Happy New Year, LifeVest friends! We’re excited to kick off 2015 with you, and want to take the time today to help you create some healthy goals for the year ahead. Goal-setting is important for driving motivation and focus so you can stay on the path towards a healthy, happy you. As they say, New Year, New You. Determine the “you” that you want to become, and then set the goal(s) that will take you there. A dream written down becomes a plan you can achieve.
While resolution-making is a common New Year tradition – 40% of Americans will set one this month – we know getting started can often feel like a challenge. We’ve got some ideas for you below to help get the wheels spinning. Choose one, or use it to inspire your own goal-making for finding health and happiness this year. Let’s see those dreams to reality, together!
Your 3-step plan:
- Choose a goal.
- Make it specific. Perhaps your over-arching goal is to “lose weight” or “get healthy” or “be happier”. To make that objective achievable, break it down into smaller goals. Consider setting a different goal to focus on for each month of the year that will take you towards your larger goal.
- Write it down. Putting pen to paper is proven to make you more successful in actually achieving your plan.
Healthy Ideas to Get You Started: Read the rest of this entry »
Since 40+ million Americans eat pizza on any given day, we decided it’s time to turn one of the nation’s favorite junk foods into a meal with more merit. Your average slice packs in more fat, sodium and refined “bad” carbs than can ever be claimed healthy. Enter the deep dish arena and you run the risk of piling 770 calories onto your plate in just one slice. Yikes!
Luckily, pizza has the potential to be an award-winning meal if you power it up with the right ingredients and give its crust some care. In fact, it presents the perfect platform to load up on summer veggies, which you’ll see in many of the recipes included below. Let your mood and your meal help you choose which to try first!
8 recipes to power up your pizza:
Here on the East Coast, there is a small window where cucumber season meets tomato season. In those few weeks, us East Coasters rejoice in veggie heaven. The two were meant to mingle, table-side, with a fine bottle of olive oil and vinegar.
Together, the duo brings more than just the joys of Christmas colors to a white bowl. They also present a slew of vitamins and nutrients. In fact, tomatoes are one of the healthiest veggies (or fruit, by the technical definition) you can bring to your table, and we can attribute much of this to the noteworthy nutrient explained below.
- Loaded in lycopene: Tomatoes can thank lycopene for their beautiful red color, and we can thank lycopene for the cancer-fighting benefits it brings to our body. Lycopene is an antioxidant that lends yellow, red, and orange vegetables/fruits their colors, and has shown in studies to lower the risk of certain types of cancer (especially prostate, lung, and stomach cancers). As Dr. Edward Giovannucci, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, explains, “The shape of the lycopene molecule makes it very effective in being able to quench free radicals. We don’t really understand it entirely yet, but lycopene may have specific properties that protect the cell in a way other antioxidants may not.”
Our LifeVest communications guru Grace Dickinson shares with us some of her favorite ways to use asparagus so you need not ever get tired of the veggie.
One of my favorite things about spring is the abundance of fresh asparagus. It’s clearly the supermodel of its season, with constant growth spurts that enable its legs to grow as much as 10 inches in a 24-hour period. (I know a few prepubescent boys who would kill for that kind of overnight height.)
Luckily, this makes it rampant within gardens and ubiquitous across farmer’s markets all season long. The lanky green machine holds a robust array of antioxidants within its spears, and a whole lot of flavor, too. Asparagus’s nutrition profile gives the veggie a top ranking among other produce options for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. From high levels of vitamins A, C, E, and K, to containing 60% of the RDA for folic acid per 5 oz. serving, asparagus is a nutrient-dense veggie you’ll want to welcome to your dinner table. Fortunately, there’s always plenty of it to do just that. After the first few simple steams of the season, the key is finding new ways to use it so your dinner feels as fresh as the asparagus you add to it.
Growing up with a constant asparagus forest in my backyard, I’ve learned to take this vibrant veggie beyond my steamer basket and into the other depths of my kitchen. From breakfast to pesto to roasted avocado and asparagus tacos, below are 6 unique ways that’ll ensure asparagus will never tire out your taste buds.