So Many Benefits To Eating Vegan

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So Many Benefits To Eating Vegan

So Many Benefits To Eating Vegan

By Barbara J. Kinney BSN, RN

With a large number of people being swept up into the ideas of a greener lifestyle it is no wonder that many people are turning Vegan as well.  For the vast majority of people a Vegan lifestyle is aligned to going back to the old ways, which is also considered much healthier.  If you are still not sure whether the idea of a Vegan lifestyle is perfect for you there are several things that you should thoroughly consider first.  If you are just rushing out to get a healthy lifestyle without considering all of the benefits of eating Vegan you could be in for a rather alarming surprise.

Many people discover Vegan eating through their quest to eat healthier.  By doing this it is possible to find a healthier lifestyle and ensure that you are getting the biggest benefits for not only yourself but also the environment.  Many environmental groups claim that Vegan is the ultimate way to go green with your eating habits.  In many ways, they are very correct and because of this, many people are turning to a Vegan lifestyle like never before.  While many people might only claim to live a truly green lifestyle, those who are eating Vegan as well are really living the lifestyle instead of just talking it.

Other benefits to eating Vegan is the decrease in blood sugar levels.  This is something that is extremely beneficial for diabetics because it can substantially lower the need to use insulin and other medications to control blood sugar levels.  However, if you are being treated by a doctor for any reason you should talk to your doctor before changing your diet significantly to ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients and benefits that you really need.  Making changes without talking to your doctor could have devastating consequences and will only take a few minutes of your time to ensure that you stay as healthy as possible.

People who avoid eating meat are also often able to lose weight much faster.  Many of the reasons for this is due to the increase in fruits and vegetables, as well as the decrease in calories and fats.  Plus many of the fruits and vegetables that are common in a Vegan diet also assist in weight loss due to their negative calorie effect.  While this is not a huge benefit for all people, it is something that can be a massive help if you are trying to lose weight.  Of course, working to eat only fresh fruits and vegetables as opposed to highly processes foods will help to really maximize the negative calorie impact.

A Vegan diet also has a huge perk of providing a substantially lower fat content to your diet as well.  Consuming excessive amounts of dairy products as well as meats tends to be closely accompanied by fat; by omitting substantial amounts of fat from your diet, you can make some substantial differences to not only our physical health, but also make great improvements to lower your weight.  This can provide you with ample reasons to lower your intake of meat if you have been struggling to actually manage your weight.

A final benefit is that you are consuming far more fruits and vegetables on a Vegan diet.  This has been considered good because it provides a great source of energy all during the day.  Foods such as meats tend to be extremely low on carbohydrates, while being much higher on protein.  While protein is an essential part of your diet it can take much longer to digest, which will allow you to pack on weight faster and have lower energy levels.  If you are instead looking to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables that you consume you will find that your energy level will go up significantly.  However, you should still ensure that you are consuming ample protein to fully protect your system and receive all of the nutrition that you need.

For more information on transitioning into a vegan diet, Go to www.barbarajkinney.com/ebooks

 

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Why Sugar Matters

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Why Sugar Matters

Why Sugar Matters

by Barbara J. Kinney BSN, RN

There are many factors that go into weight loss. Of those many factors, one very important and critical factors is the type of sugar you choose to use each day. You may be wondering why this is important and the simple answer is the glycemic index.

The glycemic index is a relative ranking of carbohydrates in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Sugar is a carbohydrate. So are fruits, veggies, and breads.

Not all carbohydrates are equal and this an important factor that many do not understand. Carbohydrates with a low glycemic index value are more likely absorbed, digested, and metabolized while causing a lower and slower rise in blood glucose. this means that they are less likely to cause fat storage in the body because excess glucose turns into fat.

Based on the chart to the right, you can see why brown rice is better than white rice and why whole wheat bread is better than white. While the caloric intake of both is similar, their glycemic index is much different and this make a huge impact on ability to lose weight.

In the next chart, you can also see why white sugar and high fructose corn syrup are terrible choices. Remember, high fructose corn syrup is commonly found in juices and sodas. While on your journey to losing weight, your best options are stevia and agave.

This doesn't mean an occasional serving of honey is bad or an occasional serving of white rice is going to make you gain weight. It just means to exercise control and keep higher glycemic index items in moderation. However, it is a great idea to stay clear of higher glycemic index foods and sugars while on the journey to lose weight in order to prevent these factors from working against your efforts.

Remember, this is key to weight loss so make changes as needed if you are using sweeteners with higher glycemic indexes.

For more info on tips that help you SLAY, go to www.sweatandslaystudio.com and click on Slayspiration.

 

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Oh Water!

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Oh Water!

Oh Water!

by Barbara J. Kinney BSN, RN

Water makes up about 60% of your body composition. Every system in your body depends on water to function. Water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provides a moist environment for tissues in your body. Water is also a medium for various enzymatic and chemical reactions in the body, such as metabolism.

A major factor in the weight loss process is your intake of water. We tend to focus mostly on diet and exercise, but your water intake is one of the major keys that can transform your body and help you lose weight. Water improves and maintains healthy skin, hair, and nails too.

Did you know that your body gives you the same cues when you are thirsty as it does when you are hungry? Many people confuse the feeling of thirst with being hunger, leading them to overeat unnecessarily. Tip: When you feel hungry, drink a glass of water first. Before meals, drink a glass of water first. This will help you decrease the tendency of overeating related to thirst.

How much water should you drink? It is recommended that you drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. Certain activities deplete your water storage and require you to modify your water intake by consuming more. Increase your water intake depending on your exercise regimen, environmental conditions, illness or health conditions, and pregnancy or breast-feeding.

So, if you aren't drinking enough water, start today. Infuse your water with fruit to give it a splash of flavor if needed. But whatever you do, drink, drink, drink!

 

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Protein: What's the Big Deal?

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Protein: What's the Big Deal?

Protein: What’s the Big Deal?

Written by Barbara J. Kinney BSN, RN

Protein is an essential nutrient found in every part of your body. Your muscles, your cells, your blood, your everything has protein in it. It is one of the most abundant substances found in your body, next to water. Protein has a basic function to build, maintain, and repair body tissues.

Whether you prefer chicken, fish, beans or whatever else you like that is dense in protein; all of these options will help you live a healthy lifestyle. They help you manage a healthy weight and protect your muscle tone, as you get older.

When you consume protein dense foods, your body breaks the food down into smaller particles called amino acids. These amino acids are used to build cells and tissues throughout your body as needed. This is important to understand because when you don’t have enough protein from your diet, your body will pull protein by breaking down and harvesting amino acids from the muscle in order to maintain more vital organs, like the brain. Therefore, not consuming enough protein can work against you. Protein builds muscle and muscle is the primary calorie burning tissue, meaning the more muscle you have versus fat, the more calories you will burn during cardio.

Protein, like fiber, also helps keep you fuller longer. This will aid in weight loss because you will be less likely to snack on foods that you do not need and while most Americans get more than enough protein, they are not necessarily choosing the lean options. Remember, calories from protein still count, so do not go overboard.

Top 4 protein dense foods:

1.      Eggs (use sparingly due to cholesterol content)

2.      Soy protein, found in soybeans

3.      Casein protein, found in milk

4.      Animal protein (keep it lean!)

Top 4 plant based proteins:

1.      Quinoa (rich in nutrients, 14% protein, and contains all of the essential amino acids)

2.      Chia seeds (21% protein)

3.      Hemp (up to 47% protein, rich in phytonutrients)

4.      Chlorella (up to 58% protein)

The recommended daily allowance for women is 46 grams per day and for men it is 56 grams per day. Make sure to spread this out over the course of a day to utilize it at maximum capacity.

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The Difference Between Weight Loss and Fat Loss. Why is this important?

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The Difference Between Weight Loss and Fat Loss. Why is this important?

The Difference Between Weight Loss and Fat Loss. Why is this important?

Written by Barbara J. Kinney BSN, RN

Did you know that losing weight and losing fat are two different concepts? I bet you’ve never thought of it this way. Most people believe losing weight and losing fat is one in the same, but it is not!

 Both weigh the same, but muscle takes up less space. So, don't fret over the scale because you may be killing fat and gaining muscle!

Both weigh the same, but muscle takes up less space. So, don't fret over the scale because you may be killing fat and gaining muscle!

When you lose weight, you are losing a little bit of everything including fat, muscle, and body fluids. There are even products out there that are targeting your body fluids as a means of weight loss to make you feel like they are effective. Sorry, these are not. The key to healthy living is to target fat loss, not weight loss. So, the question is how do you do this.

1.      Cardio: Any movement that gets your heart rate up and increases blood circulation throughout your body is cardio. When your body is moving, you need more energy, resulting in burning calories, which leads to fat loss.

2.      Resistance Training: It is a myth that women do not need resistance training. You will not bulk up; instead, you will tone muscles creating the lean look you are going for. The best part is that resistance training increases muscle tone, thereby increasing metabolic rate, thereby increasing fat loss. Yes, fat loss!

3.      Diet: Diet is key to fat loss. Sorry, but eating mac & cheese every day is not going to get you to your goals. Eliminate snacks and sugary foods. Eat a diet rich in protein (which helps build lean muscle) and lean meats. The key is to eat foods that help you reach your goals, but do not add to muscle loss.

4.      The Scale: No, the scale is not always perfect. You can easily jump on a scale one week a part and see a decrease in weight, but this does not tell us if that weight was fat loss or overall loss that includes muscle. The idea is to target fat and keep muscle, so what to do? Have your body fat percentage calculated and utilize this as a part of your weight loss plan. Recheck at intervals that makes sense for you.  Remember that both fat and muscle can weigh the same, but muscle takes up less space. So, don't fret over the scale because you may be killing fat and gaining muscle!

The key here is to focus on fat loss and not weight loss. You can lose a ton of weight and still have a high fat content on your body. Get your body fat measured and spend less time obsessing over the scale AND remember that healthy balanced diets, cardio, and resistance training will get you to your goal!

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Benefits of Hip Hop Cardio

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Benefits of Hip Hop Cardio

If you love Zumba, you will love Hip Hop cardio. Why? They are very similar. Think about it. Both have awesome music, fun and energetic trainers, fun but doable dance moves, and the ability to jam it out with your workout peers/friends.

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6 tips for the Holiday Season

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6 tips for the Holiday Season

6 Tips for the Holiday Season

As we enter the last week of December, many of us tend to endure an abundance of eating and a lack of exercise. While the holidays are a time of celebration, it is not a time to put on extra weight, causing us to work harder in January to work it off.  So, what can you do now to start your New Year’s Resolutions to be fit and healthy?

Tip #1: Portion control.

Pay attention to how much you are eating. Don’t load up your plate, don’t overeat, and don’t go back for seconds. Eat enough to make you full and satisfied without overdoing it. But if you are really hungry, load up on veggies. Eat more greens and less mac & cheese.

Tip #2: Don’t Completely Deprive Yourself.

Look, we all love holiday baked goods and boozy Holiday parties. Have a cookie or a piece of cake. If you completely deprive yourself, it will just make you want it more. Then out of nowhere, you’ve eaten a whole plate of cookies. Remember, portion control is key. Eat just 1 cookie, not 5. Eat just 1 slice of cake, not 2. Get the idea?  

Tip #3: Hydrate!

Drink plenty of water. You should be drinking eight, 8-oz glasses of water each day. Suprisingly, if you drink enough water, you may feel less hungry and less likely to overindulge. A great tip is to fill up a 64-oz water jug in the morning and finish it off by the end of the day.

Tip #4: Watch your alcohol intake.

A glass of wine or a cocktail is perfectly fine. As a matter of fact, drink a glass of eggnog! Just remember that these drinks can be loaded with calories, hence the need for portion control, and they can lower your inhibitions, increasing your likelihood of overindulging. So, 1 and done is a good way to keep this under control.

Tip #5: Prepare a healthy alternative to your favorite dish.

Use the internet to help you find recipes that are delicious and healthy. There are plenty of alternative options out there, right at your fingertips. From cheesecake, chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon rolls, to mac & cheese – there are healthier recipes out there just for you to try!

Tip #6: Get Moving!  

Don’t skip out on physical activity! It is recommended that you get at least 30 minutes of cardio at least 3 times per week and the holiday season is no exception. Try taking a brisk walk after lunch or dinner and take your family and children with you. An easy tip is to find the best neighborhood with Christmas lights and walk around the neighborhood together, enjoy the lights, and get your cardio in at the same time.

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Tips on How To Maintain the Slay

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Tips on How To Maintain the Slay

Tips on How To Maintain the Slay

Author: Destani Cooksey

A common excuse for ladies not to work out is their hair. After paying an abundance of money to get their hair washed, dried, and styled, who would want to sweat it out? Yes, this excuse is understandable but it is time to let it go. Ladies, we cannot keep our hair from letting us get in shape and SLAYING the world. Yes, a vigorous workout can and will leave you drenched in sweat, but taking a few precautions before you workout can help you avoid your hair getting drenched with you.

As High as Possible

  1. You MUST get your hair off of your neck before you begin your workout. Use an elastic ponytail holder to put your hair up in a high pony or bun. Doing this will give your hair less of a chance to cling to your sweaty body after you work out. This will also eliminate your hair from being in your face while you work out.

   Wrap It Up

  1. Wear a wrap to keep hair in place and out of the way. It may not be the cutest look you have ever rocked, but the only women at the gym wanting to look cute aren’t there to put in work. Nicole Ari Parker’s GymWrap is highly recommended. This wrap comes in many different colors. Just wait until you have cooled down to take it off and you're set.

   Use Some Product

  1. Put a drop of an anti-frizz product on your ends to keep them smooth. This will maintain your hair while you are working out.

   Fight The Fly Aways!

  1. Don’t be afraid of bobby pins! You do not want any loose hair to be in your face while working out, this will cause you to become frustrated and the hair will become soiled with sweat.

   Nightly Routine

  1. Before going to bed wrap your hair tightly with a satin scarf. This will help your hair avoid breakage, keep it bouncy, and maintain your SLAY.

 

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African Americans are Disproportionately at Greater Risk for Obesity and Chronic Illnesses

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African Americans are Disproportionately at Greater Risk for Obesity and Chronic Illnesses

African Americans are Disproportionately at Greater Risk for Obesity and Chronic Illnesses

Author: Barbara Kinney, BSN, RN

Physical fitness is imperative to the African American family for many reasons, of which are most important are the increased risk for obesity and chronic disease associated with sedentary lifestyles and improper nutrition. The numbers don't lie and are very alarming! Among adults, 35.9% of all adults are obese! However, in the African American community obesity is a whopping 47.8% and more than 75% are at a minimum overweight. Needless to say, there is a huge disparity among African American adults when it comes to obesity and health needs and they are substantially at higher risk for chronic illnesses and death. Among the 47.8% of African American, women are grossly disproportionately obese with 37.1% of African American men compared to 56.6% of African American women being obese. Comparably, rates of obesity for White women is at 32.8%.

Why is this important? Obesity is the number one cause of chronic illness and death, including heart disease, diabetes type 2, and cancers. The rates of heart disease and stroke are twice as high among African Americans than Whites. More than 80% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight and African Americans are twice as likely compared to Whites to have diabetes. 

We need to get moving and we must make sure we set an example of healthiness and fitness for the next generation. If you are like me, you have goals and aspirations to attend to. This means you don't have time to worry about being ill or sick. Isn't it easier to prevent chronic disease? The easiest way to prevent health problems is to engage in physical activity and eat a balanced diet. Obviously, some illnesses are not preventable and some things we cannot prevent. However, the majority of obesity cases are a result of inactivity and improper nutrition and the majority of chronic disease is a result of preventable obesity. Do you want to wait until you are fighting chronic illness to take care of yourself or do you want to prevent unnecessary illness? You decide. 

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WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE INDOOR CYCLING?

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WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE INDOOR CYCLING?

WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE INDOOR CYCLING?

Author: Barbara Kinney, BSN, RN

I find that I spend quite a bit of time discussing physical fitness and nutritional strategies as a cornerstone to preventative health in the community. I admit, I do get frustrated at times when I hear all of the excuses as to why someone CAN’T exercise. The truth is that many people are comfortable living sedentary lives and do not see the benefit of cardiovascular activity. But, as a registered nurse who has seen what chronic illness does to the body, I can attest that it is crucial to stay active, maintain a healthy weight, and do our best eating a nutritionally balanced diet. You need to know that MOST chronic diseases are a result of obesity, lack of physical fitness, and poor food choices. So, why did I choose Indoor Cycling?

1.      Burn Calories

Did you know that one session of Indoor Cycling can burn on average 500 calories? That’s right, you can SLAY 500 calories! So, what other exercise can you do in 30-45 minutes that will burn that many calories in one session?

2.      Time Flies When You Are Having Fun

Yeah, Indoor Cycling is actually fun! As you follow along in the session, the atmosphere with the lighting and music along with the instructor creating a fun upbeat mental distraction, literally forces the time to pass like minutes. In fact, the energy inside the studio can be so electrifying that you will begin to feed off the energy of the other riders when you begin to feel fatigued and will find that working out in a group will inspire you to SLAY your fitness goals even more.

3.      Cycle at Your Own Pace

So, here is the deal. You have taken other group fitness classes, and everyone can see when you miss a step or get off track. It can be very embarrassing, right? Well, in an Indoor Cycling class, the lights are low and everyone is grooving and moving to the beat on their cycles, so nobody seems to notice if someone else is cycling at a slower pace or is off beat. You can never feel out of place for not knowing the steps to the routine, because there aren’t any!

4.      Indoor Cycling is Low Impact

That’s right, Indoor Cycling is a low impact exercise, which makes it different from treadmill, elliptical, stair stepper, and plain out running on concrete. The traumatic impact on the knees experienced from these other methods of exercise is virtually non-existent when Indoor Cycling. Not only does Indoor Cycling prevent injury, it is actually used in rehabilitation for injuries. It is also a great workout for people suffering from arthritis.

5.      Achieve a Toned Body

Not only does Indoor Cycling help you achieve your weight loss goals due to the amount of calories you SLAY per session, you can also gain toned legs and abs! That’s right, Indoor Cycling uses large muscle groups in your legs including your thighs, hamstrings, and calves. Plus, you will feel and see your entire body begin to tone up over time, including your ABS!

6.      Improve Cardiovascular Health

Indoor Cycling includes both endurance and cardiovascular training, so the heart health benefit is more than obvious.

7.      Mental Health

Indoor Cycling helps to lower anxiety levels as you feel the natural endorphins kick in during and after your session. Every day that you include Indoor Cycling into your regimen, you will feel better and have more energy to SLAY your day and tackle the long to-do-list most of us have to complete.

So, tell me again why you CAN’T exercise. It is time to take charge of your health. OWN it! Decrease your risk for chronic illness! Decrease anxiety! Decrease obesity! Increase your quality of life! SLAY YOUR FITNESS GOALS AND HAVE FUN DOING IT!

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