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5 Ways to Set Healthy Grocery Shopping Habits

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Food and water. We desperately need these things to survive… yet with today’s accessibility to all things devilishly decadent and delicious, it’s just as easy to slowly erode ourselves with them instead. The definition of “too much of a good thing” turns tragic when we can’t seem to get out of our own way no matter how hard we try. If you’re jazzed with your shopping routine and daily food choices, then rest that weary brain of yours… this article isn’t for you. However, if you need a kick in the pants when it comes to the “healthy shopping habits” dance then lace up, partner! We’re about to go to grocery boot camp!

  1. Don’t Shop Hungry. This advice is going to be novel tovery few of you (but it’s still fresh enlightenment for someone!) yet its importance cannot be stressed enough. We’re starting with this one because it has the potential to knock the rest of this list off it’s axis in spectacular fashion.Shopping hungry can make your sensibility take a back seat as your sensational cravings confiscate the wheel and steer you towards all the things that would just be SO good right now. With your defenses down, hunger high and anything you could POSSIBLY want staring you smack dab in the face, our “alarm clock reasoning” chimes in. That’s the negotiation tactic we use in the morning when we convince ourselves hitting the snooze button five times in a row is OK. Your brain filters out what doesn’t haveto be done, then nixes some more “needs,” then a couple more… and you’re totally OK with it every time. Until you’re fully awake AND GO INTO ABSOLUTE PANIC MODE AND REALIZE YOU MADE A SERIES OF TERRIBLE MISTAKES.At that point, it’s too late. Shopping hungry brings that same beast to the surface in broad daylight, with zero shame, and fills your cart full of uninvited items that were never even on the list to begin with. Sure, they would be tasty… but stick to the plan.
  2. Blueprint Your Intention. That title is a just a fancy way of saying “make a shopping list,” but with a twist. Creating an itemized checklist of what you’re plunking your hard-earned dollars down on is important, but so is the intentionthat goes with it. Don’t just stop at strategizing for the store, game plan what you want to get out of your grocery bag.Are you trying to eat better for lunch or dinner? Are you ready to start eating breakfast in the mornings? Trying to shed some pounds? Attempting to put some on? Need to lower your cholesterol or increase your fiber? Got a big event coming up? Understanding your goals and taking a laser-focused approach to every aspect is going to maximize your efficiency whilst keeping you on track during one of the easiest points to derail: food shopping. Create the blueprint and drop the hammer to it.
  3. Cut the Sugar. Seriously, cut it. Get rid of it, the excess anyway. Naturally occurring sugars that show up in fruits, vegetables, dairy, and honey (to name the big ones) are good in proper moderation… but you’re hard-pressed to find an excuse good enough to add in extra processed sugar.Too much sugar fluxes your insulin, which is your “master hormone” in charge of shuttling carbohydrates, amino acids and fats into the cells of your body. Surplus sugar on a regular basis overworks your insulin like a factory worker putting in quadruple overtime, every day, without a break. Eventually the sugar-straw breaks the insulin-camel’s back. Your hormone regulating all those carbs, aminos and fatty acids literally can’t anymore. Your triglycerides are going to shoot through the roof, putting you at a much higher risk for heart disease. Your energy levels are perpetually abysmal when sugar is a constant. We could keep going, but the point has been sharpened.

    Need more insight? Check out “That Sugar Film!”

    Like Uncle Joey from “Full House” would say; Cut. It. Out.

  4. Play to Your Strengths and Plan for Your Weaknesses. If you’ve already got some health hits lined up in your arsenal that you’re routinely stoked about, then keep those as highlighted mainstays! It’s a major health trend to see how varied and exotic we can make our meals but let’s be real… Sometimes a simple salad, chicken and rice, hearty soup, basic sandwich, or boring ol’ eggs and oatmeal (for a few examples of the delightfully mundane) are not only great fallbacks to keep you kicking butt, but sometimes paramount in maintaining your sanity. You’ve got a million decisions to make and projects to take on all the time. Stick to your strengths and old faithfuls when applicable.On the flipside, you must “plan for your weaknesses.” If you’re the type where a single serving of chips is “the entire bag” and a proper portion of ice cream is a pint then you should plan avoid having those things in your home. If you know, no matter how hard you wish upon a star, breakfast is not on the menu, then you should probably plan a meal replacement powder or smoothie instead. If your crux is lunch and all the fantastically scrumptious options near your work, then you should probably pack a lunch.

    Flex your strengths, nix your vices and come out on top every time.

  5. Have Healthy Back-Ups. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. No matter how precise and motivated you are with your planning, Murphy’s law assures you somethingwill go wrong. It’s how we react to these hiccups that inevitably seals our fate of fortune which is why it’s good to have a safety net when your plan falls apart.Luckily, we’re alive at a time where there are a ton of health-focused frozen food options primed and ready to be your back-up. Another great methodology is figuring out which stores, restaurants, delis or cafés around you have options that fit your blueprint of intent for those times when you MUST stop somewhere for something quick. If you have those spots already orchestrated, then it takes the anxiety of the situation away while leaving you primed for prosperity.

Plan the work and work the plan. Happy grocery shopping!

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Health

How Foam Rolling Affects Your Body

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Foam rolling is a practice that’s becoming relatively mainstream in the fitness world, but not everyone understands what good it does your body. We’re breaking down the ins and outs of foam rolling to help you understand how your body (and muscles) will benefit!

Roll Out

Fascia, the biological fabric that holds us together, forms a sheath over our entire muscular system, a knot in one part of your body can eventually cause dysfunction in another area as your body tries to compensate at the site of the troubled area. When fascia binds up, the ability for glia to help transmit information to an area may be blocked, and pain is often redirected known as referred pain. Referred pain changes how coaches prescribe methods for recovery.

All of my client’s sessions end with at least 10 minutes of recovery via self-myofascial release using a foam roller. You can think of foam rolling like you think of brushing your hair. If you don’t brush your hair, it gets tangled. If we don’t roll out our muscles, they get adhesions.

Adhesions are just muscle fibers that get stuck together causing limited range of motion, improper muscle firing and aches and pains in the body. Our bodies are one big kinetic chain—we may have an adhesion in our calf that’s causing pain in our back. A balanced workout and recovery is key to creating a happy, healthy, mobile, pain free body.

Where to Find Foam Rollers

Hyperice uses vibration to stimulate the nervous system and provide relief in less time—and it actually feels good!

Get More Foam Rolling Info

Thomas W. Myers, the author of Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual & Movement Therapists, is arguably the leading expert on fascia in America. Myers has studied directly with experts including Drs. Ida Rolf, Moshe Feldenkrais, and Buckminster Fuller. He has been practicing integrative manual therapy for 40 years, leading him to create the most in-depth education programming for movement professionals.

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Health

Celebrating National Kidney Month with an Act of Kindness

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March is National Kidney Month which means kidney health is on our minds! Sitting just below the ribs, your kidneys perform the life-saving function of processing over 200 quarts of blood, daily. Think that’s impressive? That’s not all. Kidneys also produce plasma and serve as a filtration system for everything that we digest, from food to beverages–even medication. Without healthy kidneys, your body will become vulnerable to serious and life-threatening illnesses.

Close to Home

Not only because health and wellness is our passion, National Kidney Month holds a special place in our hearts thanks to Anytime Fitness owner Radley West and member Ryan Brooke. For two years, Ryan was kept alive thanks to the help of regular dialysis treatments. Due to a lack of viable donors within his family, Ryan was at the mercy of the waiting list for a new kidney–until Radley learned of his condition.

The Ultimate Act of Kindness

Together, Brooke and Ryan walked the halls of the hospital after surgery.

Radley immediately began exploring her viability to offer a kidney to her Anytime Fitness member in need. After continually passing eligibility tests, when she finally discovered she was a match–there wasn’t a shred of doubt in her mind about giving a kidney to Ryan. Radley says, “There was no decision if I was going do it; I always was, as long as I was compatible.”

Life After Surgery

Ryan and Brooke after their surgeries.

Despite misconceptions about life after kidney donation, both Radley and Ryan are thriving. Radley has ran multiple races post-donation while Ryan has been promoted and got engaged. The best part for Radley? Her new outlook inspired by the experience, “everyone tells me that I saved Ryan’s life, but in reality he saved mine by giving me the opportunity to truly value my gifts and talents and decide to fully put them to use.” Such an inspiring story!

Promoting Kidney Health

Your kidneys are important, so make sure to treat them well! Below are a few habits that help promote kidney health and keep your body working in sync.

  • Exercise regularly. High blood pressure is your kidney’s worst nightmare. Make sure to stay active and keep your blood pressure from skyrocketing.
  • Stay away from tobacco. Smoking also raises your blood pressure, putting you at risk for damaging your kidneys.
  • Keep hydrated. Your kidneys act as a filtration system for your body and water helps keep them functioning at their best.

Find out more on how you can promote kidney health from the Cleveland Clinic, here.

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Exercise

6 Easy Ways to Stay Healthy This December

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The last month of the year is always busy. From shopping, to school events, parties and celebrations, our to do list is typically miles long and full of things to do for others. While it may not seem like you can add one more thing, take a look at our list of important health items that focus on one very important person you may be neglecting: YOU!

Remember, if you take time to care for yourself, you just might find you’ll have even more energy to go around.

You can print this list for your refrigerator, desk at work, or just to carry with you. 

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1. Pick 10 days to exercise 

After entering in your important events and ‘due dates’ for December, strategically place 10 workouts throughout the month.

Of course, you can always add in additional workouts if you end up having the time, but if you go ahead and mark the days you know you can fit it in, you can aim to keep the time in your schedule to stay on track with your workouts.

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2. Get to the mall and shop

Yes, shopping online makes gift giving much easier! But, getting out for a little holiday shopping will not only help you ‘get in the spirit’, but it will also help add activity to your day.

Park farther from the stores, make multiple trips back to the car to unload packages, and take the stairs to make the most of your time.

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3. Make grocery shopping a priority

With so much to do and so many social invitations that center around food, we tend to get out of the habit of weekly grocery shopping trips. Stick to your typical grocery store trips and make sure to make a list before you go.

Avoid the holiday treats display and stick to the outside perimeter of the store. Stock up on fruits, vegetables, healthy snacks and beverages to help you stay on track with your healthy eating. Be sure to have quick, healthy meals on hand for those days that cooking just seems like too much!

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4. Go to the doctor

Don’t forget, your flex spending dollars will be expiring soon! December is a great month to get annual doctor’s appointments out of the way.

Schedule a physical for the middle or end of the month. You’ll be surprised how the looming appointment might make you think twice before you skip the work out or have that second glass of egg nog!

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5. Stock up on water

During this busy time of year, it’s easy to get out of the habit of drinking water throughout the day. With the colder weather, extra adult beverages on the menu and less sleep than usual, water can be your secret weapon to staying healthy.

Buy bottles of water or prep and store water bottles in the fridge so they are easy to grab and go. Pre-cut your lemons or limes, or experiment with new flavored carbonated water to keep it interesting.   

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6. Enjoy your coffee or tea

Each week, earmark at least one morning that you’ll sit by the fire, turn the Christmas tree lights on, and just sit for 10-15 minutes and leisurely enjoy your cup of coffee. Turn on some tunes or sit quietly and just relax. With all the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to forget the reason for the season if we don’t take a few minutes here and there to truly relax.


Download the December Health To-Dos

Happy Holidays!

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