6 Small Meals vs. 3 Square Meals – How Often Should You Eat?

6 Small Meals vs. 3 Square Meals – How Often Should You Eat?

When it comes to how often you are eating, it is a widely held belief that 6 small meals a day is the best way to keep your energy high, keep your metabolism revved up and burn excess body fat.  However, if we look to past generations and other cultures (who have a much lower obesity rate) they seem to flourish on 3 square meals a day.  So how often is best?

The short answer is – it depends.

I know…I know, we all want it to be black and white but the truth is everybody is different.  So here are some pros and cons to each so I can help you figure out the best solution for you!

6 Small Meals Per Day

Pros

  • You are never too hungry and never far from a meal. This makes it easier to make healthful decisions without having to rely on willpower.
  • Maintains a consistent blood sugar, which cuts down on sugar and carb cravings.
  • Reduces the release of stress hormones, which happens when you begin to get hungry. This can improve mood, concentration and prevent you from screaming at your co-worker when you are “hangry” (i.e. hungry + angry)!

Cons

  • You are never really satisfied which keeps you mentally consumed with food and can lead to thinking that you are hungry and over eating.
  • Time consuming. Finding time to fit in 6 meals can be difficult and if you skip one, you may be so hungry that you end up eating everything in sight.
  • When you are constantly grazing your insulin levels are always slightly elevated. When insulin levels are elevated your body is in a fat storage mode rather than a fat burning mode.
  • You can start eating because you are on a schedule rather than listing to your body. This promotes mindless eating, which can lead to eating when you aren’t hungry and not stopping when you are full.

 

3 Square Meals Per day

Pros

  • You are satisfied after a meal. This gives both your brain and your body a rest so you can focus on other things and aren’t constantly thinking about food.
  • Culturally familiar and accepted. This is probably the way that you grew up eating, meaning you are familiar with portions and how to balance a meal.  Moreover, a drastically different way of eating can make social and business situations stressful.  Making a more healthful choice rather than avoiding the meal altogether is easier to navigate socially and professionally.
  • Your insulin levels drop in between meals so your body can break down excess fat.

Cons

  • When we go too long in-between meals our stress hormones are released. This can cause a change in mood, concentration and an increase in sugar/carb cravings.  The combination of a terrible mood and cravings can cause us to make less healthful decisions.
  • When we do eat, we tend to eat very quickly. This doesn’t allow us to notice our body signaling that it is full.  Typically we end up overeating or eating until we are physically sick.

As you can see, there are pros and cons to each way of eating so it is important to experiment and see which is the most effective for you.

From my experience, the sweet spot for most people is 3 square meals with a snack either in the morning or the afternoon.

Ideally you don’t want to go more than 4 hours in-between meals so if you are having a longer day or just one of those hungry days, add in an additional snack.

Article was written by Tara Coleman and first appeared on www.totalgymdirect.com.

 

5 Healing Smoothie Recipes

5 Healing Smoothie Recipes

Smoothies are not only delicious, but also a great way to fill our body with critical vitamins and minerals to help prevent our most common ailments.  Below are powerful, nutrient dense and tasty smoothies that I designed to help you tackle our most common symptoms.

Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

Inflammation is the root cause of a lot of our most devastating health problems.  This smoothie is packed full of anti-oxidants to help fight inflammation and protect your health on a cellular level.

Active Ingredient: Turmeric.  Turmeric is a spice traditionally used in Indian food, and has been used medicinally to fight inflammation for centuries.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup iced green tea
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 inch sliced fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)

Post Workout Smoothie

Post Workout Smoothie

Your post workout meal is hands down the most important meal of the day.  This smoothie has both the protein your body needs to repair the damage to your muscles as well as healthy carbohydrates to refuel your glycogen stores and keep you energized. Make sure to have this smoothie within 30-60 minutes after you stop exercising.

Active Ingredient: Bromelain.  Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple. It helps reduce swelling and soreness caused by exercise.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 cups spinach
  • ½ banana
  • ½ cup frozen pineapple

Blood Sugar Stabilizing Smoothie

Blood Sugar Stabilizing Smoothie

Rises and crashes in our blood sugar can impact our mood, concentration, weight gain and ultimately lead to diabetes.  This smoothie is high in fiber, healthy fat and protein, which act as speed bumps to help slow the release of sugar into our bloodstream. It will give you a consistent balanced energy.

Active Ingredient: Cinnamon. Beyond adding flavor, cinnamon helps glucose metabolism and can improve insulin resistance.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water (you can also use a milk of your choice)
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup whole strawberries
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup oats
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

Immune Boosting Smoothie

Immune Boosting Smoothie

What we put into our bodies can either build our immune system up or break it down.  This smoothie has probiotics to keep your digestive tract healthy as well as key nutrients to help you fight any sickness that comes your way.

Active Ingredient: Vitamin C. Vitamin C is still the go-to ingredient when it comes to maintaining your immune system.  It is found in citrus and dark leafy greens.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup kefir
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • ½ banana
  • ½ cup frozen pineapple

Mood Boosting Smoothie

Mood Boosting Smoothie

We often think of mood as caused by things that are happening externally (i.e. co-workers, traffic, bills) however our ability to manage these things is actually cause by what is going on internally. The ingredients in this smoothie increase the production of endorphins and will leave you with a smile on your face!

Active Ingredient: Tryptophan. Tryptophan breaks down to serotonin and helps give you that warm fuzzy feeling. It’s found in cashews, which are nicknamed “nature’s anti-depressant.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/8 cup cashews
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao

How To Grow Fresh Herbs At Home

How To Grow Fresh Herbs At Home

Herbs are one of the healthiest, simplest and delicious ways to season your food.  However, at $2 per packet the cost can really add up!  I found the best solution is to create a small kitchen herb garden so you always have fresh herbs on hand.  Here are a few easy steps to create your own!

1. Pick the right spot – Herbs need about 5-6 hours of light per day so make sure you have a sunny location.  Rotate your garden once a week so that both sides get equal sun!

2. Pick the right pot – Herbs love soil that is well drained so make sure to choose a ceramic pot with a small hole on the bottom and a tray for the water to drain into.

3. Pick the right soil – Herbs aren’t picky when it comes to soil so any potting soil will do. They do, however, love nitrogen! An easy way to fortify the soil is to bury a tea bag in the soil.  The bag will decompose and it will do wonders for your garden!

4. Pick the right herbs – Start with the herbs that you use the most. I absolutely love rosemary, thyme and basil!  You can use clippings from another garden, or I find it easier to buy small starters from your local nursery.  Make sure to plant each herb a few inches apart so they have room to grow!

If you’re not much of a DIY-er – or if you are looking for a healthy and thoughtful gift this holiday season – check out the Mason Jar Herb Garden Kit by Maker’s Kit.

Now you are ready to start adding great homemade flavor to your favorite dishes! Put your fresh herbs to use with this Lemon Rosemary Chicken.  It’s an easy dish that everyone will enjoy!

Cozy Up to Brand Ambassador Danielle S.

CO: How long have you been practicing yoga?

DS: I’ve been practicing yoga for 9 years now :)

 

CO: Have you discovered a favorite yoga style?

DS: I have definitely discovered a favorite yoga style which would be yogahour.

yogahour is the style I prefer to teach as well as practice. Yogahour is an

accessible, affordable, expertly taught flow class that offers clear and specific

alignment instructions for the fit beginner.

 

CO: Do you have a consistent, committed, home yoga practice?

DS: I can now say I have a consistent, committed home yoga practice. I really did not

up until about 5 months ago. When students would ask what my home

practice was like, I usually responded with “Netflix and wine.” But now, I really do

get on the mat at home regularly. It isn’t a timed session, meaning some days it’s 5

minutes some days it’s 45 minutes. My aim is to roll out my mat and see what I find.

 

CO: Do you prefer to be in a studio/gym or outdoors?

DS: I would like to say that I prefer to be outdoors…because the idea is so appealing to me. But every

time I practice outdoors I’m affected by my surroundings. Bugs, wind, rain, allergies, unstable

surface, etc. I have tried practicing at the beach (got sand everywhere) I have tried practicing in the

mountains (bug bites for days) and I have tried practicing in my little backyard space (my puppies

think that’s really fun). So long story, I prefer the studio very much.

 

CO: Explain what a “healthy lifestyle” means to you and how you apply it to

your everyday routine.

DS: A healthy lifestyle to me means being mindful of my wants and needs. I know the difference

between pushing myself, and exhausting myself. Everyday I check in (by meditation). I only

meditate for 3 to 6 minutes. It’s a time for me to check in and see if anything is really pulling at

me. How am I feeling? Why am I feeling that way? What am I thinking about? What do I need

today? Those questions help me set up a very mindful and in tune day for myself. Understanding

what I truly need (whether it be rest, a hug, some time alone, a good hike, play time with my dogs,

a glass of wine with a girlfriend) is the best way for me to actually provide that for myself.

 

CO: Have you ever been insecure about practicing in front of a class or with

others?

DS: Of course! Now, no. But when I first began practicing at levels other than beginner,

I was totally intimidated. I had this idea that everyone would notice me and think I

didn’t belong. Or that I was doing something wrong. Or that I looked funny trying.

That could not have been further from the truth. My studio is the most supportive

community in my life.

 

CO: Who/what inspires you?

DS: Darren Rhodes and Stephani Lindsey. They are my teachers and I am forever in

awe of them and their capacities.

 

CO: What is your favorite time of day to practice?

DS: Anytime! I go with the flow. Somedays I wake up ready to hit a 7am class or roll

out of bed and get directly on my mat. Other days I’m not feeling it. So I wait until I

do want to practice asana (and somedays that moment never comes). I don’t force

it. I listen to my body and heart and mind. If I truly need to be at home and clean,

or hang out with friends, I do that! “Practice” to me means a lot of things though.

So I think it should be clear that I don’t go to a class everyday, but I do practice. I

meditate (again sometimes for only 3 minutes), I do breath work (pranayama), and

sometimes I roll out my mat and stretch for 5 minutes. It’s important for me to

practice in some way shape or form everyday though. It keeps my aligned with

myself.

 

CO: Any advice for new yogi’s?

DS: Go with a friend! Don’t be nervous! If you’re “not flexible” that’s great! No

really…that’s great. Too much flexibility is actually dangerous for tears and rips in

muscles and connective tissues. A strong yogi is a slightly inflexible one (this is my

opinion). Be mindful of not over doing it. A lot of new students think they have to do

exactly what the instructor says, that’s not true. Let your body be your first

instructor and the teacher be second. Don’t worry about knowing the terminology (I

still don’t know what all the sanskrit words are). Just go with a mindset that it’s only

an hour or so long, have fun with it, and if you absolutely hate it, you never have to

return :)

 

CO: Finally, tell us a little bit about why you are a Cozy Orange

representative.

DS: I am a Cozy Orange representative because I really lucked out. This company has show

me that it is in­fact possible to be successful and consciously kind. I could not imagine

buying active wear from any other company. I love how thoughtful, innovative, supportive,

and uplifting Cozy Orange is. Plus, have you worn their products?? They’re amazing! So

comfortable, affordable, chic and practical! As long as Cozy Orange lets me be a

representative I will be here. I love them oh so very much :)

Your 15 Minute Wellness Ritual

The way we start our day can be the difference between a productive and empowered day and a day
where you are overwhelmed and running behind. Follow this 15 minute morning ritual to get your day
off on the right foot!
Your 15 Minute Wellness Ritual

7-minute Workout
In 2013 the American College of Sport’s Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal, published a study outlining
12 essential exercises that, when done with high intensity and in order, will keep you fit. Lucky for us we
live in a technological world, so there are now a number of free apps that will walk you through the
exercises at an intensity based on your fitness level. My favorite is the one developed by Johnson &
Johnson. You can download it here. Even if you are able to get in more exercise later on, starting your
morning with this 7 minute routine will get your body primed for the day!
Your 15 Minute Wellness Ritual

5-minute Meditation
Many people are intimidated by meditation because it can seem time consuming and uncomfortable at
first. However, it has been shown that the frequency of meditation is much more important than the
duration. Even as little as 5 minutes can reverse your body’s stress response, reduce blood pressure and
anxiety and increase creativity and your sense of well-being. In short it can make you feel better and
equip you to better deal with every day stressors. A simple but powerful technique is the So Hum
Meditation.
1.Find a quiet and comfortable spot where you won’t be disturbed.
2.Set your timer for 5 minutes so you don’t have to worry about going too long.
3.Close your eyes and begin to bring your attention to the sound of your breath.
4.Take a long slow breath in and hold it briefly before you release it slowly.
5.Now, as you slowly inhale your next breath, silently say the word So
as you slowly release your breath, silently say the word Hum.
6.Repeat So on each inhale and Hum on each exhale for the full 5 minutes. If your mind begins to wander, gently bring your attention back to the words So-Hum.
Your 15 Minute Wellness Ritual

3-minute Green Tea
Finally, it takes 2-3 minutes to brew the perfect cup of green tea. As we discussed a few months ago,
green tea contains an amino acid called theanine, which has been shown to increase the dopamine
levels in the brain – in other words, make you feel freakin fantastic! For an added boost, add a squeeze
of fresh lemon. Citrus helps make the antioxidants more bioavailable for your body so you are
absorbing as much of the health benefits of green tea as possible. So take the last few minutes of your
daily ritual to brew a cup of tea. You end your ritual with a delicious cup of tea in hand and your mind
and body prepared to take on the day!

Your 15 Minute Wellness Ritual

6 Simple Additions That Can Boost Up Your Breakfast

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  However, did you know that by simply adding a few key ingredients it can also increase your energy, boost your metabolism and change your cravings for the entire day?  Try these simple additions to help make the most of your breakfast!

Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds are loaded with cholesterol reducing fiber, energizing protein and heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids.  Because they are relatively tasteless and don’t need to be ground like flaxseeds, they are also extremely easy to incorporate into your day.

Try adding 1tbsp of chia seeds to 1 cup of Greek yogurt and ½ cup fresh fruit for a refreshing and energizing start to your day.

Egg Yolk

The egg yolk has gotten a bad rap because it is where the cholesterol and majority of the calories are found in the egg.  However, it has recently been discovered that dietary cholesterol does not significantly impact body cholesterol.  Moreover, the egg yolk contains high levels of choline, which helps improve brain function.

Try adding 1-2 whole eggs to your morning egg scramble for a brain boosting beginning of your day.

Almond Butter

Almonds are one of the most nutrient dense nuts, which means that calorie for calorie you are getting more vitamins and minerals than any other nut.  One tablespoon of almond butter also contains as much protein as the same amount of animal meat.  Protein keeps you satisfied much longer and helps reduce your cravings for sugars and refined carbohydrates.

Try adding 1tbsp of almond butter to ½ cup of oatmeal for a sustaining start to your day.

 

 

Hemp Hearts

Hemp hearts are a completely amazing yet underrated source of vegan protein.  A single serving of 3 tbsp., has 10 grams of protein, 10 grams of Omegas and 3 grams of fiber. They have a texture similar to sunflower seeds but with an even more delicate flavor, making them a perfect way to sneak in extra protein to your plant based breakfast without changing the taste.

Try adding 3tbsp of hemp hearts to your morning smoothie for a nutrient balanced start to your day.

Green Tea

One of the most powerful components of green tea is its high level of the antioxidant EGCG.  EGCG has been shown to protect your cells and have a powerful impact on cardiovascular health.  A study at Purdue University showed that the simple step of adding lemon juice increased the amount of EGCG by up to six times!

Try adding fresh lemon juice to your green tea first thing in the morning for a heart healthy day.

Vegetables

Vegetables are our best source of vitamins and minerals.  Unfortunately we typically wait until the end of the day to incorporate them.  Vegetables are also high in fiber so trying to get the recommended 5 servings in one sitting can be daunting, if not uncomfortable!  Breakfast is a great time to incorporate more vitamin filled vegetables, which will help you feel full longer as well as energized from the added vitamins and minerals.

Try adding ½ cup of chopped vegetables to your egg scramble or sneaking in 1 cup of leafy greens to your morning smoothie for an invigorating start to your day.

This week try adding one of these simple breakfast additions and be sure to let me know how it goes!

Cozy Orange sits down with Brand Ambassador Lauren Peterson to reveal why she loves yoga and the future of SUP.

How long have you been practicing yoga?

Third times a charm. I have been introduced to yoga three times in my life. The first time was in high school, I was a little bit too immature to appreciate it. The second was during my associates and bachelors degree as a form of conditioning and injury prevention, for dance. I saw it as just another way of getting a good stretch in preparation for dance. The third time I attended a class during my masters degree, the teacher ended the heated vinyasa flow class with thirty minutes of yoga Nidra! I was hooked. Yoga nidra, (yogic sleep) or lucid sleeping is among the deepest possible states of relaxation while still maintaining full consciousness. Yoga isn’t all about the asanas… Their the cherry on top to the big picture. The part I fell in love with is It offers life lessons off the mat, appreciation for life, and relaxation of the body mind and soul. Very grateful I gave yoga a third try. It has been an instrumental part of my life both as a student and a teacher for the past 10 years.

Explain what a “healthy lifestyle” means to you and how you apply it to your everyday routine.

Living a healthy lifestyle is the ability to find balance and peace for the body and mind. I have a very busy schedule, teaching from 7am to 7pm during the week. I make sure that I make the time to meditate, to eat healthy, and to have time for my personal yoga practice.

 Who/what inspires you? Selfless acts of kindness.

My family is a huge inspiration to me. At a young age, my parents taught me the importance and value of community service.
What’s your advice for new yogi’s looking to up their yoga game?

Practice Ahimsa, non violence and compassion for your yoga practice. Listen to your body, and welcome restorative yoga when needed. Enjoy every minute of the journey, be patient, and practice daily. Trust and have faith in the process.

Do you have a favorite time of day that makes you especially excited to get outside and practice a flow?

Sunset, when the sun kisses the horizon at the end of the day is my favorite time to practice yoga.

Do you prefer to exercise in a studio/gym or outdoors?

Outdoors

Explain SUP and your role in that space?

I am founder of NamasteSUP,http://namastesup.com/ a global community that brings stand up paddle yoga enthusiasts together. Furthermore, I created a Land based stand up paddle yoga curriculum for grades 2-12 and University Courses.

Where would you like to see the sport of SUP one year from now?

I would love to see SUP in more schools across the country. Stand UP Paddle is a great sport for all ages and levels. My hope is that by teaching Stand Up Paddling, more people will become environmentally conscious.

What are your health and wellness goals for Fall 2015?

To inspire my students to reach their goals and provide them with tools to decrease stress.

 Finally, tell us a little bit about why you are a Cozy Orange representative.

Cozy Orange is affordable, fashionable, and comfortable.. but the main attraction for me was Cozy Orange’s sustainable promise: Fabrics are made from recycled plastic bottles, packaging is made with recycled and reusable materials, and efficient Eco-friendly production.

Four Foods to Boost Your Mood

Staying Hydrated with Electrolytes
We all have rough days.  Maybe you are stressed out with work, overwhelmed with your kids schedule or just plain blue.  However, did you know that in many cases food can be your best defense against feeling down in the dumps?  That’s right, many foods contain nutrients that actually help boost your mood and give you a little pick-me-up to get you through your day!  Here are my 4 favorite mood boosting foods:

Cashews – Often called “nature’s anti-depressant”, cashews contain high levels of the amino acid Tryptophan.  Tryptophan is also what is found in turkey and what is responsible for that warm and fuzzy feeling after Thanksgiving dinner!  It is broken down into serotonin, which gives your body a feeling of well-being.

Mood Boosting Tip: Combine ¼ cup cashews and a piece of fruit for a great afternoon snack!

Salmon – Studies have shown that people with higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in their blood stream reported a better sense of well-being and were found to be more agreeable.   Omega-3 fatty acids actually changes the way your brain functions (in a good way!) so it’s important to make it a consistent part of your diet.  Shoot for fish 2-3 days/week!

Mood Boosting Tip: Not a big fan of fish?  Flaxseeds and walnuts are also great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids!

Staying Hydrated with Electrolytes

Green Tea – Green tea contains an amino acid called theanine, which has been shown to increase the dopamine levels in the brain.  Another study showed that participants who consumed theanine were less likely to experience increased heart rate and other stress related symptoms during a stressful task – think less palm sweats, heart racing and knees knocking during a presentation!

Mood Boosting Tip: Switch out your afternoon coffee for a cup of green tea or try icing it for a late summer cool down!

Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate stimulates the productions of endorphins.  Endorphins are the chemicals in your brain that causes you to feel pleasure – and have you ever seen anyone eat chocolate and not smile?!

Mood Boosting Tip: Try this Dark Chocolate Nut Cluster recipe for a delicious stress release!

Staying Hydrated with Electrolytes

Staying Hydrated with Electrolytes

Water is not only a powerful detoxifier, it is the cornerstone of almost every process in your body. That means if you aren’t properly hydrated your exercise won’t be as impactful, your vitamins won’t be as well absorbed, your skin will become dull and splotchy and you will feel puffy and bloated. However, drinking water is one thing, but absorbing water is another. That’s where electrolytes come in.
Electrolytes are ions that help your cells function and communicate and help your body absorb water. Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Chloride, Hydrogen phosphate and Hydrogen carbonate are the main electrolytes. We lose these electrolytes during normal activity but especially when we sweat. So it is especially important to replenish electrolytes during the hot summer months or after a yoga class or run.
There are a ton of sports drinks out there like Gatorade, PowerAde, etc. Unfortunately, one look at what they are made of and you will find a lot of neon ingredients that you really don’t want in your body. Here are a few more natural alternatives:

Coconut Water
Coconut water is a great natural electrolyte drink with about twice as many electrolytes as sports drinks with less than half the sugar.
Ultima Replenisher
Ultima is an electrolyte drink that comes in powdered form and can easily be added to water. It comes in a ton of great flavors and can be found at most health food stores.

Nuun
Nuun comes in tablet form and can be dropped into a glass of water for a quick and portable electrolyte drink. It also has a variety of flavors and can be found at most health food or sporting goods stores.
Homemade Electrolyte Drinks
My favorite solution is to make my own electrolyte drinks. This allows me to know exactly what is going into it as well as make it suit my own personal taste preferences. In these recipes the electrolytes come from the Himalayan pink sea salt, naturally occurring in the fruit, raw honey and the herbs. Here are two of my favorite recipes!

Minty Watermelon Electrolyte

Minty Watermelon Electrolyte Drink
Ingredients:
• 1 ½ cups water
• 1 cup diced watermelon
• 4 mint leaves
• Juice of 1 lime (1/4 cup juiced)
• 1/8 tsp Himalayan pink salt
Blend and serve chilled.

Sweet Citrus Electrolyte

Sweet Citrus Electrolyte Drink
Ingredients:
• 2 cups water
• Juice of 1 orange (1/2 cup juice)
• Juice of 1 lemon (1/4 cup juiced)
• 1/8 tsp Himalayan pink salt
• 1-2 tbsp organic raw honey (optional)
Blend and served chilled.