Tag: health

How to Quiet an Active Mind for Better Sleep

Not Sleepy? Stay Up

It’s helpful to stick to a consistent bedtime, but sometimes your mind may be too active for sleep. If that happens, don’t force yourself to lie down. Doing relaxing activities like taking a warm bath or listening to soothing music can help calm your mind until you feel sleepy. This way, you’ll spend less time in bed and more time asleep.

Put Off Paying the Bills

Thinking about stressful things like work or money can keep your mind busy. It’s better to handle bills and emails another day. Also, avoid watching intense movies, TV shows, or news. Logging out of social media can also help because even just reading or watching arguments online can make it hard to relax.

Make a To-Do List

It’s tough to fall asleep when your mind is racing with all the things you need to do. Take a few minutes before bed to write down everything you need to do the next day. This way, you can clear your mind and sleep better.

Let Your Muscles Fully Relax

Relax your body to ease stress from your mind. Lie down flat and let your body become loose. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Then, tense and relax each part of your body one by one, starting from your toes and working your way up to your forehead. Feel the tension melt away as you do this, and enjoy the feeling of relaxation.

Slow Your Breath, Slow Your Mind

You can use your breath to help calm your body and quiet your mind. Put your hand on your heart and feel its beat. Breathe in deeply for 4 seconds, then exhale slowly. Keep repeating this until you feel your heartbeat slow down. Your thoughts should start to calm down too.

Make Your Bedroom a No-Screen Zone

Your phone, tablet, and other screens can disrupt your sleep because they emit blue light. This light tells your body to stay awake by stopping the production of melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy. Plus, the noises and notifications from these devices can wake you up during the night. To sleep better, it’s best to keep computers, TVs, and your phone out of your bedroom.


Learn to relax your mind whenever you need to, and falling asleep will become easier. If you’re new to meditation, it’s helpful to choose something to focus on. You can focus on the sound of your breath or repeat a calming phrase in your head, like “I am calm.” At first, you might find it hard to stop your thoughts. It’s okay to take a break after a minute or two, but try again the next night. Eventually, you’ll be able to meditate for longer periods.

Call Out Your Worries

If your worries are stuck in your head, they can keep growing. Say them out loud, and they might disappear. You can try this trick: Start saying the alphabet in your head. After a few letters, say something out loud. Did you notice that your ABCs stopped? That’s what can happen when you speak your worries out loud.

Channel Your Inner Yogi

Many people find yoga helpful for better sleep. You can try the “child’s pose” before bed. Kneel on the floor with your big toes together. Spread your knees hip-width apart and lower your chest towards your thighs. Let your forehead touch the ground. If you have issues with your hips or knees, you can try the “corpse pose” instead. Lie on your back, with your legs apart and arms resting by your sides. Take a deep breath out and feel yourself relaxing into the floor. Stay in either pose for 3-5 minutes.

Go Ahead and Worry

Spoiler alert: You can’t get rid of all your worries forever. The more you try not to stress, the more you might feel stressed. One way to help is to set aside a “worry time” during your day. Pick a short time to sit quietly. Think about the things that are worrying you and how you might solve them. Doing this may help you worry less and sleep better.

9 Foods to Boost Muscle Growth

We often discuss losing weight here, but let’s talk about the importance of building and supporting lean muscle mass. Planning your meals and knowing which foods help build muscle can really help you get stronger. But before we dive into those foods, let’s quickly talk about WHY it’s beneficial to eat in a way that supports muscle growth.

First, having more muscle means your body burns more calories even when you’re resting. So, building and keeping muscle mass helps you burn more calories without doing anything active.

Second, building muscle lowers your risk of getting hurt now and helps prevent osteoporosis as you get older. It’s like having insurance for your body as you age.

Third, feeling and looking stronger can make you happier. Lifting heavier weights, moving furniture, carrying all your groceries at once, and seeing muscle definition can boost your confidence and self-esteem.

Nonfat Greek Yogurt 

When you’re tired of eggs but still want protein for breakfast, this is a good option. It also has probiotics that keep your gut healthy.

Boneless Skinless Chicken 

This is a popular choice for high-protein, low-calorie, and low-fat foods. It’s simple to prepare and can be used in many different recipes.


Eggs are considered almost perfect for protein because they contain eight out of the nine essential amino acids your body needs to build and fix muscles. Have you tried our frittata recipes?


Almonds, pistachios, and peanuts are excellent sources of protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients. Choose unsalted ones for a fast, handy snack that supports your muscles.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is similar to Greek yogurt and is a good protein option. It’s rich in casein protein, which digests slowly, and experts suggest it as a bedtime snack.


Spinach has iron, magnesium, and glutamine, which help build muscles. Studies also show that the nitrate in spinach can make muscles respond faster and stronger.


It’s lean, has healthy fats, and gives you lots of protein with fewer calories than other meats. Plus, it’s packed with zinc, calcium, and other essential minerals. If possible, opt for wild-caught rather than farmed.


This small grain contains all nine essential amino acids in every serving. You can include it in your meals throughout the day, from breakfast to dinner.

Grass Fed Beef 

Grass-fed beef has less cholesterol and more healthy omega fats than grain-fed beef. It’s still rich in protein and a good source of iron, which is important for strong muscles and bones.

Natural Ways to Boost Your Growth Hormone Levels

Building muscle is not just about exercising and eating protein. Your muscle growth also relies on hormones and chemical reactions in your body.

One important hormone for building muscle is called growth hormone (GH). It helps build and fix muscle tissues and can really boost strength and performance during exercise.

Besides, it’s also important for healing injuries and repairing tissues in your brain and other organs. Because of its advantages, many people who are into fitness use artificial growth hormones.

But while synthetic GH can make you stronger and improve your appearance, it can also cause lasting health problems.

The good news is that our bodies make growth hormones naturally. There are plenty of ways to boost its levels without risking those side effects.

What is a Growth Hormone?

The pituitary gland makes human growth hormone (HGH), which is important for growth, building muscles, and the way the body uses energy.

Our bodies make more growth hormone when we’re stressed or doing physical activities. This means we can increase our growth hormone levels by changing our lifestyle and diet.

Benefits of growth hormone:

  • Helps you lose weight
  • Increases muscle mass
  • Improves memory and learning
  • Boosts muscle strength
  • Aids in injury recovery
  • Speeds up wound healing
  • Strengthens bones
  • Keeps your skin healthy


Both endurance and resistance exercises, like weightlifting and cardio workouts, boost the release of growth hormones in our bodies.

Regular exercise and intense training cause a surge in your growth hormone levels, which helps with more fat loss and muscle building.

Lose some body fat

Too much body fat can lower growth hormone (GH) levels in both men and women. Research indicates that people with obesity have lower levels of GH and other growth-related proteins. However, when they lose a lot of weight, their GH levels go back to normal.

Losing belly fat can help bring GH levels back to where they should be and improve your health overall.

Reduce sugar intake

Research shows that individuals with diabetes tend to have lower levels of growth hormones. High insulin levels, which are common in diabetes, are linked to decreased GH levels. Additionally, consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain and obesity, which further reduces GH production in the body.

Eating refined carbohydrates like pastries and white bread can significantly lower GH levels and cause a sudden increase in blood sugar levels.

Individuals with diabetes typically have 3-4 times lower GH levels compared to those who are healthy.

Intermittent Fasting

Research indicates that fasting for three days intermittently can boost your growth hormone levels by up to 300%.

Fasting significantly raises GH production because it reduces body fat and lowers insulin levels.

Optimal sleeping pattern

During deep sleep, your body releases a lot of growth hormone at different times. This release depends on your internal body clock or circadian rhythm.

If you don’t sleep well, your body makes less growth hormone.

Reduce Stress

Lowering stress through relaxation techniques like massages and deep breathing can improve sleep patterns and lead to more growth hormone production.

Research shows that practicing relaxation exercises like yoga can greatly increase your growth hormone levels.


Using a Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) supplement can boost your body’s growth hormone levels by as much as 400%.

GABA works as a neurotransmitter that calms the body, reducing stress and anxiety. GABA also enhances growth hormone levels by improving sleep quality.

Meal quality

The type of food you eat affects your growth hormone levels. Eating high-fat and high-sugar meals increases the levels of somatostatin in your body. This hormone stops the release of GH.

Eating high-fat meals can lower your GH levels, which can slow down your progress.

Find Out Which Artificial Sweeteners Are Best for Your Health!

The reputation of artificial sweeteners has been tarnished, with certain recommendations against their use by the World Health Organization. However, nutrition is not one-size-fits-all. Unique nutrition needs exist, and there are valid reasons for incorporating artificial sweeteners into a balanced diet. For instance, those with prediabetes or diabetes might use them to manage blood sugar, while others use them for dental health or weight loss. However, not all artificial sweeteners are equal. Here’s a ranking of the best and worst, helping you make informed choices to satisfy your sweet tooth.


Stevia, in the form of stevioside, is an FDA-approved plant-based nonnutritive sweetener. Recent studies dispel gut health concerns and suggest potential benefits for your microbiome. Derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, stevia is about 250 times sweeter than sugar, yet it contains no calories and minimal carbs, making it unlikely to contribute to weight gain or blood sugar spikes. You can use stevia in various ways, such as sprinkling it on cereal or adding it to drinks and recipes, but note that it differs chemically from sugar, so some experimentation may be needed for desired textures.

Nutrition facts per teaspoon:

Calories: 0

Fat: 0g

Protein: 0g

Carbohydrates: 1g

Sugar: 0g


Sucralose, branded as Splenda, is around 600 times sweeter than sugar. It received approval for general use as a sweetener in 1999 and is popular for sugar reduction. Sucralose appears in various foods, including baked goods, gum, dairy desserts, and drinks. Unlike many artificial sweeteners, sucralose isn’t heat-sensitive, making it suitable for baking and calorie reduction in diabetes management or weight loss. Some recent studies raise concerns about long-term health effects related to DNA expression, but the FDA has reviewed over 110 studies to assess safety and potential toxicity.

Nutrition facts per one-packet serving:

Calories: 3.4

Fat: 0g

Protein: 0g

Carbohydrates: 0.9g

Sugar: 0.8g


Sorbitol, a sugar alcohol, is found naturally in some fruits and vegetables or can be produced from glucose or corn syrup. It’s lower in calories and about 60% as sweet as table sugar. Sorbitol is safe, per the FDA, and widely used in the U.S., but overconsumption can lead to digestive discomfort, such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea, with a warning label required. One study suggests malabsorption issues at an intake of 10 grams.

Nutrition facts per one-teaspoon serving:

Calories: 15

Fat: 0g

Protein: 0g

Carbohydrates: 4g

Sugar: 4g


Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol found in various fruits and veggies and is commonly used as a sugar substitute. It’s sweet but doesn’t cause tooth decay; instead, it may reduce harmful bacteria in saliva, often found in gum and mints. Xylitol lacks vitamins and minerals, with minimal carbs that won’t significantly affect blood sugar.

Nutrition facts per one-teaspoon serving:

Calories: 0

Fat: 0g

Protein: 0g

Carbohydrates: 4g

Sugar: 0g


Erythritol, a newer sugar alcohol, occurs naturally in some foods and can be created during fermentation. It’s a zero-calorie sugar alternative, containing 4g of sugar alcohol-based carbs per teaspoon, which is not absorbed like typical carbs. You can use it like sugar, but in moderation, as it may cause bloating and gastrointestinal issues. Concerns exist regarding its potential impact on cardiovascular health.

Nutrition facts per one-teaspoon serving:

Calories: 0

Fat: 0g

Protein: 0g

Carbohydrates: 4g

Sugar: 0g

How can I make sure I’m drinking enough water?

Many people are unknowingly dehydrated, with symptoms like headaches, constipation, and bad breath. While it’s common advice to drink lots of water, the answer to “How much water should I drink?” is quite simple: If you’re thirsty, drink; if not, don’t worry.

However, there are some exceptions, which we’ll discuss shortly. You might want to continue reading if you’re an athlete, pregnant, or over 65. Let’s explore your hydration needs.

How much water do you need?

People typically need around 3 liters (101 ounces) of fluid daily, but this can vary between individuals. Approximately 34 ounces (1 liter) of this may come from food, particularly if their diet includes water-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, or yogurt. This means they’ll need to consume about 2 liters (67 ounces) from beverages. So, the traditional advice of “drink 8 cups of water a day,” totaling 64 ounces, is a reasonable general guideline.

The amount of water you require is influenced by various factors, including your age, weight, health condition, and physical activity level. If you’re petite and have a sedentary lifestyle, you might need less than 3 liters. Conversely, your water needs will be greater if you’re in a larger body and engage in physical activity in hot, humid conditions.

Therefore, relying on your natural sense of thirst is often a more accurate indicator than trying to consume a fixed volume. However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as athletes, older individuals, or pregnant women.

How much water should athletes and exercisers drink?

Your thirst usually works fine when you’re not doing much. But during physical activity, it’s not as reliable.

We realized this way back in the 1930s. There was an experiment where a man and a dog had to walk nearly 20 miles in very hot weather. They could drink whenever they wanted. But the dog stayed well-hydrated, while the man lost about 6 pounds of body weight due to sweating.

Research has shown that people who do intense exercise often don’t drink enough when they only rely on their sense of thirst. They usually replace only about half of the fluids they lose.

When you’re doing hard exercise in a hot, humid place, you can quickly lose 1-2 percent of your body weight. That’s enough to make your heart beat faster, increase your body temperature, and make the exercise feel harder. If it’s something like cycling, it can also make you slower.

How much water should you drink during pregnancy?

When you’re pregnant, your body needs more fluids because your blood volume increases.

As a basic guideline, try to drink about 1 liter (34 ounces) more liquid during pregnancy than you used to drink. If you’re unsure if you’re drinking enough, you can check your urine. (See the “Are you hydrated?” section below.)

If your urine looks dark, you might not be drinking enough. If it looks light or clear, you’re doing well.

How much water should older people drink?

When older individuals go to the hospital, they are frequently dehydrated.

This is likely because, as we age, our thirst signals and kidney function don’t operate as efficiently as they once did. Additionally, some medications can lead to increased urination, and our bodies might not retain as much fluid. This combination raises the likelihood of dehydration.

If you’re 65 or older:

Drink extra fluids, about 8 to 16 ounces (approximately 0.25 to 0.5 liters), on top of what you think you need.

Choose any drink you like, such as an electrolyte beverage, iced tea, or even diet cola. (For more on why hydration is more important than worrying about artificial sweeteners, read: Should you drink diet soda?)

Keep an eye on your urine color; drink more if it’s bright yellow or darker. (For specific details, see Are you hydrated? below.)

Be aware of the signs of dehydration, including dark urine, tiredness, dizziness, headaches, and a dry mouth.

The Benefits of Cold Showers for Weight Loss and More

Weight loss often brings to mind thoughts of dieting, exercising, and meticulously counting calories. As we’ve previously discussed, maintaining a calorie deficit stands out as the key factor for a successful weight loss journey. But what if there was a straightforward yet potent method that could complement your weight loss efforts?

Welcome to the realm of cold showers, a promising approach that could provide that extra push you need to shed those surplus pounds.

In this article, we’ll delve into the potential ways in which cold showers can assist in weight loss and examine the scientific rationale behind this refreshing strategy.

Cold showers boost metabolism.

Exposure to chilly temperatures prompts your body to exert more effort in preserving its core temperature. This additional exertion results in the burning of extra calories as your body turns to its fat reserves for energy. With consistent cold showers, your resting metabolic rate can gradually rise, leading to an increased calorie burn even during periods of inactivity.

Exposing yourself to cold can activate brown fat.

Besides burning calories, cold showers can activate brown fat. Brown fat is a type of fat that burns calories to create heat, unlike white fat, which stores calories.

Studies have found that exposing your body to cold temperatures can encourage the transformation of white fat into brown fat. Cold showers can help you burn both types of fat, supporting your weight loss efforts.

Taking cold showers might reduce your hunger.

Cold showers have the potential to suppress your appetite. The jolt of icy water can trigger the release of hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline (also known as norepinephrine), not only heightening alertness but also briefly diminishing hunger. This effect can be especially advantageous if you’re aiming to manage your calorie intake and prevent overindulging. Utilizing cold showers to reduce your appetite temporarily can be a valuable component of a weight loss plan, particularly when combined with a time-restricted eating approach.

Cold showers improve blood circulation.

Cold showers encourage enhanced blood circulation, facilitating the breakdown of fatty tissues. Enhanced circulation guarantees more efficient delivery of nutrients and oxygen to cells, optimizing their functionality. Improved blood flow can also aid in the transportation of fatty acids to be utilized as energy during physical exertion.

Ice baths and cold showers help in exercise recovery.

Following an intense workout, muscles can experience soreness and inflammation. Athletes frequently employ cold showers or ice baths to alleviate muscle soreness and reduce inflammation. By expediting the recovery process, cold showers can motivate you to maintain a regular exercise routine, ultimately aiding in weight loss.

Exposure to cold enhances willpower and mental resilience.

Cold showers can serve as a mental resilience challenge. They demand discipline and self-control to endure the initial shock and discomfort. Consistently facing cold showers can enhance your willpower and mental strength, which is crucial for achieving your fitness objectives.

Cold showers enhance mood and alleviate stress.

Taking your first cold shower can be tough and initially make you feel more stressed. But as you get used to this short-lived stress, it can make you feel better and less stressed. We all know how stress can lead to weight gain, especially from eating. The cold water shock releases endorphins and reduces the stress hormone cortisol. Many say they feel calmer and less worried after a cold shower, which is a great way to naturally relieve stress.

The Benefits of Eating Slowly

Eating slowly has many benefits. It helps your digestion, makes it easier to manage your weight, and leaves you feeling more content after a meal. On the other hand, if you rush through your meals, it can harm your digestion, cause mealtime stress, and leave you unsatisfied. You might even end up overeating or feeling uncomfortably full. To put it simply, slowing down your eating can lead to better health and overall well-being.

The Importance of Eating Slowly

Our society is always in a hurry, and people in North America tend to eat very quickly. We often don’t take the time to enjoy our food or even chew it properly truly.

This fast-eating habit is common among all of us, regardless of our background or expertise. Even someone like me, a nutrition coach with a Master’s degree in nutrition and various certifications, used to eat hastily. I had a goal of gaining weight, and eating quickly allowed me to consume extra calories before my body could register what was happening.

What are the benefits of eating slowly?

Sensing satisfaction

Eating slowly offers significant benefits, primarily because it allows your body to realize when you’re full.

It typically takes around 20 minutes for your brain to send signals of satiety after you begin eating. Unfortunately, most meals are shorter than that!

Consider the extra calories you might consume just because your body didn’t have time to acknowledge that it no longer needed food. Now, think about how those extra calories could affect your weight.

Eating slowly also enhances our sense of satisfaction, which goes beyond merely feeling “full.”

When you take your time, relish a meal, focus on flavors and textures, and savor every mindful bite, you leave the table with a sense of contentment, even if all you had was a basic sandwich.

Improved digestion

Eating slowly also aids in our digestion. Think of digestion as a chain reaction. As soon as we see, smell, or think about food (step 1), our bodies start producing saliva to prepare for eating (step 2). Saliva contains enzymes that begin breaking down the food and moisten our mouth for easier swallowing.

Simultaneously, the later digestive stages (steps 3, 4, 5, etc.) get ready to do their jobs. Our stomachs start producing more acid, and our small intestine prepares for peristalsis and other processes.

When we rush through this process, we force our digestive system to handle food before it’s fully prepared. Surprises are wonderful on birthdays but not during digestion.

Digestion begins in the mouth, so when you take large bites that aren’t properly chewed, it becomes more challenging for your stomach to transform them into chyme. Chyme is the liquid mixture of partially digested food, hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes, and water that passes through the pyloric valve on its way for further processing.

Food that isn’t adequately broken down into chyme can lead to indigestion and other potential gastrointestinal problems. And who wants that?

Smaller portions – without trying

Eating slowly can help you eat less, which is great for weight management. In a University of Rhode Island study, women were given a big plate of pasta for lunch. When they ate quickly, they consumed 67 more calories in 20 fewer minutes than when they ate slowly (579 calories in 29 minutes vs. 646 calories in 9 minutes). Extrapolated to three meals a day, these extra calories can add up.

Moreover, quick eating made the women feel hungrier an hour later, unlike slow eating, which meant less food but longer-lasting satisfaction.

Better hydration

Eating slowly has multiple benefits, including increased water consumption during meals. In a study by the University of Rhode Island, women drank 409 mL (about 14 oz) of water when they ate slowly, whereas quick eaters consumed only 289 mL (9.7 oz). Researchers also investigated if drinking more water is the key to feeling satisfied. In a follow-up study where water intake was controlled, both slow and fast eaters consumed similar amounts of food. However, those who ate slowly reported less hunger and greater satiety an hour after the meal, suggesting that eating slowly decreases hunger and boosts satisfaction between meals.

Is eating quickly really so bad?

Eating slowly might not be a miracle cure for weight loss, but it can definitely assist with portion control and leave you feeling more satisfied. On the other hand, the consensus among studies is clear: Eating quickly is linked to weight gain and a loss of control over eating habits.

Weight gain

Both extensive population studies and research on smaller groups, like firefighters who tend to eat quickly, agree that fast eaters tend to gain more weight over time compared to their slower counterparts. If your aim is to lose weight or maintain your current weight, it’s a good idea to slow down your eating pace.

Disordered eating and eating speed

If you’ve ever had a binge eating episode, you know the overwhelming urge to eat quickly. Research highlights that binge eating often involves rapid eating.

Compulsive eaters experience a loss of control over their eating habits and feel guilty afterward. Slowing down can help derail a binge episode and regain control.

In our coaching program, we suggest slowing down when a binge episode begins. You may not stop immediately, but slowing down can help shift your focus and regain control. It’s like someone snapping you out of a daydream. This “binge slowly” strategy can be quite effective.

5 Easy Ways to Add More Fiber to Your Meals and Snacks

Given how much the fitness industry tries to find a quick fix for weight loss and better health, you might expect to see lots of ads about split peas. Studies have shown that eating a lot of fiber is good for losing weight, and it also helps with things like lowering cholesterol, controlling blood sugar, and improving digestion. But most people don’t eat enough fiber, which is around 25-35 grams a day.

If you think eating more fiber is a hassle, don’t worry. Eat This Much can help you set a goal for how much fiber you need in your diet. We also have a big list of foods and recipes that tell you how much fiber they have. So, there are no more excuses! Here are some super easy ways to eat more fiber.

Ditch the white stuff

White bread and white rice look and taste the way they do because they don’t have fiber. Just compare the amount of fiber in a serving of white rice to brown rice. You’re missing out on six times more fiber by not choosing whole grains. The same goes for white and whole wheat bread, even though the difference isn’t as big. When you’re at the store, try to find bread with more fiber, like this one. You can also change things up by using high-fiber tortillas.

Plan fruit and veggies as your snacks.

Prioritizing high-fiber foods doesn’t require eating salad all the time. It can be as easy as having some raw carrot sticks as a snack in your meal plan. Just 1 cup of baby carrots gives you more than 7 grams of fiber. You can also enjoy other high-fiber snacks like raw jicama (6.4 grams per cup) and a raw pear (a medium one has 5.5 grams).

Eat more beans

Legumes, like lentils and chickpeas, are fantastic sources of fiber and can be included in your meals or snacks. For example, lentils are impressive because just one cup offers more than 20 grams of fiber. Chickpeas are versatile – you can enjoy them as a snack, dip, or main dish, and they provide 24.4 grams of fiber per cup. Split peas, although not true legumes, offer over 16 grams of fiber per cup when cooked and are great for making soups. Beans are another option if you’re looking for a high-protein, meat-free addition to your diet.

Blend flax and chia seeds into your shakes.

Your regular protein shake is a great choice after a workout or for an afternoon snack. However, it’s a missed opportunity to get more fiber. You can easily boost the fiber content by adding flaxseed or chia seeds. Just put in a tablespoon of flaxseed for 2.8 grams of fiber or chia seeds for 4.1 grams. Mix it in your blender or shaker, and you’ll instantly have a fiber-rich shake. If you really want to supercharge your shake, add a tablespoon of psyllium husk, which provides 13.5 grams of fiber. Just remember to drink plenty of water when you do this to avoid any digestive issues.

Stop drinking “smoothies.”

As we’ve explained before, those so-called “healthy” smoothies and juices that claim to be better than soda are not a good choice. Even the “super-healthy” green ones won’t significantly improve your diet. First of all, the ones you buy at the store are often packed with sugar, even if they claim to be full of fruits and veggies. If you’ve ever tasted kale or spinach juice, you know they don’t taste anything like fruits. Second, many of these drinks remove a lot, if not all, of the fiber before they’re bottled, which means you lose out on their nutrition. Instead of these drinks, try to eat your fruits and vegetables. If you really can’t do without your smoothie, make them at home. Ensure they include a mix of fresh fruits and veggies, and monitor your calorie intake. Fruits can be high in calories and sugar, so if you wouldn’t eat a whole pineapple in one day, it’s best not to drink one either.


Boosting your fiber intake is easy. You can start by replacing some foods in your diet with high-fiber options or adding new items to your meals. To get on the right track, begin by keeping track of how much fiber you currently eat. This way, you’ll know how much more you need to add. You might not reach your daily fiber goal right away, but even adding one extra serving of fruits or vegetables each day can help a lot.

5 Best Cardio Exercises To Do In The Comfort Of Your Home!

Why do cardio at home? Well, for starters, it is convenient, and you can do most of the exercises without paying for a gym membership or for any extra equipment. Also, it saves time while bringing almost the same results as going for a running session in the outdoors. You also don’t need lots of space to do most of the cardio exercises at home. With some creativity in the mix, you can create a killer cardio routine that will bring results in a short amount of time. We have prepared a list of best cardio exercises to do in the comfort of your home, so sit back, relax, and learn with us!

Rope Jumping

Rope Jumping

Jump rope is one of the best cardio exercises just by the fact that it is very simple to start with and burns a lot of calories (approx. 220 calories in 20 minutes). All you will need is obviously, the jump rope, a good pair of shoes, and some space in your room; coupled with lots of patience. The jump ropes are not expensive and are easily packable for travel.

In this cardio exercise, you essentially turn a rope with handles while jumping over it repeatedly. If you do this exercise for the first time, you will probably trip over the rope a lot, so make sure to time your jumps well. Also, for starters, turn the rope with your wrists for the best results. Once you get the hang out of this exercise, you can do a few variations, like jumping on one foot, alternating your feet, double turning the rope, and jumping with knees high.

Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks

Another effective jumping cardio exercise gets a spot on this list! Jumping jacks are especially effective, as they burn 100 calories in 10 minutes, and don’t require any special equipment or skills. All that you will need for this exercise are a good pair of shoes and a healthy heart.

So, what you are doing in this exercise is jumping repeatedly to your feet width and circling your arms overhead at the same time and back. Now, the jumping jacks can tax your joints, so make sure to know your limits. There are some variations if you want to up the game, such as doing a squat and then jumping in the air (that is called a plyo-jack) or steeping your feet out instead of jumping.

Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers

This is one of the best cardio exercises to do at your home as it is high intensity and engages your core muscles. With this exercise, you raise your heart rate and build your strength and endurance. Also, you don’t need any prior special knowledge or skills to do this exercise, as its concept is fairly simple.

How do you do this exercise? First, get into a push-up/plank position. Then, you just move your knees forward and backward from this position. Keep your back straight for the most optimal results. As you begin doing this exercise, you will feel pain on your wrists, arms, and shoulders, but that is okay. This is the sign that you are strengthening all the joints!

Squat Jumps

Squat Jumps

This is a high impact cardio exercise that is very efficient in burning calories in a short amount of time. Along with this, you will also strengthen your leg muscles! Before doing this exercise, make sure that you have no knee problems, as squat jumps will put most of the load on your knees.

This exercise is very simple to do. Start from a squat position, then jump as higher as possible, and land back in the squat. Afterward, it’s all about repetition. Make sure to land as softly as you can to protect your joints. When you feel comfortable doing something more advanced with this exercise, you can try some variations, such as doing the jumps with your hands behind the head (prisoner squat jumps), or touching the ground when you squat (frog jump).



Now, enter the hardest cardio exercise on this list! It can burn over 100 calories in 10 minutes. That is, if you can endure this exercise for so long! For burpees, we recommend doing the previous exercises to make you acquainted with high-intensity cardio exercises. Also, patience is rewarded here too!

To do a burpee, squat to the floor first. Then, jump with your feet to the plank position. Afterward, jump back in, and return to the stand-up position. Now repeat as much as you can. When you get comfortable with the basic variation of a burpee, there are some more variations for you, such as adding a push-up to the mix or stepping with your feet backward instead of jumping.

These are the 5 best cardio exercises that you can do in the comfort of your home. They are beginner-friendly and are a great starting point in improving your cardiovascular health through exercise. You don’t need any special and expensive equipment to get to the form that you are dreaming of.

What Is The Mediterranean Diet?

As its name suggests, the Mediterranean diet is the type of diet emphasized by people living in countries by the Mediterranean Sea. Not all of these countries eat the same mind you, as there are some cultural and social differences between them. But, one is certain – with this type of diet, the risk of you getting cancer or any cardiovascular disease will drop down dramatically. That’s why lots of Americans are flocking to this type of diet, as cardiovascular diseases are one of the biggest problems in the US. So, let’s learn what is the Mediterranean diet, and what are its benefits!

So, What is the Mediterranean Diet, Actually?

Following this type of diet follows the dietary principles of the Mediterranean people in the 1960s. Actually, during this period and in this specific region, the risk of heart diseases was the lowest in the world! The traditional food that forms the Mediterranean diet includes fresh produce, legumes, and whole grains, and a healthy dose of healthy fats and seafood.

To be more specific, this kind of food forms the Mediterranean diet:

  • Vegetables. Tomatoes, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrot, broccoli, etc.
  • Fruit. Apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, grapes, peach, etc.
  • Legumes. Beans, lentils, peas, peanuts, etc.
  • Fish and Seafood. Sardine, salmon, tuna, shrimp, oyster, crab, etc.
  • Seeds and Nuts. Walnut, almond, hazelnut, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
  • Tubers. Potato and sweet potato, yam, turnip, etc.
  • Poultry. Duck, chicken, turkey.
  • Whole Grains. Brown rice, corn, whole oatmeal, whole wheat, whole-grain pasta, and bread, etc.
  • Dairy. Yogurt, Greek yogurt, cheese, etc.
  • Herbs. Basil, garlic, mint, sage, rosemary, etc.
  • Healthy Fats. Avocado, avocado oil, olives, extra virgin olive oil.
  • Eggs.

One point to keep in mind is to stay away from added sugars, processed meat, refined oils, and refined grains.

It is recommended to take at least 1 glass of red wine for women, and 2 glasses for men. Red wine can improve your cardiovascular health in the long term. Just don’t indulge too much in it, as it can be counterproductive for your heart health if you go over the limit! Also, now that we are talking about liquid, drinking lots of water is a must in the Mediterranean diet!

Daily physical exercise is a part of a traditional Mediterranean lifestyle. So, make sure to implement some daily physical exercise in your daily life. It doesn’t have to be anything hardcore! Walking around your block every day can do wonders for your health in the long term too.

Some Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

As this type of diet consists of a lot of fresh produce, nutrient-rich food, and a healthy dose of exercise, there are numerous health benefits for you to reap! Let’s list just a few of them!

  • Better Sleep Quality. If you are an older adult facing difficulties sleeping, good news for you! Some studies concluded that the Mediterranean diet indeed promotes better sleep quality in this age group. However, with young adults, there is no noticeable impact.
  • Helps With Losing Weight. As this diet is full of nutrients, and you are not just pumping calories in your system blindly, it certainly helps with weight loss. There are quite a few studies with numerous subjects that report more weight loss on the Mediterranean diet than on some kind of low-fat diet. This makes this type of diet the best one for weight loss!
  • Greatly Lowers the Risk of Heart Diseases. With the combination of less processed food and red meat, as well as low saturated fats, coupled with lots of physical and social activity, the Mediterranean diet style (and lifestyle!) reduces the risk of heart diseases and death by 20% over the regular diet.
  • Keeps You Energetic. For older adults, the nutrients gained from this diet can reduce risks such as muscle weakness and other signs of weakness by a whopping 70%!

So, now that you know what is the Mediterranean diet, are you convinced to make a positive change? Keep in mind that this type of diet is called blasphemy by some because of how expensive it can be. Trust us, if you choose the ingredients well, this type of diet can be cheaper than your regular, and probably much less healthy, diet!