5 Tips to Lose Body Fat

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Have you ever come across a product that says it will help you “lose 10 pounds in a week?” Maybe you bought that product, tried it, lost the weight quick, and then gained it back the 10 pounds that you lost PLUS two more. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to burn body fat. Extreme fad diets may last in the short term, but they aren’t sustainable and can actually hurt your overall health.

Now that you know that fad diets and fat burning supplements aren’t the trick, what methods actually work? The Registered Dietitians of the Brittany Jones Nutrition Group are here to answer your questions with science based knowledge! First, let’s talk about what fat is. Fat is stored in the body when the number of calories consumed is higher than the number of calories burned. It doesn’t matter if it’s protein calories or fat calories or carbohydrate calories, if more energy is entering the body than leaving, the body stores extra energy as fat. 

Losing body fat and being able to sustain that new body fat percentage takes time and hard work – but it’s doable! 

Incorporating healthy habits into your every day is the key to a healthy lifestyle. Start slow, reach out for support, and give yourself grace during the process. Here are some habits to incorporate into your healthy routine that will promote sustainable fat loss. 

Lift Weights

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to solely do cardio to burn body fat. Strength training increases muscle mass. Muscle mass needs more energy to maintain its size, and when you have more muscle mass, your body needs to burn more calories (muscle mass is metabolically active vs. fat which is not). Aim for 2-3 strength training sessions a week incorporating all the major muscle groups. Functional movements such as deadlifts, squats, bent over rows, and bench presses, are excellent exercises that work many muscle groups at the same time. 

Move More, Sit Less

According to a 2008 Vanderbilt University study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, the average American spends 7.7 hours a day sitting. To put that into perspective, that’s 55% of waking hours spent sitting down. Weight lifting is great for building muscle, but to maximize your efforts, be sure to stay active outside the gym! This is your chance to gather a team to play volleyball, take a walk after dinner with the family, or ride your bike down the street. To increase activity in your everyday routine, try taking the stairs, parking further away, or taking a 5 minute walk and stretch break at work.

Eat A Nutrient Dense Diet

Fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds, and lean proteins are all foods found in a nutrient dense diet. Looks for foods as close to their original form as possible. For example, veggie chips seem to be nutrient dense. I mean, “veggie” is in the name, so it must be healthy, right? Not necessarily. Real vegetables like carrots, zucchini, and broccoli are going to be a more nutrient dense option. Veggie chips have been broken down, dehydrated, and have unnecessary added sugar and salt. Diets with high sugar and salt intake can be inflammatory causing the body to hold onto extra water weight and fat. A good tip to keep in mind is to fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables. That way you know you’re getting fiber and nutrients in every  meal. Focus on lean proteins like lean meats, fish, legumes, nuts, and seeds. 

Our Registered Dietitians take an all foods fit approach in our practice, and there’s no reason to completely cut out your favorite fun foods such as cake on your birthday or a drink with friends. The key is to focus on nutrient dense foods most of the time, and occasionally have those fun foods. A healthy lifestyle is not about deprivation and we want to help you to focus on fueling your body without restriction. Celebrations and social events are important for your well-being too!

Drink More Water 

The body uses water to regulate internal temperature, transport nutrients to cells, digest food, and flush out waste. It seems so simple, but drinking more water can actually help burn body fat. The more hydrated the body, the more calories it is able to burn at rest. A dehydrated body slows down the metabolism to compensate, and a water-starved body will not be able to burn fat effectively. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces (ex. a 150 pound person should aim for 75oz water per day). Find a water bottle that suits your style and take it with you wherever you go. Having water with you at all times will help you increase your water intake and decrease the risk of dehydration!

Make Sure You Are Eating Enough 

Cutting too many calories too fast can actually do more harm than good, and unfortunately this is something we see frequently. Extreme restriction puts your body in starvation mode. It recognizes that it isn’t getting enough fuel, so it slows down the metabolism in response to conserve energy. It holds onto body fat because it doesn’t know when the next serge of fuel will come. Work with a Registered Dietitian to learn more about your personalized energy needs, and learn to listen to your hunger and fullness cues. 

Cutting body fat takes work, but if you incorporate these healthy habits into your routine, your results will last a lifetime! To lose body fat, focus on eating a nutrient dense dense diet, moving your body, and drinking lots of water. Incorporating healthy habits into your routine may not give you results as quickly as a detox tea, but the outcome is healthier, more sustainable, and less risky!

Interested in cutting body fat? Our Registered Dietitians can help ! Click here to set up your free 15 minute discovery call.

Written by Brittany Jones, MS, RD, LD and Gabby Childers, Brittany Jones Nutrition Intern

 

Women: Be an Advocate for Your Health

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“You don’t need to get your cholesterol labs checked – your under 30.”

“It’s probably just IBS.”

“There’s no need to do a well check every year, just come back every 3 years, or if something is wrong.”

It’s no secret that women don’t always put themselves and their health first. Women selflessly put other priorities like their family and their careers before their needs. So why is it that when they finally make it a priority to see the doctor for a well check or because something is wrong, they hear the comments above, and their requests are brushed off?

I unfortunately have heard every one of the phrases above myself, or first hand from a client.

This week is National Women’s Health Week, and if you have heard any of  the comments above, or feel as though you are not being heard by your medical provider, I encourage you to be an advocate for your health and keep fighting until you have an answer! Do not accept a medical provider brushing off your symptoms as normal/IBS/hormones/etc. If you think something is wrong and you are not being heard, seek a second opinion and find yourself another provider.

Here are 3 ways women can take control of their health care now: 

  1. You need more than just an OBGYN. Research has shown that many women treat their OBGYN as their internal medicine provider/primary care physician – but they are not. Think of establishing a medical home with an internal medicine provider/primary care physician as your “home base.” This is the person who knows everything about your health, your family history, and the specialty providers you see. They will set goals with you, and check your regularly for heart disease, diabetes, mental health, cancer, nutrition, bone density, and keep your vaccinations up to date.
  2. Start a health journal today. Log your symptoms along with the day, time, and any other pertinent information (whether you were exercising, what you were eating, stress level, etc). I use the Healthie app with my clients, and I always encourage them to log symptoms as well as their meals/snacks to show to their provider. This will provide more information, and allow the provider to see patterns. If you have the ability to send this to your provider before your appointment, even better!
  3. Write down your questions and concerns. Start a list of questions that you have or topics you would like to discuss in your phone 1-2 weeks before your appointment with any medical professional (doctor, dietitian, physical therapist, psychiatrist). It’s easy to get nervous and forget what you wanted to ask the provider. This list ensures that your questions are answered, regardless of the time restraints that may be put on your appointment.

You know your body better than anyone else.TRUST YOUR GUT. If you feel that your symptoms are being brushed off, keep pushing. If you are not seeing results, it’s time to find another provider.

 

 

 

How to Manage Stress

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Hello again Blush Nutrition family! Jessica Sharp here, brain expert and the Founder of Sharp Brain Consulting. 

In my last blog post (which can be found here), I talked about the different kinds of stress and what it does to your brain and bodies. Now that I have explained the negative implications of stress, I am going to give you some coping mechanisms to help you manage stress.  

Before I do that, though, I think it is important to say a few things: y’all already know this, but stress is a completely normal part of life. Quite frankly, we need a little bit of stress in our lives. That acute stress that I mentioned before can often be classified as ‘normal’ stress. Chronic stress is the type of stress that you should be concerned about – things like a stressful job, prolonged financial issues, a sense of having to juggle multiple competing priorities. All these stressors are examples of not only long term problems but challenges that do not have easy solutions.

Coping Skills

Deep breathing and meditation. Meditation and deep breathing increases the oxygen in your brain and can literally calm you down. Meditation creates a reaction that is the opposite of the “fight or flight” response that stress induces. According to WebMD, “training our bodies on a daily basis to achieve this state of relaxation can lead to enhanced mood, lower blood pressure, improved digestion, and a reduction of everyday stress.” There are a variety of apps that you can use to introduce meditation into your life- Simple Habit is my favorite and lots of people like Calm. I would encourage meditation on a regular basis so that it can really help when you need it. Research has said that meditating consistently for 8 weeks can literally change your brain – it can decrease the size of your amygdala where that “fight or flight” response comes from. And protip, start off with a 5 minute guided meditation once a day for a few weeks. It is something that shouldn’t be too hard to infuse into your life and will allow you to get ‘better’ at meditating (because when you start, it may be hard to quiet your brain).

Stress awareness month quotes (4)

Progressive muscle relaxation. My therapist introduced me to progressive muscle relaxation. With this exercise, you tense up muscle groups then release them one at a time. WebMD says you can’t be anxious (or stressed) when your body is relaxed. They dedicate a whole page to progressive muscle relaxation and let you know how to do it. Again, regular practice makes it easier it implement when you need it.

Decrease stressor. I recognize that we can’t always eliminate the things that cause us stress in our lives, but when you can, you should.

Gratitude. I have always had a love/apathetic relationship with gratitude. I wanted to embrace the idea of practicing gratitude but didn’t necessarily know if it would be beneficial or helpful. Gratitude researcher Robert Emmons would say I am wrong. He says that practicing gratitude can have multiple positive impacts us in a variety of ways including:

  • Physical: Stronger immune systems, Lower blood pressure, Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
  • Psychological: Higher levels of positive emotions, More alert, alive, and awake, More joy and pleasure, More optimism and happiness

In that same article linked above, Emmons says that gratitude allows us to celebrate the present, blocks toxic/negative emotions, helps us to be more stress-resistant (gratitude allows us to recover more quickly), and helps us to have a higher sense of self-worth.

There are several ways to practice gratitude: you can keep a gratitude journal and write down things that you are grateful for (and there is something about handwriting things), thinking about things you are grateful for during the day (maybe it is in the morning, at night, or before a meal), or using an app (I use the uplifter app).

Self-care routine. It goes without saying that a self-care routine can help decrease stress in the moment and in the long term. I will say, self-care is talked about a lot, especially among millennials. I still believe in self-care, though. What I think is important about the practice of self-care is that it is unique to YOU, self-care should be something that works for you. My self-care routine includes regular massages, weekend naps, and going to local theatres. Make a list of a few things that energize you and give you joy. Try to incorporate them into your life as much as you can.

Stress awareness month quotes (3)

Therapy. If you are really struggling to handle the chronic stress in your life, I would recommend spending some time with a therapist, someone who is trained to help provide assistance to people. If you are interested in seeing a therapist, there are a few things I would recommend – first, if you have insurance, see how much your co-pay is. From there, I always tell people to go to Psychology Today’s website where they have a therapist hub; you can filter for therapists who take your insurance and find out more about them. And I always do a short call with a therapist before I make a decision (most of them offer this for free).

Sleep. I have always been a huge proponent of sleep, primarily because I am cranky and less productive when I have less of it. But after reading Thrive by Ariana Huffington, I really began to think more about the benefits of sleep and why it should be something I focus on.

According to Dr. Merril Mitler, a sleep expert and neuroscientist, when you’re tired, you can’t function at your best.

“Loss of sleep impairs your higher levels of reasoning, problem-solving and attention to details.” So, simply put, tired people are less productive at work. Sleep also affects other parts of your body. Your brain and body are working while you sleep. Your sleep affects “growth, stress hormones, our immune system, appetite, breathing, blood pressure, and cardiovascular health.”

PS – a bit about women and stress… For lots of reasons, women generally handle stress in a different way than men. Women tend to be more relational in how they manage stress and are more prone to reach out to a friend or loved one to help cope with stress. The Huffington Post has a great article about women and stress. With that said, if you are a woman, it may be a great idea to include reaching out to someone as a part of your stress management technique.

PSS – I hosted a webinar about chronic stress and the brain with Bossed Up. If you have 45 minutes, you should check it out!

Thank you for reading my blog series on stress and your health – and feel free to engage with me on social media! Follow me on Instagram at @sharpbrainconsulting

 

5 Ways to Prevent Heart Disease in Women

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Contrary to popular belief, heart disease is not a mans disease. In fact, heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the U.S. claiming the lives of every 1 in 3 women. This is more than all forms of cancer combined.

Research from the American Heart Association shows that 80% of heart attacks and strokes are PREVENTABLE with early diagnosis/treatment, a healthy diet, and exercise.

This year, I am honored to serve as one of the leaders for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign.  As a private practice Registered Dietitian, the prevention of heart disease is one of my core values, and something I talk about with EVERY client that walks through my door.

how it works

What is atherosclerosis and what causes it? Hardening of the arteries. Causes of plaque build up and atherosclerosis include: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking. All of these damage the inside layer of the artery. ATHEROSCLEROSIS IS REVERSIBLE!

How does cholesterol build up? LDL or “bad” cholesterol crosses into the artery wall, white blood cells come in to digest the LDL and this forms plaque. A heart attack happens when that plaque is inflamed and it can rupture

#LABGOALS:

  • Decrease LDL cholesterol “lousy”
  • Increase HDL cholesterol “happy”
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Decrease blood pressure

Here are my top 5 ways that you can prevent heart disease starting NOW:

  1. Start heart disease screenings in your 20s. This should include talking with your physician about your family history, and having blood pressure/cholesterol/glucose checks. Back in the day these screenings didn’t start until our 40s, however knowing your numbers now, and establishing heart healthy habits in your 20s will help decrease the chances of any complications in the future.
  2. Focus on cardio + strength. When you think of the best exercise for your heart do you automatically think of cardio? While aerobic exercise (running/biking/swimming) is definitely important in lowering your LDL and Triglycerides (bad cholesterol levels) and elevating your HDL (good cholesterol levels) – research has shown that adding in 20 minutes of strength training to your regular routine 3-4x per week can help lower your blood pressure (and keep it there). Blood pressure is known as the silent killer, and keeping it within normal limits decreases your chances of having a heart attack.
  3. Eat red meat in moderation. Sorry paleo/keto followers – if you have high LDL and Triglyceride levels (bad cholesterol) those fad diets are NOT for you! While I do support a lifestyle where all foods can fit, it’s important to focus on lean proteins the majority of the time (80% of your intake) to improve your heart health. Research published by the American Heart Association reports that swapping red meat for nuts/fish/poultry can decrease your heart disease risk by 19-30%.
  4. Fill your plate with produce! Did you know that adding just 1 more cup of fruits or vegetables to your day could decrease your chances of cardiovascular disease by 13%? Focus on making half of your plate non-starchy vegetables at each meal, and get bonus points for choosing a fruit or starchy vegetable as your carb!
  5. Get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. While a healthy diet and exercise are very important for preventing heart disease in women, research shows that if we don’t have an adequate amount of sleep per night those benefits can be diminished. Not sure how to get to that magic 7 hours? Try setting a bed time (and using your phone’s bedtime alarm to help you remember), establishing a caffeine cut off time, and put your phone on the opposite side of the room to eliminate distractions and blue light (which can make it harder to get to sleep).

February is Heart Month, and please join me in the fight against the No. 1 killer of women by clicking here to donate to the Upstate South Carolina – American Heart Association to continue to spread the word of prevention. Together we can beat this disease!

Roasted Garlic and Chive Mashed Cauliflower & Potatoes

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You asked for a healthy potato dish for the holdiays, and I delivered!

Recently on Instagram, I asked what was the dish that you looked forward to the most during the holidays, and mashed potatoes got one of the top votes. However, this dish that is traditionally made with lots of butter and heavy cream doesn’t have to be completly tasteless when you make it healthier. Here I came up with a time efficient to roast a whole clove of garlic to add in with all of the other ingredients which not only has a great flavor, it also makes your house smell incredible.

I also cut the carb count on this recipe by using half gold potatoes, and half caulfilower. The texture and falvor is amazing, and your guests/kids won’t be able to tell that they are also getting in some non-starchy vegetables! I left the skins on the potatoes for added fiber and texture, but if you want to peel them instead that definitely is an option too.

Check it out below:

Roasted Garlic and Chive Mashed Cauliflower & Potatoes

Serves: 10

Ingredients:

  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated, left in skin
  • 1/3 Cup + 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds golden potatoes, skins on, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 2 pounds cauliflower florets (about 2 heads)
  • 2/3 Cup 1% milk
  • 3 Tablespoons organic unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup chives, sliced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Place the separated garlic cloves in the middle of a sheet of foil. Drizzle with 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil.
  3. Wrap the foil around the cloves creating a little pouch.
  4. Place the pouch in the oven until cloves soften and you smell the aroma of garlic, about 30-40 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  5. While garlic roasts, in 7- to 8-quart saucepot, place the potatoes with enough water to cover it by 2 inches. Partially cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and for simmer 10 minutes.
  6. Add the cauliflower florets, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is very tender and can be cut with a wooden spoon.
  7. Drain the potatoes and cauliflower and return to the pot.
  8. Meanwhile, in small microwave-safe bowl, microwave the 1% milk and butter on medium high for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes or until the butter has melted. Add the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil.
  9. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from skins into the potatoes and cauliflower mixture. Add the butter mixture to the potatoes and cauliflower along with 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper.
  10. Mash the potatoes and cauliflower with a potato masher or hand mixer until very smooth. Mix in chives with a wooden spoon.
  11. Serve immediately, or hold until service at 135 degrees.

Nutrition Facts (1 serving): 232 Calories, 15.9g Total Fat, 5.8g Saturated Fat, 0g Trans Fat, 19mg Cholesterol, 268mg Sodium, 21.7g Total Carbohyrate, 5g Fiber, 4.4g Sugar, 4g Protein

Want to know more about a having a healthy holiday season? Contact me to set up your FREE 15 minute phone appointment today!

 

Easy Honey Roasted Rainbow Carrots

Want to know my #1 tip for your upcoming Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, or office Holiday potluck?

BYOV: Bring your own veggies!

Making 50% of your plate non-starchy vegetables helps keep the nutrition and fullness up, while controlling the portion size of the fun foods that we only see during this time of year.

If you are still looking for an easy and healthy dish, check out my Honey Roasted Rainbow Carrot recipe. With only 5 ingredients, you can easily throw it together to get some color on the table!
I used the pre-peeled Les Petites Carrots of Many Colors from Trader Joe’s for this recipe, but any rainbow carrots will do. This recipe is written for 4 servings, but can easily be doubled to serve 8 for a larger party.

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Honey Roasted Rainbow Carrots

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of fresh rainbow carrots, washed and peeled
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 Tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat the bottom of a rectangular or oval baking dish with olive oil cooking spray.
  2. Place the carrots in the baking dish, followed by the olive oil and honey. Toss the carrots to coat with the honey mixture, and spread in a single layer. Sprinkle with thyme and black pepper to taste.
  3. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the carrots are cooked and browned around the edges.
  4. Serve the carrots whole, and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (1 serving): 74 Calories, 2.4g Total Fat, 0.3g Saturated Fat, 0g Trans Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 88mg Sodium, 12.5g Total Carb, 2.8g Fiber, 8.2g Sugar, 1.4g Protein

Want to know more about a having a healthy holiday season? Contact me to set up your FREE 15 minute phone appointment today!

Too Busy for Breakfast?

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Today is the first day back to school in Greenville, SC – and it’s a great time to focus on the most important meal of the day – BREAKFAST!

I totally am not going back to school (three degrees was enough!) and I don’t have kids going back to school, but I can’t help but love the smell of school supplies at Target, and feel this urge to just get things in order this time of year. Anyone else agree?

Anyway, back to breakfast. You’ve heard it called the most important meal of the day, but is it really? A lot of people tend to skip breakfast because…well mornings are hard! However, this first meal of your day is what is going to start your metabolism to help you burn more calories and get your energy flowing for whole day.

Breakfast can help you get to your ideal weight and also set yourself up for success all day long. Without breakfast, you can lose HOURS of calorie burning, and with a busy schedule this is not something we want to do! You want to BREAK-FAST … get it?

Struggling to figure out how your are going to eat this first meal of the day? Check out my top 5 breakfast tips!

  1. Breakfast doesn’t have to always be “breakfast food.” A lot of clients come to me saying that they don’t like the traditional American breakfast foods of eggs, bacon, and sausage…and that’s ok! You don’t have to eat these things if you don’t like them. Try something as simple as a KIND breakfast bar for on the go, avocado toast, or an apple with natural peanut butter. To be considered a good breakfast it does not have to look like traditional plate from Waffle House.
  2. Meal prep breakfast for the week. Many people eat the same breakfast every day. If this is something you are OK with, I would recommend meal prepping it for the week so it’s grab and go! This might mean making your own breakfast bars, getting your overnight oat jars ready, or making egg muffins to re-heat throughout the week. Whatever you need to do to make morning easier on you!
  3. Focus on carb + protein. Many “breakfast foods” are very carb dense – things like cereal, waffles, pancakes, bagels, and toaster pastries. Focus on adding PROTEIN to your breakfast to keep you fuller longer! This might mean adding some natural peanut butter to a whole grain waffle, an egg to your whole wheat bagel thin or some almonds to your cereal.
  4. If you snooze one too many times, choose a healthy drive thru option. There a ton of healthy options out there – you just have to look! Every fast food restaurant is going to have their version of a high fat meat (sausage, bacon, fried chicken) on a biscuit, however, I encourage you to look past that and find the English Muffin breakfast sandwich option instead – English Muffins have less saturated fat than biscuits and therefore less calories. They also typically have an egg or egg white for protein – perfect for on the go!
  5. Pack a morning snack. If your lunch is more than 3-4 hours after your breakfast, be sure you pack a morning snack! A lot of people say to me “breakfast makes me hungrier throughout the day,” but this is a GOOD thing! This means your metabolism is working, so be sure to pack a healthy morning snack too like baby carrots and hummus or some unsalted nuts for when that time comes.

Want to know more? Your first 15 minute phone appointment is FREE! Contact
me here.

Calling All Teachers!

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School is out and Blush Nutrition is offering a new package designed specifically for teachers looking to focus on their health and wellness during the summer months!

This package is perfect for developing healthy habits and continuing them throughout school year. The Healthy Lifestyle Package is a 3 month plan, which includes nutrition coaching and meal planning. I am currently offering 10% off for teachers (new clients only) until June 30th!

The Healthy Lifestyle Package is designed to take you from June through September to kickstart healthy habits now establish a plan for a healthy school year!

Blush Nutrition loves teachers, and we can’t wait to help you make this summer the best yet! Click here to set up your first 15 minute appointment for free.

Millenials: Prevent Alzheimer’s Now

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Did you know that Alzheimer’s can start developing as early as your 30s?  Women make up about 66% of those affected by the disease, and as a Registered Dietitian focused on prevention the Today Show segment this morning really caught my attention.

You can watch the full video here, and below is a summary of how to make healthy lifestyle changes NOW to ensure your brain is healthy in the future:

1 – Exercise regularly

Experts recommend exercising at high intensity for at least three hours a week to prevent Alzheimer’s, with two hours being from cardio and one hour from strength training. Ok great, but what does that look like? It could mean three Orange Theory Fitness workouts per week, or running for 30 minutes followed by 15 minutes of body weight strength trianing four times per week. Whichever work out you choose, I always recommend to my clients that they schedule it in advance! Book an appointment with yourself (or sign up for classes ahead of time) and if you need to move it that’s totally fine, just be sure to reschedule that time with yourself on your calendar to get in your three hours.

2 – Get at least 7.5 hours of sleep every night

I often set goals with my clients to use the bed time function on their iPhone clock app to ensure that they get enough sleep every night. Simply put in the time you need to wake up, and work backwards at least 7.5 hours to see what time you need to go to bed. Your phone will remind you 15 minutes before, indicating that it’s time to start getting ready to go to sleep! While that does include brushing your teeth and starting your anti-aging night time regime (yes, I’m 30 now so this is a daily thing for me), but it also means turning off/silencing all electronics to avoid bright lights from screens, and also dimming the lights in the bedroom to boost melatonin.

3 – Eat a diet high in antioxidant foods

This means focusing on vegetables, fruits and whole foods at every meal. I encourage all of my clients to make half of their plate non-starchy vegetables, and to choose carbohydrates that are whole food such as fruits, sweet potatoes, beans or legumes. All Blush Nutrition meal plans are naturally high in antioxidants and good fats because they focus on eating whole non-processed foods throughout the day.

4 – Know your numbers

It might seem silly to start checking your blood sugars, cholesterol and blood pressure in your 20s and 30s, however I can’t stress enough how important it is to know your numbers. With a background working as a Registered Dietitian in advanced testing for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, I have seen first hand how checking your labs, and checking them early, can affect the outcomes for the rest of your life. Alzheimer’s has been called “type 3 diabetes” for a reason and there are things that you can do now to prevent health troubles down the line! If you don’t have a primary care physician and are in Greenville, SC I highly recommend one of my partners The Brio Internal Medicine as they are also focused on prevention.

Want to know more about disease prevention, brain health and how your diet can help? Message me!

5 Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips

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Grocery shopping: You either love it or you hate it 😳

Whether you are a fan of the store or not, it is true that to be able to stick to your healthy meal plan you have to have the correct healthy food in the house. Check out my grocery shopping tips to help you meet your weight loss goals AND keep the grocery bill down!

5 Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips From a Registered Dietitian

#1 Make a list! Not only is grocery shopping more stressful without a list, you will likely forget something you may need to make another trip. Start with your meal plan on Saturday or Sunday, and make a grocery list from there. The next step is to STICK TO IT! Decrease impulse buys and stick to your budget by only buying what is on your list. Grocery store marketing is a real thing and those candy bars are calling your name because the candy bar company paid a lot of $$ to put them there!

#2 Shop the perimeter! Everything you need is around the perimeter of the store *NOT* in the aisles. This is where you will find all of your fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, fish and dairy. Try to choose only 1-2 aisles to go down – this will help you save money, time and meet your weight loss goals!

#3 Avoid shopping at peak hours. If anyone else shops at Trader Joe’s you know that this means Sunday afternoon 🙋‍♀️ Typically Saturday mornings, Sunday afternoons and right after work (5:30-6:30PM) are the busiest and least enjoyable times to shop. Try to shop outside of these hours if you can to ensure you have everything on your list without the stress!

#4 Avoid shopping when you are hungry, tired or stressed. This will make it even harder to say “no” to those impulse buys. Try having a snack before you go grocery shopping, or opt to go right after a meal so you aren’t tempted to buy *all the things.*

#5 Say “no” once at the grocery store, or say no every 24 hours at home. If you don’t buy it – it can’t come home with you! Remember this tip for those trigger foods – it might be hard to say no at the grocery store, but think about how much harder it is going to be to say no every single time you walk by the pantry and you see your favorite cookies.

Did you know that I offer grocery lists with each Blush Nutrition meal plan? Schedule your FREE 15 minute appointment and find out more!