Be healthy without cutting everything out of your diet: 10 traveler’s tips to being healthy Comments Off on Be healthy without cutting everything out of your diet: 10 traveler’s tips to being healthy 108,985

Lately, diet trends have been to cut out entire food groups deeming some too unhealthy to incorporate into your diet at all. You only need to travel to prove that eliminating food groups from your diet is unnecessary. The proof is in hundreds and thousands of years of food habits and traditions that exist in countries around the world. Traveling is a great way to assess lifestyle and eating habits around the world and develop a Rolodex of eating habits that can be incorporated into your day-to-day life. While it might not be possible to adapt every great lifestyle habit, like taking a famous Spanish siesta after lunch, into your day-to-day life, there is a lot to learn about diet from other countries. Since developing this arsenal of alternative eating habits takes some time, I’ve compiled a list of some that I’ve picked up from years of traveling and living abroad that I incorporate into my daily diet.

1. Balance & portion control

Stop cutting foods out of your diet and start learning to balance your diet and eat the appropriate quantity of food. You don’t have to stop eating carbs, meat, or gluten to maintain a healthy diet or even lose weight. Maintaining balance and portion control are the keys to eating what you want and being healthy. Italians eat pasta every single day, at least once per day, and as a population, Italians are usually named one of the most healthy in the world. Carbs are not the problem, but taking into account the portion you are consuming and what else you’re eating during the day is important. Ensure that you are also eating meat or fish, fruits, and vegetables, not simply carbs.

2. Big lunch and small dinner

Turn lunch and dinner upside-down. In most of North America, the largest meal of the day is in the evening, and lunch tends to be quick and small. In many other countries, I’ve visited the largest meal of the day is in the afternoon – not at night. After eating a large lunch, there is time to work off the energy throughout the day and leaves you needing a much smaller meal for dinner. I became accustomed to eating like this a few years ago after working in Spain and I and felt more energetic and happy – not to mention I lost weight quickly. I’ve managed to maintain this style of eating for a few years now and the weight has stayed off too.

3. Salad at the end of the meal

In Italy, they eat salad at the end of the meal, not the beginning. Eat leafy greens with nothing more than olive oil and vinegar or lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper, to help aid digestion after the meal.

4. Olive oil

Speaking of Italians, they have been named the most healthy country in the world by the Bloomberg Global Health Index due in part to the population’s high intake of olive oil. Raw olive oil drizzled over vegetables, bread, arugula, fish, and beans are some great ways to consume more olive oil.

5. Fruit

Eat fruit every day. This one can be difficult if you live somewhere where the fruit is less than interesting or not of very high quality. Living in Colombia I discovered my roommates always had a collection of fresh fruits like papaya, guanábana, and passion fruit and each morning they made fresh juice in a simple blender and, well, with almost every meal. In Italy and France, eating whatever fruit is in season after lunch or dinner is custom. I’ve once heard it’s best to eat fruit for breakfast but really as long as it is incorporated into your diet, it works.

6. Switch to unsalted butter

The first time I lived in Europe, I discovered that it is typically difficult to find salted butter. It is not very common for people to use. In fact, I had a really difficult time finding it in Portugal and Germany. You don’t have to cut out butter, but switch to unsalted, I promise you won’t miss salted butter, it’s so easy to add salt to your food and it will reduce your salt intake exponentially.

7. Bulgur

Living in Turkey, I discovered what is commonly called Bulgur Rice. It is not rice at all but cracked wheat, and incredibly healthy for you. Usually, it is really cheap, and it is quick and simple to cook. It is high in fiber and protein, rich in minerals, and low in fat and delicious when cooked with spices.

8. Eat fish

If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where there is good, inexpensive fish, eat fish at least once a week. Japan is the number one consumer of fish in the world and came out on top of the list of the World Health Organization (WHO) list of countries where people live to full health longest.

9. Eat cheese at the end of the meal

People have a preconceived notion that cheese is not good for you. I spent about three-and-a-half-years working in a cheese bar learning about its health benefits when quality cheese is consumed in moderation. Easier said than done, right? A trick I learned from living in France is to eat cheese at the end of the meal. This will ensure that you are full enough that you don’t eat the whole round of cheese in one sitting. In France and Italy, they eat cheese every day and are much healthier than North Americans on a whole.

10. Eat slow

Meals should be enjoyed and savored, never rushed. Eating slowly will allow your mind to catch up with your body in deciding if your full or not. Eating quickly leads to overeating. Just about every European culture makes time for each meal to be enjoyed. In Japan, it is typical to stop eating when they are starting to feel full and take a 10 minute break to determine if they are still hungry. So slow down, and enjoy your food, it’s not just healthy but great way to find relaxation in the day.

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3 Podcasts We Can’t Get Over Comments Off on 3 Podcasts We Can’t Get Over 201,289

Podcasts are the way of the future. Think radio shows but being able to listen whenever and wherever you want. The best part about podcasts is that there’s a niche for everyone. Whether you’re into finance or the Bachelor, we’ve got you covered on the 3 podcasts we can’t get over. 

Finance is Fun!: The Financial Diet

The Financial Diet is the perfect mix of learning more about finances, different career paths and having fun. Each week Chelsea Fagan interviews a guest with an interesting job position. From Youtubers to publicists, you’re sure to feel like an insider after the episode. Chelsea pressures guests to reveal big financial numbers in their life. For some, it’s how much student debt their in while others discuss how much money they made off one Youtube video. If you’re interested in learning the finances behind different professions, check out this podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts! 

True Crime Crazed: Crime Junkie

If your ideal documentary is on serial killers, then Crime Junkie is the podcast for you. Crime Junkie features two true crime enthusiasts telling stories about the missing, captured, and murdered. Each episode captivates its listeners with a thrilling narration of true-crime from around the world. There are over one hundred episodes to binge, so start listening today! Another true-crime themed podcast that you have to hear is Serial. Serial started the genre of the crime podcasts and is still a true-crime favorite. The hit podcast has three seasons. Each season the hosts investigate a murder case in real-time. With new evidence pilling up each episode, it’ll be hard to pull away from this intense series. 

The Bachelor Nation’s Favorites: The Viall Files

The Bachelor is the show that keeps on giving. Between The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise, ABC produces a season full of love and drama – but mostly drama. Nick Viall, the bachelor in season 21, recaps each episode on his podcast The Viall Files. Bachelor Happy Hour is another amazing podcast where co-hosts and past Bachelor contestants Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrindives dive into each juicy episode. 

Podcasts are great for long car rides, getting ready in the morning, or winding down at night. There are thousands of podcasts to choose from, so you’re sure to find one you like. We hope you’ll love these podcasts just as much as us! 

How a simple detox can boost brainpower Comments Off on How a simple detox can boost brainpower 193,505

Girl drinking berry smoothie

 

You know that one person who’s always talking about the latest cleanse or trendy detox and how “life-changing” it is. It’s almost guaranteed that within a few days, they’ll be on to the next one. Who doesn’t want to lose weight, improve endurance, and purge toxins? It’s not surprising to see short term physical benefits from detox, but often not mentioned are the mental health and cognitive performance benefits also gained from a proper detox. Mental health and brainpower benefits are significant.

Anxiety. Insomnia. Depression. Dementia. Eating disorders. Even Alzheimer’s is on the rise. While going on a short term cleanse or detox to help treat any disorder might seem counterintuitive, restoring your body to health both mentally and physically can drastically boost your mood and overall disposition. The glow of positivity from improved self-image helps interpersonal relationships as well.

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Is a detox right for me?

Grow new brain cells

  • Most detox diets are significantly low in calories which may help boost Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). This chemical signal in the brain promotes new cellular growth.
  • As a result, it may lead to a number of mental health benefits including improved brain health and functioning, as well as to help stave off mental illnesses. There are some great BDNF studies available online.

Enhance focus and concentration

  • Another benefit one can attain from slightly restricting calories during a detox is the increase in focus. This is thought to come from a mechanism known as “food-seeking behavior.”
  • The mechanism involved has to do with a rise in hormone production. Dopamine, adrenaline, and cortisol boost focus and reduce distractions. Along with helping to block out distractions, a detox can also help keep your mind focused on tasks. This can help boost productivity in an academic setting or in the workplace, as well as helping to accomplish tasks at home that require efficiency and critical thinking. Additionally, it also may help improve focus and intensity during sports and other physical activities.
  • Certain supplements called nootropics help boost brain function even further by promoting increased blood circulation, stimulation of the central nervous system, and stimulating new brain pathways.

Increase blood flow to the brain

  • Detox diets can boost brainpower through PGC-1-Alpha. This multi-faceted signal assists in a wide range of bodily functions including increased blood flow to the brain improved blood circulation and supplied nutrients and oxygen.
  • This effect is quite beneficial to cognitive health.

Boost mood and good vibes

  • High levels of vitamins and minerals consumed in certain detox treatments boost mood and good vibes by producing serotonin and dopamine.
  • Processed foods, refined sugar, and other food-like products may cause mood swings, feelings of lethargy, energy crashes, and other unpleasant symptoms that may lead to malnutrition.
  • Nutrient deficiencies should be addressed in order to promote overall healthy body function.
Girl hiking outside jumping
No more brain fog!

Improve brainpower, cognitive function, and problem-solving skills

  • This should come as no surprise. High-nutrient, low-calorie foods can greatly improve cognitive functioning.
  • Eliminating nutrient-deficient foods will lift “brain fog” caused by poor diets.
  • Clearer thought processes and faster decision-making skills may be felt almost immediately after commencing a detox.

Improve brain-signaling

  • Hydration is always important. And increasing water intake is usually an aspect of many detox plans. Proper hydration enhances overall health, and greater hydration levels can lead to improved brain-signaling.
  • It goes without saying that water is important for all living things, and it’s especially true for living organisms that are made up of mostly water. In the human body, 73% of the heart and brain is water. This is why dehydration has a direct effect on cognitive performance.

Prevent mental illness

  • Aside from boosting mood and good vibes, assisting in the growth of new brain cells, and improving cognitive performance, a detox can also help prevent mental illness.
  • Brain matter growth can help prevent illnesses like depression or bipolar disorder from developing.
  • An increase in nutrients can help reduce anger and may help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. With the rise of mental illnesses, it’s worth trying different methods every now and then to see what works best for you.

Prevent cellular breakdown

  • A detox diet can help reduce inflammation in the body. This helps prevent cellular breakdown and promote healthy cells (which, obviously, helps overall health). This is true for all the body’s cells, including those in the brain.
  • Implementing a regular detox may not only help promote the growth of new brain cells but also help protect the cells you have, which can preserve and further boost brain function.

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