Fitness Inspiration for Family Wellness Month 

10-Minute Activities for Staying Fit Together

By Director of Product Development and Fit3 Trainer Tina Van Horn

If it hasn’t popped up on your calendar, let me be the first to wish you a Happy Family Wellness Month! May is the official month for celebrating family wellness, but as a mom and the gate-keeper of my family’s health, it’s another one of those tabs that is open in my brain EVERY DAY, not just one month out of the year. 

Balancing Act of Family Health

There is a continuous balancing act to make sure that everyone’s physical needs are met and that their bodies are healthy, without losing sight of their social, emotional, and spiritual health! Sheesh! No wonder parents are tired! Meeting all those needs is genuinely overwhelming some days.

Spending Time Together

Family wellness is so much more than putting nutritious meals on the table and setting limits on screen time. It is also about family habits, lifestyles, and relationships! Our hectic lifestyles don’t exactly foster family wellness and certainly interfere with quality family time, which has been shown to improve behavior and academic performance, build self-esteem, encourage communication skills, and reinforce healthy habits. Seems pretty obvious how important family time is, but several recent studies have suggested that the average American family spends only about 30-40 minutes each day truly engaged with each other. When I really think about it, that statistic is probably very representative of our family. 

Making Good Health a Family Value

If you are anything like me, you might be feeling a bit of “mom guilt” and anxiety when you think about all of the things we should be doing as a family. Honestly, my head is spinning a little bit just trying to figure out how to start. Just like any other lifestyle change, the trick is to start slow. If you were starting a new fitness routine, I would suggest starting with 10 minutes, so why not apply that same strategy to family wellness? 

I’m pretty sure we can all carve out an extra 10 minutes of family time each day to build connections, but if your kids aren’t into just sitting around for 10 minutes of conversation, here are a few activities that will get everybody involved:

  • Plan and prepare simple meals or snacks together – scrambled eggs, grilled cheese, PB&J 
  • Look through family photo albums together or watch family videos
  • Volunteer or do a service project together – walk dogs at the animal shelter, help a neighbor with yardwork
  • Test a new Reliv shake recipe together or make up your own – it’s ok to add a few chocolate chips or some sprinkles!
  • Plant and grow something together – flowers, vegetables, herbs
  • Make up “conversation cards” with fun, open-ended questions that everybody can answer – e.g.,  if you were an animal, what would you be and why? If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  • Move together – walk, jump rope, play tag, hide and seek, dance, or play follow-the-leader
  • Plan a scavenger hunt or play “I spy” around your home or neighborhood
  • Read an article together, taking turns reading out loud and then discuss 
  • Play a board game or active video game
  • Build a house of cards or line up dominoes
  • Work on a jigsaw puzzle together while taking turns picking the music you listen to
  • Send out birthday cards or write letters to family members

The possibilities for finding fun and creative ways to spend time together are endless. In addition to making memories that will last a lifetime, you’re also showing your love for your family. Another way you can show your family you love them is to make sure they’re getting the best of nutrition and immune support with Reliv core nutrition! Whether you’re blending up a shake for your kids, or staying hydrated while playing outdoors, feeding your family with optimal nutrition is a great way to say, “I love you!” 

Plant-Based Protein Options to the Rescue

By Reliv Key Director Dawn Tucci

These are times of adaptation and change. Around the world, people have been faced with decisions about how we are going to navigate life, now and into the future. One of the things that we are experiencing is a shift in the availability of the items we took for granted. For the first time for many of us, it has become harder to acquire personal items that we rely on as well as the foods that we eat. Restaurants are closed, so more people are cooking at home. Because of the disruption in business, we may see a shortage of certain types of meats.

Healthier Options

We know that protein is an essential part of a healthy diet. In looking for protein alternatives we may find that we stumble upon better choices out of necessity. Meat is a good source of protein, but alternative sources like plant-based protein have been touted as a healthier solution. There is evidence that many chronic diseases can be reduced by eating a whole-food, plant-based diet. Many also report that eating plant-based protein provides more energy, improved fitness, reduced inflammation, and better weight management. Eating a plant-based diet may even help you live longer, help the environment, and support your immune system.

Apples to Apples

 First, let’s talk about how animal and plant proteins compare. When relying on plants for protein it is important to combine different plants to give your body a complete source of all the essential amino acids. Sound complicated? It’s really not.

Animal proteins provide all the essential amino acids your body needs, but individual plant products do not and must be combined. There are exceptions: soy and quinoa contain all essential amino acids. Grains and beans complement each other and together provide all these amino acids, so eating both in a day can provide you the same nutritional quality protein as if you were to eat meat. 

In 2016, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics stated, “a vegetarian or vegan diet could provide all the nutritional requirements of adults, children and those who were pregnant or breast-feeding.” The right plant-based foods are an excellent source of protein and nutrients, often with fewer calories.

 So what does your plate look like if you are not able to put meat on it and must rely on plant foods for protein? Eating a variety of these foods will give your body all the nutrients it needs to be healthy.

Fruits
Apples, grapes, berries, citrus fruits, bananas, strawberries, etc.

Vegetables
Peppers, avocados, corn, lettuce, peas, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, kale, etc.

Tubers
Root vegetables such as potatoes, parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, etc.

Whole grains
Whole grain flours, bread, and cereals, brown rice, millet, oats, barley, etc.

Legumes
Beans of any kind, lentils, tofu, tempeh

Nuts and Seeds
Quinoa, all nuts, all seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, etc.)

Other
Supplements
Plant-based milk

How much protein do you need?

There is a simple formula to help you determine how much protein you need. Divide your current weight by 2.2, multiply this by 0.8. This gives you the number of grams of protein you need to eat in one day. So a 150 lb person would need 54 grams of protein per day. Your protein needs may increase if you are very active and want to gain muscle.

How much protein do plant-based products have?

(For comparison, an ounce of meat averages about 7 grams)

Per ½ cup:

  • Chickpeas 7 gm
  • Edamame 8
  • Lentils 8
  • Tofu 10
  • Peanuts 20
  • Almonds 16
  • Quinoa 4
  • Green peas 4
  • Dry oats 6
  • Wild rice 3

Vegetables – those with the highest protein (4 to 5 grams per cooked cup) include broccoli, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts.

Try rice and beans mixed together (7 grams per cup), a stalk of broccoli (4 grams per stalk), or a baked potato (8 grams for large).

Other sources:

  • Reliv Now with Soy contains 7 grams of heart-healthy, plant-based protein per serving
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds 2 gm
  • 1 oz nut butter 7 gm
  • Nutritional yeast – a deactivated strain of yeast that has a cheesy flavor. It can be sprinkled on mashed potatoes, pasta and provides 14 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber per ounce. Fortified nutritional yeast can also supply Vitamin B12.

Supplemental Solution

When you consume a plant-based diet, there are additional nutrients besides protein that you will need to consume. Nutrients of concern when avoiding animal products are calcium, iron, and Vitamin B12. Some foods are fortified with these nutrients and can also be obtained by using a daily supplement like Reliv Now with Soy. In addition to providing 7 grams of plant-based protein, Reliv Now with Soy tastes great and has higher levels of essential vitamins and minerals for greater health benefits. It also includes LunaRich to support your immune system and promote healthy cholesterol levels and inflammatory response. 

The silver lining in this meat crisis may lead to an improvement in our health. Eating more plant-based proteins means that you will get more nutrition and fiber in your diet often with fewer calories. If you’re not willing to avoid meat entirely, you can still benefit from increasing your intake of plant-based foods. An additional benefit to supplementing with Reliv products is that they are shelf-stable. You can blend Reliv products with fruits and vegetables to create a smoothie, but they can also be made simply by mixing them with water or juice. Best of all, Reliv products can be delivered right to your door! 

 

 

 

 

Epigenetics: All in the Family

By Director of Product Development & Fit3 Trainer Tina Van Horn

Nature and Nurture

Everyone has genetic predispositions, those things that “run in the family.” For many, this is a list of conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Sound familiar? Epigenetics brings a positive perspective to the fear and uncertainty that comes from checking all those boxes on a health history form. We now know that healthy lifestyle choices have the power to influence and even override our faulty genetic codes.

Families pass on both DNA and lifestyle habits that serve as epigenetic signals to that DNA. Nutritional choices, exercise, stress management and environmental exposures all influence whether genes get turned on or remain silent. While epigenetic marks are reversible (e.g. activated genes can be deactivated), healthy habits that start early in life can prevent negative genes from ever being activated in the first place.

The Earlier, the Better

Child development experts and medical professionals agree that healthy lifestyle habits are learned behaviors most strongly influenced by the family. Researchers also concur that nutritional habits established in infancy and childhood set the stage for a lifetime of dietary patterns.

A recent CDC report, for example, highlights the importance of eating practices in the first year of life. When children drink sugar-sweetened beverages during the first 12 months, this doubles the odds they will drink those beverages at age six. And limited fruit and vegetable consumption in the first year leads to limited fruits and vegetables at age six.

Nature and Nurture

Dietary preferences aren’t the only behaviors from home that carry over into adulthood with lingering epigenetic effects. Stress management, sleep patterns, and exercise are all influenced by family culture.

Work, social activities, media, and electronics compete for time that could be spent planning and preparing meals, engaging in physical activity or getting sufficient rest. Parents today work an average of three hours more per week than they did in the 1960s. That can mean the difference between home-cooked meals and visits to the drive-thru.

The American Academy of Pediatrics report, titled “Children, Adolescents, Obesity and the Media,” states: “American society couldn’t do a worse job at the moment of keeping children fit and healthy — too much TV, too many food ads, not enough exercise and not enough sleep.”

Top 10 Family Health Tips

Raising healthy kids today can feel like climbing Mt. Everest. But it can be done! It all starts when you embrace health as a family.

1) Be a good role model. You don’t have to be perfect, but if kids see you trying to eat right and exercise, they will take notice.

2) Get the family moving together. Take walks, ride bikes, go swimming, garden or just play hide-and-seek outside. Everyone will benefit from the exercise and time together.

3) Limit TV, video games and computer time. These habits encourage a sedentary lifestyle and contribute to excessive snacking.

4) Encourage physical activities that they enjoy. Let your child experience different activities. Be creative and incorporate exercise into everyday situations.

5) Pick truly rewarding rewards. Resist the urge to reward kids with TV, video games, candy or snacks.

6) Make dinnertime a family time. Get your kids involved in cooking and planning meals. No TV or portable media devices during dinner (that includes YOUR phone).

7) Make a game of reading food labels. The whole family will become more conscious of what they eat — a habit that can change behavior for a lifetime.

8) Make healthy food choices easy. Save countertops, front-of-fridge and lower shelves for fruits, vegetables, and healthy snacks. Provide a variety of choices. You might be surprised at what they like!

9) Limit sugary beverages. Beware of sugar-laden drinks marketed as juice beverages. Check the ingredient labels and serving sizes.

10) Stay involved. Be an advocate for healthier children. Insist on good food choices at school and other social settings.

Healthy families don’t happen overnight, so set realistic goals when adopting new behaviors. Pick one strategy and allow time for kids to adjust. Small steps and gradual changes can make a big difference in your health over time and in the health of your kids over their lifetime!

Give Your Kids a Healthy Head Start

Optimal nutrition promotes healthy growth, cognitive development and strong immunity during childhood — and reduces the risk of health problems later in life. Reliv Now® for Kids is specially formulated to provide the vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients growing bodies need to thrive, plus advanced ingredients for added benefits:

LunaRich®: Reliv’s exclusive epigenetic superfood proven to support innate immunity and overall cellular health.

DHA: omega-3 fatty acid critical for development and function of the brain, eyes and central nervous system.

PS and PC: (phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylcholine) natural compounds that support healthy cellular development, mental clarity, memory, learning, and cognitive function.

Grape Seed Extract: a powerful antioxidant that protects against cell-destroying free radicals.

10 Healthy Hacks for the Holiday Season

By Director of Product Development & Fit3 Trainer Tina Van Horn

Let’s face it, the next few weeks will be filled with some beautiful moments and memories, but they can definitely derail your fitness goals.  Staying healthy during the holiday doesn’t have to be all work and no play, though.

Here are a few of my favorite holiday hacks to make the season a little merrier:

Do This: Go on a walking tour to see the holiday lights.
Not That: Load up in the car and drive around to see the lights while munching on cookies and sipping cocoa.

I love the holiday lights and the best way to really see them is on foot! Slow down and soak up the glow while you get in a few more steps.

Do This: Use a smaller plate at holiday gatherings.
Not That: Pile up a big ol’ platter because your eyes are bigger than your stomach.

This is a great way to trick your brain into thinking that you are eating more than you actually are!  And remember when you fill your plate to start with the veggies and protein. That will leave less room for over-doing the starchy carbs. Also, remember that you don’t have to clean your plate! You might have to remind grandma that you are an adult and you CAN have dessert, even if you didn’t eat everything on your plate. 

Do This: Unplug and get outside to play.
Not That: Sit on the couch all day watching football and eating leftovers.

Play something!  Have fun! Move around and get the kids involved. Shoot some hoops, build a snow fort, go on a winter scavenger hunt, go sledding or even golfing. . .  If the weather is a little frightful, head to the bowling alley or roller rink for some old-fashioned fun.

Do This: Volunteer Service
Not That: Binge-watch holiday movies

Chances are you have watched those movies so many times you have them memorized. Why not make new memories by volunteering at the animal shelter or helping an elderly neighbor put up their Christmas decorations.  You could also check with your local senior center or assisted living facilities about playing bingo with the residents.

Do This:  Plan gatherings around activities
Not That:  Focus entirely on the food

Of course, food is a big part of every gathering this time of year, but why not plan an activity while you are planning the menu? When the meal is over, keep your hands busy with a craft project or break out the board games. 

Do This:  Get up 30 minutes earlier for a quick morning workout
Not That:  Skip your evening workout because you are busy or tired from the holiday bustle.

You are busy!  Your workouts will take a backseat to EVERYTHING else. Pick two days each week and start the day with a quick sweat session to make sure you get in a few workouts.

Do This:  Experiment with healthier holiday recipes
Not That:  Dump tons of sugar and fat into your favorite holiday traditions.

Grandma’s recipe may be a family tradition, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try a few healthier swaps to make it a little less naughty. Try cutting back on the sugar and using some applesauce in baked goods. Consider using plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream in your favorite dips and sauces. You might even replace some of the shortening/butter with avocado. Just be sure to test the recipe ahead of time.

Do This: Choose special homemade treats.
Not That: Indulge in store-bought goodies.

With so many amazing treats, this is not the time of year for packaged snacks like chips, cookies, and pastries. They probably aren’t worth it any other time of year either, but definitely not worth it throughout the holidays!

Do This:  Do something active every day, even if you only have a few minutes
Not That:  Subscribe to the all-or-nothing attitude of working out.

Even if you can’t fit in your regular workout, something is better than nothing!  Be flexible with the what, where and when. It may help to focus on “minimizing your inactivity” this time of year.  Do pushups while each batch of cookies is baking.  Hop up and get in a few squats during commercials or try a Christmas-even dance party.

Do This:  Say “No.”
Not That:  Allow stress, anxiety, and obligations to over-shadow the holiday magic.

Fit3 is about choices and so is this season.  It’s okay to say “no” when things get too hectic. Use your time and energy to do the things that bring you joy and nourish your soul.

Remember to make good choices this holiday season, and your body and spirit will thank you in the New Year! Happy holidays, everyone!

Keep Moving to Fight Memory Loss

There are many ways to help prevent cognitive decline and keep your gray matter in top shape.

Movers and Shakers

Research has shown a combination of activities and lifestyle choices may keep the brain healthy. Here are some ways to keep your mind agile and your memory resilient:

1. Participate in recreational activities like chess, book clubs and discussion groups that encourage conversation and interaction

2. Implement activities that require planning and forethought like gardening and scrapbooking

3. Challenge yourself to complete common activities in reverse order or with the opposite hand (i.e. brushing teeth, getting dressed, etc.)

4. Keep low-impact aerobic activities like dancing, cycling and swimming as part of your routine

Don’t Forget to Remember

Recent studies have shown a strong correlation between vascular health and the influence of an active lifestyle. There are also activities that have been proven to increase memory retention. Give these a try and see if you experience improved memory capacity:

1. Stay mentally active by working puzzles, learning to play a musical instrument or taking alternate routes when driving

2. Socialize regularly with loved ones and friends or by volunteering with people of various ages

3. Keep your appointments, tasks and other events organized in a single place or notebook

4. Focus on one task at a time and give it your full attention

5. Eat a healthy diet and include supplements like ReversAge® to promote youthfulness

6. Make regular checkups at your doctor a part of your routine, particularly if you are managing chronic conditions

You’re only as old as you feel, so treat your body well and remember to laugh and play. Surround yourself with young friends (especially the young at heart) and don’t be afraid to act like a kid. When you reconnect with your younger self, you’ll think and feel your best!

Enjoy a healthier, more active lifestyle with Reliv. Order now.

The Benefits of Nutrient-Dense Foods

By Reliv Key Director Dawn Tucci

Do you ever find yourself at the end of the day and nothing nutritious has passed your lips? If you’re snacking on food without much nutritional value, you’re probably still hungry. The solution? Nutrient-dense foods!

Let’s start by defining terms. What do we mean by “nutrient dense?” Nutrient-dense foods have a high nutrient content in proportion to the calories they contain. Therefore, including these foods in your diet can increase the nutrition you get per calorie. For example, foods like kale, blueberries, and quinoa offer a lot of nutrition without many calories.

The Nutritional Balance

If you only ate foods that were nutrient-dense, you’d have to say goodbye to most of your favorite snacks and “sometimes foods.” By making sure that a few bites of each meal and snack contain some of these nutrition powerhouses, you can get away with occasionally eating things that are not so healthy. When you pack your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, and legumes, you can have a treat every now and then while still staying on track.

Added Benefits

In addition to vitamins and minerals, there are other benefits to eating nutrient-dense foods. Many of these foods are also high in fiber, which is a type of complex-carbohydrate that takes your body longer to digest than foods comprised of simple sugars. This means that you will also feel fuller, longer when you eat them. Of course, if you’re looking to increase your fiber intake, Reliv’s FibRestore® is a Targeted Solution that offers 10 grams of soluble and insoluble fiber per serving. By adding FibRestore to your daily Core Nutrition shake, you can ensure that you’re getting all the benefits of fiber, including digestive health, weight loss, blood sugar control, and lower cholesterol!

Snacking for the Win

Another way to keep you feeling full is to snack between meals. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that you can eat whatever you want and expect to stay healthy. Snacks should be high in nutrition and loaded with protein. Ideally, you want a combination of lean protein and healthy fat for staying power. Aim for about 150 calories of nutrient-rich foods and your snack will be satisfying and give you the “pick me up” you are looking for!

Recipe Time

Here is a great snack from Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN:

Easy Yogurt Bowl
Add berries or a tablespoon of chia seeds to plain Greek yogurt to provide a filling combination of protein and fiber. In the fall, 1⁄2 cup of pumpkin puree and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice make great stand-ins for berries and still provide 3 grams of fiber per 1⁄2 cup. You can also add locally-produced honey to sweeten the deal!

Examples of Nutrient-Dense Foods

  • Legumes and nuts – excellent sources of lean protein
  • Quinoa and sweet potatoes – healthful alternative to and more nutritious than white bread and rice
  • Salmon – also contains Omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the body, especially the heart
  • Kale and other greens – also high in antioxidants
  • Berries – rich in anthocyanin which may have metabolic benefits
  • Others include garlic, sardines, eggs, dark chocolate, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, seeds, tomatoes, and soybeans.

If you want lots of nutrients without calories, focus on foods like the ones above mixed into your diet. A more nutritious diet benefits your health, and you will also feel better and have more energy!

Why Supplement for Weight Loss

By Director of Product Development & Fit3 Trainer Tina Van Horn

According to recent studies, more than 30 percent of Americans eat a diet that falls short of nutrients like magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A. It is also estimated that more than 80 percent of Americans have low vitamin D levels. Nine out of 10 people are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids which, among other things, help cool inflammation and control blood sugar levels.

Empty Calories and Malnourishment

According to functional medicine advocate, Dr. Mark Hyman, “Research also shows that since 1970, we have been eating an average of 500 additional calories a day, mostly from high fructose corn syrup and other carbohydrates. These nutrient-poor, calorie-dense, high-carbohydrate foods crowd out healthier choices while creating nutritional deficiencies like omega-3 fats, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D – negatively affecting our metabolism and our overall health.”

Simply put, Americans have been overfed and undernourished for a very long time. In fact, most obese children and adults are actually malnourished.

Nutrition and Metabolism

While that might sound contradictory, an abundance of calories does not necessarily deliver the right nutrients that your body needs. Actually, the very opposite is true: Overeating can create nutrient deficiencies.  You can eat too many calories and too few nutrients. And guess what: You need vitamins and minerals to process all those empty calories. Low levels of nutrients lead to a poorly functioning metabolism.

Dr. Hyman adds, “When deficiencies become the underlying cause of weight loss resistance, I find nutrient-based treatment can often help reset my patients’ metabolisms to balance out body chemistry. Getting the correct amount of nutrients can help you burn fat, balance blood sugar, stabilize hormones and build and maintain muscle mass.”

Optimal Nutrition to the Rescue

Reliv’s core nutrition products are loaded with protein, and more than 25 vitamins, minerals, and super-powered antioxidants to provide comprehensive supplementation for a healthy metabolism and optimal health with one delicious shake per day.

Active is an ideal snack or healthy meal that fuels lean muscle development, increased energy and improves workout recovery with a synergistic combination of proteins, amino acids and key nutrients that also support metabolic health.

If you’re trying to lose weight, exercise alone won’t be enough. Make sure your diet is packed with nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, and give your metabolism a jump start by adding Reliv nutrition to the mix. Give your body what it needs to stay healthy as you work toward weight loss goals.

Source:  https://drhyman.com/blog/2016/06/02/8-ways-nutrient-deficiencies-cause-weight-loss-resistance/

5 (Non-Food) Ways to Treat Yourself and Still Enjoy Fall Flavors

By Reliv Director of Marketing Erin Koch

The same thing happens every year at this time. Pumpkin spice everything floods my favorite grocery stores and coffee shops. Suddenly my healthy eating routine comes to a screeching halt (insert record scratch sound here). I practically run through the aisles trying not to look at the tempting treats that I swear sometimes leap into my cart by themselves. Pumpkin waffles. Pumpkin bagels. Pumpkin spice cereal. Pumpkin cream cheese—how did you get in my cart?! Are they trying to mess with my mind? Yes. Yes, they are.

Fall is my favorite season, so a couple of years ago I decided that I wouldn’t let pumpkin spice and everything not-so-nice ruin my healthy lifestyle. After all, I put in a pretty good effort to stay healthy year-round and I could survive a few weeks out of the year, couldn’t I? Well, not without a plan I couldn’t. So I came up with some clever ways to celebrate my favorite season by focusing on senses that didn’t always involve taste.

  1. Candles & Cinnamon Sticks. The smell of pumpkin spice, cinnamon and apples always fill my home this time of year. For a few bucks I pick up these little fall treats that have zero impact on my calorie count and still allow me to enjoy falls flavors.
  2. Campfire. There is just something about the sound of a crackling campfire that is just so warm and cozy on a crisp autumn night. It’s such a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors and look up at the night sky for some perspective (something I don’t do enough).
  3. Cozy Throw. After a long day, curling up on the couch with a cup of tea and a snuggly soft throw is definitely my idea of a slice of heaven.
  4. Clothes. There is nothing more fun than swapping out your clothes for the season. Whether you treat yourself to a new fall sweater or shop your closet (hey, I remember you from last year!), it’s always fun to change up your look.
  5. Coffee. This is my favorite way to indulge my sense of taste, so this is the one pumpkin spice treat I do reach for at the store. By brewing it myself at home and adding in a splash of coconut or almond milk, I’m saving a ton of calories and still enjoying an indulging fall pick-me-up.

Ok, now there is one other pumpkin spice treat I do allow myself to have this time of year. It’s Trainer Tina’s Pumpkin Pie shake and it’s pure bliss. Plus, it’s super healthy and not loaded with sugar like the ones from your local smoothie shop.

With this plan in hand, I’m much more prepared to handle the pumpkin spice season. Even if I do slip up and one little box of pumpkin spice cereal slips into my grocery bag, I don’t beat myself up too much about it. After all, it’s once a year and by treating yourself a little bit you’re much more likely to stick with your healthy lifestyle year-round. What are your favorite tips for treating yourself? Share in the comments below and happy fall y’all!

 

 

 

How Women’s Nutritional Needs Change

By Director of Product Development & Fit3 Trainer Tina Van Horn

There are so many quotes and social media tags promoting strong women, but the truth is, it takes a lot more than just a hashtag and a motivational quote for women to be authentic #bossbabes. I will be the first to admit that my strength has been built on the support of a tribe of amazing women that never let me give up on myself.

Taking On Roles

Not only does it take a great community to nourish your spirit, but also it takes intentional nutrition to fuel your girl power and help you meet the daily demands of being a mom, daughter, wife, friend, aunt, sister, student, athlete, caregiver, entrepreneur—Wonder Woman.

Wakeup Call

The funny thing is that while we are so busy wearing all of those hats and our own birthdays come and go without much fanfare, we often don’t realize how much our own nutrition needs change with age. We wake up one day, say around age 40, and realize that not only do we need to update our wardrobe but also it may be time to reevaluate some of our lifestyle habits.

Steady Change

It’s pretty obvious that our outward appearance changes with age, so we give up crop tops and skinny jeans. But, you may not be aware of the subtle changes that are happening on the inside. Hello hormones, right? Those sneaky little chemicals are responsible for the obvious and not-so-obvious changes that come without any warning. Lower levels of estrogen obviously affect reproductive health, but they also raise your risk for chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

If that wasn’t enough, it goes to work slowing down our metabolism. Combine that with the age-related loss of lean muscle mass because of waning testosterone levels (yes, ladies, we have testosterone, too) and you have the perfect storm for weight gain, especially around your belly. Women lose about half a pound of lean muscle per year starting around the age of 40.  And for the guys who are following along here, you don’t fare much better. Most men will lose about 30% of their muscle mass during their lifetime.

Choose Wisely

Pardon me while I step up on my soapbox and repeat myself very loudly! We naturally lose lean muscle mass as we age. That not only impacts our metabolism but also has a profound effect on our physical strength. You have two choices here: 

  1. Ignore and deny the changes, accepting the decline leading to weight gain and loss of functional abilities.
  2. Channel your inner boss and make the nutrition and lifestyle changes you need to stay strong, no matter how many birthdays you have celebrated.

Maintaining and building lean muscle absolutely requires attention to your diet. But that doesn’t mean you have to do anything absurd. Successful aging is still about following those basic diet principles that apply to any age and that are promoted through the Fit3 program:

  • Choose a variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, beans and peas, starchy and non-starchy.
  • Eat a variety of fruits.
  • Include grains in your daily diet. Half of your grains should be whole grains.
  • Reduce added sugars and avoid saturated fats.
  • Have protein at every meal/snack. Healthy protein includes lean meat (chicken), seafood, eggs, beans and peas, nuts, seeds, and soy products.
  • Use healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocados, and nuts.
  • Supplement daily with a quality core nutrition product to cover nutrient gaps.

Supplemental Material

Since our need for specific nutrients change as we go through different life stages, additional supplementation with targeted solutions is recommended to meet the unique needs for each individual and/or stage of life. During the teen years, girls need more calcium and vitamin D to build strong bones and support growth. Protein, iron, calcium and folic acid are critical for young women. Calcium, iron, B-vitamins and vitamin D are key to good health, stress relief and energy levels in women prior to menopause. After menopause protein, vitamin D, calcium, fiber and anti-oxidants combat age-related physical and cognitive decline.

Nutrition At Every Stage

Reliv’s core nutrition products in combination with the targeted solution formulas allow you to create a customized nutrition program to meet your unique needs during each stage of life, whether you are worried about pimples or wrinkles. Just remember that your daily regimen is likely to change along with your age. So even though 50 is the new 30, the regimen that worked for you when you were 30 might need some refreshing if you are approaching a different decade!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Your Daily Dose of Color

 

 

 

The summer produce season is at its peak in all its Technicolor glory. For better health, you should duplicate this happy color scheme on your plate. Studies suggest that nearly 80 percent of Americans are putting their health at risk by failing to eat a diet rich in specific colorful fruits and vegetables.

The colors of fruits and vegetables are a clue to the important phytonutrients each contains. Phytonutrients are powerful antioxidants that can help fight the damage caused to the body’s cells over time that can lead to premature aging and disease. Phytonutrients offer a wide range of health benefits from promoting eye, bone and heart health to supporting immune and brain function.

While health experts recommend you eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, you should also aim to eat two fruits or vegetables from each of the five color categories, too. 

Phytonutrient Color Categories:

Green: Dark green leafy vegetables are rich in lutein, among other phytochemicals. Others in this family are green beans, avocados, kiwi fruit, green peppers and honeydew melon.

Red: Tomatoes and tomato products, watermelon and pink grapefruit contain lycopene, which studies have shown reduces the risk of several types of cancer.

White: Onions (all kinds, including green onions), garlic, leeks, shallots, and chives contain compounds that protect DNA.

Blue/purple: Most of the berries, especially blueberries, as well as plums, red grapes, cranberries, and pomegranates are in this family that contain some of the most powerful antioxidants such as anthocyanins. Anthocyanins reduce inflammation, protect against cancer, and recent studies show positive effects in eyes, arteries, and brains.

Yellow/orange: Citrus fruits as well as peaches, nectarines, pineapple, and papaya are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids, another group of antioxidants that supports the immune system. Other foods rich in carotenes include carrots, pumpkin, mangos, apricots, cantaloupe and sweet potatoes. Carotenes help improve communication between cells as well as performing many of the same functions as other antioxidants.

Not all vegetables and fruits fit easily into families. Just look for the color. Other plant foods rich in various types of phytonutrients are nuts, seeds, and grains, beans, tea and dark chocolate.

All in all, good nutrition is all about colorful choices!