you of those stubborn afternoon junk cravings.
- Pecans – Containing more than 19 vitamins and minerals. Just one once of pecans offer 10-12% of your daily perfect of fiber. Pecans are also considered one of the top 15 foods with the highest levels of antioxidants. They can can also aid in lowering high blood pressure.
- Pistachios – Pistachios are very rich in fiber. In fact, 45 pistachios contains the same amount of fiber as almost ½ a cup of oats.
- Walnuts – Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can hydrate your skin.
- Macadamia – Macadamia nuts contain Vitamin A, iron, antioxidants and protein (Not to mention a million other amazing beneficial nutrients).
- Pine Nuts – Pine Nuts are an excellent source or Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant. Also popular in the preparation of gluten free meals.
In your 50’s you may begin to notice those smile marks no longer disappear after your stop smiling. This is the decade you will see the most dramatic changes to your skin; however that doesn’t mean you need to stop taking care of your skin. It also doesn’t mean you can’t have fabulous looking skin! Moisturizing is going to be more important at 50 than in your 20’s, 30’s or 40’s. Remember to take special care to moisturize your neck. Most forget to take care of the neck area, but it also plays a pivotal part in the appearance of youthful skin. Your 50’s will be the age that sun damage really begins to show, so continue to use antioxidants to help combat previous sun damage. Around this age pores will become more pronounced, so if you have not started an anti-aging routine before your 50’s you may want to consider doing so now. Menopause beginning around your 50’s can cause a 30% reduction in collagen. An anti-aging routine can help rebuild elastin and collagen, restore hydration. Pores will also become clogged by day-to-day environmental factors, so it is crucial to remove your makeup before bed. Choose anti-aging products that contain Vitamin C, peptides and antioxidants. Fabulous at 50 doesn’t just have to be a figure of speech!
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As we move into our 40’s, you should know that you still have great skin ahead of you. You just need to learn to take care of your skin differently. Years of sun damage will now show in the forms of blotchiness and redspots. Begin by taking special care of your eyes. By now you have lost collagen and fat under your eyes, which will create crow’s feet. Use eye cream in your morning/night skin routines. For your overall face, use a moisturizer rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants will slow/prevent free radicals. Free radicals will cause oxidation and oxidation is the process that causes oxygen to damage the cells in your skin. Preventing these free radicals means preventing fine lines and wrinkles. The older you get the more sensitive your skin will become. In your 40’s begin taking luke-warm showers versus hot showers. Hot water can actually dry out your skin. Also, try using fragrance free soaps, as these can also dry out your skin. You can continue taking/using Vitamin C in your 40’s, but you can also add a fish oil supplement to support hydration, regulate oil production and prevent adult acne. What worked for your skin two-decades ago is probably not what you should be using in your 40’s, so you will need to make a few adjustments/tweaks to your skincare regimen. If you are not sure what to buy, schedule a visit to a dermatologist. They can advise you on what products you should be using at your age.
And finally…Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! Are you tired of hearing that yet….? Until next time.
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In your 30’s you might begin to notice the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Also, all those years of going sunscreen are beginning to show by causing your skin to appear dull and lackluster. But all hope is not lost for rocking skin in your 30’s. A healthy diet will play a prominent role in your age 30 skin routine. People who eat diets that are rich in green/leafy vegetables, olive oils, fish, as well as people who limit their intake of butter, milk and sugar may develop fewer fine lines and wrinkles over time. Start using products that contain Vitamin C, as well as taking a daily Vitamin C tablet. Vitamin C helps brighten your skin tone. This can be especially important in regards to those dark circles that can appear under your eyes. You can also try going as natural in your skin routine as possible. Milk, honey, oatmeal, yogurt. These are all natural products that can be the base tools to glowing skin at 30. Just keep in mind to start reading your labels. Some women may find themselves wanting to try anti-aging serums beginning in their 30’s. If you are planning to begin these, remember they can sometimes irritate and dry out skin at first. Try applying these serums every other day for the first week or two. This will allow your skin to get used to the serum.
And at the risk of sounding like a mother…Don’t forget to keep slathering on that sunscreen!
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As you begin to age, your skin changes. Your skin will begin to get drier and more sensitive over time, thus your skin will need to be taken care of differently as you get older. For the next four posts I plan on breaking down how to properly treat your skin throughout your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and into your 50’s. Because let’s all face it, all women want to age gracefully.
Your 20’s are all about taking great care of your skin now, and thus preventing fewer problems in the future. A once of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and in your 20’s that prevention is going to be sunscreen. Sunscreen will need to be apart of your daily makeup routine throughout your 20’s. BB and CC Creams provide a 30 SPF broad spectrum sunscreen and can be used as a daily make-up base. And if you are going to be outdoors for long periods of time, give that face extra protection by wearing a hat. Your skin will thank you later. Another important skin component to keep in mind in your 20’s is to stick to a skin routine. Once you have a skin care regimen set in place, you can ensure you will have vibrant looking skin for years to come. Adult acne can play a prominent roll in your 20’s, so be sure to purchase a cleanser with salicylic acid and willow bark for fighting those stubborn breakouts. And although fine lines and wrinkles will probably not appear in your 20’s, moisturizing in your early years can help prolong uneven skin tone leading to wrinkles.
People find it hard to change their accustomed behavior, so I can not stress enough to build proper skin care habits in your 20’s. What’s the phrase…”old habits die hard.”