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Home Gym Essentials

Home Gym Essentials

Right now, many of us are being forced to workout at home. Even before the pandemic, maybe you dreamed of having a home gym. Here are my top recommendations for the home gym essentials. It doesn’t take a ton of equipment to get a great 

Free Home Workouts

Free Home Workouts

If you’re looking for free home workouts, you’ve come to the right place! Whether you don’t feel like going to the gym, or would just rather get your sweat on at home, you can find a workout to fit your needs. Free Home Workouts Here 

Autophagy: What You Need To Know

Autophagy: What You Need To Know

What is autophagy?

Autophagy is the body’s way of cleaning out damaged cells, in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells, according to Priya Khorana, PhD, in nutrition education from Columbia University.

The basic idea behind autophagy is that in the absence of external sources of food, the body begins to eat itself (auto: self, phage: eat), destroying and recycling its own damaged cell bits and proteins, so that new and healthy versions can be built. Autophagy is believed to be essential for helping protect against diseases like cancer and dementia, among others, according to The Cut. 

How can you activate autophagy?

Practice Fasting

Fasting is a practice that involves eating for a certain window of time and abstaining from eating during a certain window of time. There are many different forms and types of fasting that you can choose from to fit your goals and schedule.

According to Dr. Jason Fung, If insulin goes up, glucagon goes down. If insulin goes down, glucagon goes up. As we eat, insulin goes up and glucagon goes down. When we don’t eat (fast) insulin goes down and glucagon goes up. This increase in glucagon stimulates the process of autophagy. In fact, fasting (raises glucagon) provides the greatest known boost to autophagy.

Fasting also does much more than just stimulating autophagy. By stimulating autophagy, we are cleaning out old, junky proteins and cellular parts. At the same time, fasting also stimulates growth hormone. This tells our body to start producing some new snazzy parts for the body. We are really giving our bodies the complete renovation. (1)

Here is a great analogy from Dr. Jason Fung. “Suppose you own a car. You love this car, you have great memories in it, you love to ride it.”

“But after a few years, it starts to look kind of beat up. After a few more, it’s not looking so great. The car is costing you thousands of dollars every year to maintain. It’s breaking down all the time. Is it better to keep it around when it’s nothing but a hunk of junk? Obviously not. So you get rid of it and buy a snazzy new car.”

“The same thing happens in the body. Cells become old and junky. It is better that they be programmed to die when their useful life is done. It sounds really cruel, but that’s life. That’s the process of apoptosis, where cells are predestined to die after a certain amount of time. It’s like leasing a car. After a certain amount of time, you get rid of the car, whether it’s still working or not. Then you get a new car. You don’t have to worry about it breaking down at the worst possible time.”

“The same process also happens at a sub-cellular level. You don’t necessarily need to replace the entire car. Sometimes, you just need to replace the battery, throw out the old one and get a new one. This also happens in the cells. Instead of killing off the entire cell (apoptosis), you only want to replace some cell parts.”

How long do you have to fast to stimulate autophagy? Studies suggest that fasts between 24–48 hours probably have the strongest effects. (2)

Exercise

Another way to stimulate autophagy is to exercise. Recent research has shown that “exercise induces autophagy in multiple organs involved in metabolic regulation, such as muscle, liver, pancreas and adipose tissue.” (3)

What are the benefits of autophagy?

  • Protects the nervous system and the immune system
  • Protects against metabolic stress
  • Regulates cellular mitochondria, this improves energy production in the body
  • Encourages growth of new cells
  • Aides in healthy aging
  • Reduces risk of neurodegenerative diseases
  • Improves muscle performance
  • May help support a healthy weight
  • Improves skin health 
  • Helps your metabolism work better
  • May improve your quality and length of life
  • May assist in the prevention of cancer 

How do you pronounce autophagy?

Aw-TOFF-uh-gee

Did you know about the science and benefits of autophagy? What other questions do you have about autophagy?

I Tried Microblading My Eyebrows and Here’s What Happened

I Tried Microblading My Eyebrows and Here’s What Happened

I have been dreaming of perfect brows for years. In middle school, I overplucked my eyebrows and was left with patchy, sparse brows.  Eyebrow Growth Remedies I Tried I tried a lot of things to fix my brows. I tried growth serums, I tried vaseline, 

50+ Non-Food Rewards For Weight Loss That You Need To Know

50+ Non-Food Rewards For Weight Loss That You Need To Know

Celebrating often means rewarding ourselves with food. While treating ourselves with food is okay once in a while, food rewards are not always beneficial if you are trying to lose weight.  When I first started to eat better and take care of my body, I 

Adding A Rescue Dog To Our Family

Adding A Rescue Dog To Our Family

Our family has grown by four paws! We are so excited to introduce Lidi, a 5-year-old Goldendoodle rescue into our family!

rescue dog

For the past four years, Branden and I have been dreaming of adding a pup to our family. Branden even bought me doggie bags early in our relationship as a promise that we would soon have a pup. Those doggie bags moved with us to our very first apartment and then to our current apartment. They were constantly shoved under the bed or in the back of closets and we patiently waited to use them.

For many reasons, we held off on getting a pup. We wanted to pay down debt, we wanted to be home more, we wanted our pup to have a yard, etc. We also needed a pup that was hypoallergenic due to Branden’s allergies.

But for some reason, in late December, everything aligned.

A few weeks before Christmas, I jokingly told Branden that he would have a pup under the Christmas tree. The very next day I received a message from someone who was looking to rehome a dog.

Not only was the dog a Goldendoodle, but she was also potty-trained and out of the puppy phase. We had always dreamed of being able to adopt a dog, but never knew if that would be a reality with Branden’s allergies.

A Puppy For Christmas

Somehow I managed to keep this all a secret from Branden and surprised him that weekend with our very first pup. My family was incredible in helping me pull off this surprise!

Lidi was previously used as a breeding dog, so she has limited social skills. She is also having to learn how to play with toys, walk on a leash and travel in the car.

It has been a bit of a transition adding a rescue dog to our family. But it is 100 percent worth it!

To help Lidi, we will be working with a local dog trainer, Focused Dog Training. We plan to help her learn social skills, basic commands and how to communicate with us.

According to The American Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals, approximately 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year.

That is a staggering statistic.

We feel very blessed that we were able to prevent Lidi from entering a shelter! We will keep you updated on her progress as we train her and help her live her best life!

Are you a dog parent? Have you ever considered adopting a rescue dog? Comment below!

11 Reasons Why Your Business Needs To Be On Pinterest

11 Reasons Why Your Business Needs To Be On Pinterest

We’ve all heard of Pinterest, but how can Pinterest benefit your business? Let’s start by clearing the air. Pinterest is not a social network. Pinterest is a visual discovery platform, according to Tailwind. Note: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you click a 

100+ Blog Post Ideas for 2020

100+ Blog Post Ideas for 2020

2020 is right around the corner! Don’t worry about writer’s block or lack of ideas for the new year. Here’s a list of over 100 blog post ideas for 2020 that can be used for any niche!  Personally, I want to take these ideas and 

21 Of The Best Snacks For Losing Weight

21 Of The Best Snacks For Losing Weight

Looking for a list of healthy snacks for weight loss? Look no further! When your stomach is grumbling- here is a complete list of healthy options! 

Greek yogurt 

When choosing yogurt, be sure to read the nutrition labels. Sometimes there are options that are high in protein, but are also loaded with sugar. One good option is Dannon Oikos Triple Zero- this brand contains 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of added sugar, 0 artificial sweeteners and 15 grams of protein. 

Tuna Packets

Tuna packets are easy and mess-free for on the go! There are so many benefits of enjoying tuna. According to Michael Jessimy, “tuna fish health benefits include: maintaining blood pressure, supporting heart health, improving immune system, supporting eye health, promoting weight loss, increasing energy levels, improving blood circulation, preventing cancer and reducing inflammation.”

The Starkist brand is widely available and super reasonable in price! Depending on the flavor of tuna packet, there are around 14 grams of protein per packet. 

Protein shake

Protein shakes are a quick way to get your body fueled! There are many protein shakes on the market. Keep an eye on the sugar content when selecting a protein. One brand that I enjoy is EAS AdvantEDGE Carb Control Protein Shakes. For me, it’s so simple to pop these in the fridge or my purse and have one when I need it. I never have to worry about having a shaker bottle handy. These shakes contain 17 grams of protein, 100 calories, 0 grams of sugar and 5 grams or less of carbohydrates. 

Hard-boiled eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are also easy to enjoy on-the-go! One hard-boiled egg contains six grams of protein. According to Kris Gunnars, “eggs are high in quality protein and also contain all the essential amino acids in the right ratios. [This means] your body is well-equipped to make full use of the protein in [the eggs].”

Check out this tutorial on how to cook perfect hard-boiled eggs in the oven!

healthy snacks for weight loss

Cottage cheese

According to Arlene Semeco “cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein with relatively few calories. It is also packed with many nutrients like B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus and selenium.”

Cottage cheese has 14 grams of protein in a half-cup serving and is also an easily portable food for on the go!

Protein bars

When it comes to navigating protein bars, proceed with caution! If you aren’t careful, you can end up eating a protein bar with as much nutrition value as a candy bar. When selecting a protein bar, be sure to keep an eye on the grams of sugar and carbohydrates. Also ensure that you are choosing a bar that has a decent amount of protein in it. Some protein bars are labeled as “protein bars” but actually contain very little protein. 

Some of my trusted protein bar brands are: Quest, Pure Protein and ONE. I love all of these because they are high in protein and low in sugar! 

Chicken salad made with avocado 

Chicken is a great form of protein- but not necessarily an easy food to snack on. However, when you buy canned chicken or shred chicken and make chicken salad- you have a super convenient way to eat chicken. 

I like to mix chicken with avocado for a healthy fat source and high protein snack. You can eat this chicken salad plain with a fork, with cucumbers, with whole wheat crackers, on top of a rice cake… The options are endless! What are your favorite ways to enjoy chicken salad? 

1 cup of chicken has approximately 38 grams of protein! 

Veggies with Greek yogurt dipping sauce 

Veggies are always a great choice for snacking! Pair those veggies with a greek yogurt dipping sauce for an easy way to get that protein in! 

One super easy recipe is to mix a Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning packet with Plain, Greek Yogurt. For convenience, make your greek yogurt dipping sauce ahead of time and store it in individual containers. There’s also many different versions of greek yogurt dressing you can make! Plain Greek Yogurt has 22 grams of protein per serving. 

Air-Popped Popcorn

Popcorn is filling and a volume food! This means you can eat a lot of popcorn for not many calories! This is the perfect snack for nights that you feel like munching! 

healthy snacks for weight loss

Chocolate Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter/Almond Butter

Craving chocolate, but trying to choose healthy options? Chocolate rice cakes with peanut butter are your new best friend! This combo is filling and also satisfies your sweet tooth! 

Almonds

Look for almonds that do not have added salts and extra ingredients. Almonds are high in protein and portable for an easy, on-the-go snack! 

Fresh Blueberries

According to Medical News Today, blueberries can help heart health, bone strength, skin health, blood pressure and diabetes management! Blueberries are also an easy snack for on-the-go. 

Cubed cheese and crackers

Portion out one serving of crackers and add some cheese! You now have a filling snack and a cute, portable cheese-board! 

Low-Fat String Cheese

String cheese is low in calories and high in calcium! String cheese is a great snack to have on hand for moments when you are rushing out the door. 

Freeze-Dried Fruit

If keeping fresh fruit around isn’t your thing, consider grabbing some freeze-dried fruit. When selecting freeze-dried fruit, make sure the only ingredient is fruit! 

Banana 

Bananas are high in potassium and also help with cramping! Bananas are also easy for throwing in your purse or lunch bag.

healthy snacks for weight loss

Frozen Grapes

Put your grapes in the freezer for a tasty treat! 

Deli Meat and Veggies

Get creative with your snacks! Pair your favorite deli meat with veggies for a simple, but delicious snack option. 

Cubed cheese and eggs

Pair hard-boiled eggs with cheese for a new variation. Both cheese and eggs are portable for an on-the-go lifestyle. 

Carrot Sticks

Carrot sticks are easy to grab at the grocery store for a quick snack! You can pair carrot sticks with hummus or a healthy dressing. 

Celery and peanut butter

Throw it back to your childhood days! Remember ants on a log?! Pair celery and peanut butter or almond butter for a crunchy, protein-packed snack. 

Half an avocado with salt and pepper

Avocados are delicious and a great source of healthy fat! Mash half of an avocado with salt and pepper for a quick, simple snack. 

Whole wheat toast with peanut butter

Whole wheat toast with peanut butter or almond butter is filling and easy!

Avocado Toast

No need to pay $20 for avo toast for the ‘gram! Make your own at home! 

healthy snacks for weight loss

Oatmeal

Who says oatmeal is just for breakfast? Oatmeal is great for any time of the day! For extra protein, I like to mix chocolate protein powder with my oatmeal! 

Apple and almond butter

An apple paired with almond butter will kick your sweet tooth to the curb and keep you full. 

Sweet potato fries

Craving french fries? Sweet potato fries are a great alternative! You can make your own sweet potato fries in your oven or in an air-fryer!

Veggies and Hummus 

Carrots, peppers, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes all make for great dippers in hummus! Any veggie paired with hummus makes a great healthy choice. 

What are your favorite healthy snacks for weight loss? 

Sweet Potato Hash With Sausage- Whole 30 Approved

Sweet Potato Hash With Sausage- Whole 30 Approved

This sweet potato hash with sausage and eggs is perfect for any time of the day! It’s filling, comforting, healthy and Whole 30 approved!  This sweet potato hash is one of my new faves AND it is boyfriend-approved! This recipe was so good it seemed