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Common Foam Rolling Mistakes

deonna.walker | February, 28, 2018

When I was introduced to foam rolling, it completely changed my life. It increased my mobility and helped my flexibility. But, at the beginning, I was doing a few things wrong, and I want to share them so you can benefit from my mistakes. People tend to make three main mistakes when they foam roll.


Mistake 1 – Going Fast

When you foam roll really fast (taking only a few seconds to go back and forth), you don’t create enough pressure in a particular spot to break up any scar tissue that may have developed from stress or lifting. Foam rolling takes a little bit of time. You need to be patient. When you get a massage, the therapist doesn’t focus on one area of the body for a second, and then move on. They tend to focus a few minutes on each part of the body.


Mistake 2 – Staying in One Spot Too Long

Try to spend only 30 – 60 seconds lingering in a particular spot. If you go any longer, you place yourself at risk to injure the tissue or nerves, which can have long term, negative effects. If you feel a knot, don’t just lie on the foam roller in that spot the whole time. You need to apply pressure, then release it.


Mistake 3 – Where you Foam Roll

Just because you have one muscle that may be really tight doesn’t mean you have to roll it. If you feel pain in a particular area, it doesn’t mean that is the area that is actually tight. A number of different muscles may be imbalanced. You need to determine where the pain originates. I made a huge mistake in this area. I thought my shoulder was injured and I couldn’t lift. But after seeing a specialist, I learned it was the muscles in my back, attached at my hip, that were causing the problem. They started a chain reaction all the way up to my shoulder, down my arm, and on towards my thumb. By foam rolling my whole back, I was able to alleviate the pain and increase my mobility.

Want to Know the Best and Worst Nuts for Your Body?

deonna.walker | February, 21, 2018

We all know that nuts have a lot of heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Believe it or not, there are some that are healthier for us than others.


God uses nature to show that good things can come in small packages, and nuts are no exception. But, we can get too much of them. Nuts are high in fat but also high in calories. You can use a handful to tide you over until your next meal; however, a few more of those handfuls can completely ruin your meal. Nuts are a healthier choice but can quickly become detrimental to your diet when paired with salty and sugary toppings. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons as well as the best and worst nuts you can buy in the supermarket today.


  1. Really Good Nuts for Your Diet – Almonds, Cashews, and Pistachios


When you look in terms of calories per ounce, all nuts are about equal, in moderation, and can be a healthy addition to any diet. The mix of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber can help you feel full and may even suppress your appetite. If you are looking for the lowest calorie nut, try almonds, cashews, or pistachios at 160 calories per ounce. You need to stay clear of nuts that are packaged or roasted in oil. The best way to eat your nuts is raw or dry roasted. Oil-roasted nuts are heavy in omega-6, unhealthy fats and will destroy nutrients in the nuts.


  1. The Worst Nuts for Your Diet – Macadamia Nuts and Pecans


When you look at these two nuts ounce for ounce, they have the most calories at 200 per ounce. They also have the lowest amount of protein and the highest amount of fat. But, they are still good nuts. If you are practicing portion control, you can still have any raw nut, and you can get good, healthy fats and nutrients.


  1. Nuts for Your Heart – Walnuts


All nuts are heart healthy, but walnuts have the highest amount of heart-healthy alpha linoleic acid (ALA), which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid that is found in plants. This can help with heart arrhythmia because the walnuts are effective at reducing inflammation and oxidation in your arteries after you eat a fatty meal. It’s recommended to eat around eight walnuts a day.


  1. Nuts for Your Brain – Peanuts


Peanuts are technically a legume but are generally referred to as a nut. They are high in folate, which is a mineral essential for your brain to develop and can protect against cognitive decline. They are perfect for vegetarians and pregnant women. Just like other nuts, peanuts are also full of brain-healthy fats and Vitamin E. There’s about 170 calories in one ounce of peanuts.


  1. The Best Nuts for Men – Brazil Nuts and Pecans


Brazil nuts are full of selenium, which is a mineral that protects against prostate cancer and other diseases. You can find a whole day’s worth of selenium in just one nut. But, you need to be careful with these nuts because research shows that too much selenium is linked to higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Pecans are also a good nut for men’s health. They have beta-sitosterol, which is a plant steroid that will help relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH – an enlarged prostate). One ounce contains 200 calories.


  1. The Best Nuts for Disease Prevention – Almonds


They are relatively low in calories and have more calcium than any other nut. They are also rich in fiber and Vitamin E. This little nut is a powerful antioxidant that will help fight off inflammation and other health conditions, such as lung cancer and age-related cognitive decline. Their versatility makes them the go-to nut.


You don’t have to think too hard when deciding which is the best nut overall. Just pick any of them. You can get mixed nuts, and you will have the best variety of nutrients and antioxidants.

10 Easy Steps to Losing 10 Pounds

deonna.walker | February, 14, 2018

It’s time to drop the crazy fads and complicated diets! Losing weight should not compromise your health or take over your life. Losing weight is simpler than you think. The main thing is to stay committed to a healthier lifestyle. You need to take it slow. Your weight gain didn’t happen overnight, so it won’t come off overnight. You need to be consistent with the habits you are changing to give your body the care it deserves. In order to lose those 10 pesky pounds, here are 10 easy steps.


  1. Drink water. Drink water. Drink water. Believe it or not, plain water is the best for weight loss. It is calorie free, and it will help you feel full and can help prevent cravings. It will also flush out the toxins in your system, especially those that cause bloating and constipation. A recent study found that adults who drink water before a meal lose 44% more weight. Drinking water before each meal is one way to prevent overeating. If you don’t like plain water, you can spruce it up by adding fruit combinations.


  1. Eat protein at breakfast. If you want to maximize your results, you need to start the day with protein. You can use things like nonfat Greek yogurt, eggs, or lean turkey. If you replace a grain-based breakfast with protein and healthy fats, it will help you eat less throughout the day. White bread and cereals metabolize quickly and leave you hungry. Fats and proteins are harder to break down, thus keeping you feeling fuller longer.


  1. Plan ahead with snacks. When you have snack, you can keep your energy levels up and prevent blood sugar dips, but you need to eat the right snacks. If you can keep healthy foods around you, then you are less likely to go to the vending machine. By preparing nutrient-rich snacks ahead of time, you can have a grab-n-go snack, no matter how busy the day may get.


  1. Burn the fat with HIIT (high intensity interval training). To boost your metabolism, try doing HIIT exercises. These exercises are incredibly effective for losing weight. If you can incorporate two or three HIIT workouts per week, those 10 pounds will just fall off. Interval training is effective because it keeps your heart rate elevated. It will help burn that stubborn belly fat. You will also continue to burn calories for up to 24 hours after you end your workout.


  1. Measure your food. Most of us really don’t know what an actual serving size is or read the labels to find out how much we should really eat. When we use our eyes, we tend to oversize our servings. A cup of popcorn or chips may end up being a lot smaller than you think. Don’t be surprised when you portion your food to find that you’ve actually been eating two or three servings at a time. This does add an extra step to your meal, but it has a huge impact on that waistline of yours.


  1. Go for whole foods. Your body needs nutrients to lose weight. Stop eating processed foods! This includes boxed dinners, cereal, and bagged snacks. Instead, turn your focus to nutrient-rich foods and clean eating. Start your day with eggs and veggies. Snack on apples and nut butter. Before you know it, your body will thank you, and you will feel more energized.


  1. Stop skipping meals. People think that skipping a meal will help them lose weight. But, in reality, it’s a really big problem when you starve your body. It can lead to craving sugary, fatty, processed foods. Also, skipping meals can cause binge eating at the next meal. We think we can justify bad choices in our meals when we skip the meal before. Once you actually add everything up, it often turns out that the skipped lunch cost you more calories then actually eating it. If you want to maximize weight loss, you need to commit to eating 5 small meals a day. Keep your foods nutrient-filled and clean.


  1. Time to move. You don’t have to be drenched in sweat to get a great workout or to burn calories. Every chance you get, you need to move. Set a goal to do crunches for the whole commercial break instead of just sitting. You can walk to a coworker’s desk instead of sending an IM or email. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park farther away from the door at the grocery store.


  1. Add some weights to your workout. If you add weights to your exercises, it forces your muscles to work harder. That will burn more calories and raise your metabolism. You body will use more calories to try to maintain your muscle instead of trying to maintain your fat tissue. This means that two people who weigh 130 pounds may not burn calories the same. The person with more muscle will burn more calories. If you want to lose weight, you need to increase your muscle mass.


  1. Eat your veggies first. It pays to have fresh veggies as a part of your meal, but did you know that if you eat them first, they offer a low-calorie way to fill up before you eat the rest of your food? It is similar to drinking water before you eat. You can have a simple salad before each meal. Or start eating the vegetables on your dinner plate first.


These 10 steps are not just quick fixes. They will help you lose the weight and keep it off. It’s time to forget the fads and just focus on eating right. Trust me, your body will thank you.


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