Monday, December 30, 2013

Tips for Keeping Your New Year Resolutions

It's that time again! What time do you say? Time to start making your New Year Resolutions! Recently, I was asked to make a resolution for a video. What did I say? Absolutely nothing. I don't know what "firm decision to do or not to do something" I want to make (Google definition). Sure there are things that I want to do or change; however, do I really need to wait until January 1st to do them? Why can't I just start now, or January 2nd? I feel like if I think about something I want to change or do, I should just start when I get the idea. I think of this epic resolution time as procrastination. "I'll start my diet in the new year; I'll be nicer in the new year; etc, etc. But this is just my opinion :)

Anyway, for those of you on the New Year Resolution boat, here are some tips to help you stick to the ones you choose. Whether your resolutions are for a weight loss or simply a healthier lifestyle, it is important to keep a few of these tips in mind.

Make Your Resolution Something You Truly Want! 
---Don’t just do what everyone else is doing; you may end up not fulfilling your true goals.

Start Small! 
---Make a list of long and short-term goals.
---It takes a lot of work to change a behavior, so small steps are important.
---Be specific as to what you want to accomplish to make your goals more attainable.

Pair Up! 
---If your resolution is to start exercising, join the gym with a friend or take a walk with a neighbor.
---This will also tie in with keeping you motivated.

Plan Ahead! 
---If you are trying to eat healthier, plan your meals so you won’t have to worry about snacking on unhealthy foods.
---If you are starting an exercise plan, set a time each week when you will you be exercising and stick to it.

Keep Track of Your Progress! 
---This will help you to stay motivated.
---It is certainly difficult to alter or change a behavior, so every bit of motivation will be beneficial.
---Also, you can look back at where you started and see how much progress you made.

Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself! 
---Don’t give up on yourself when you “fall off the wagon.” Think of these days as learning experiences.
---Also, you could think about ways you could handle them differently in the future.
---For example, if you know every Thursday there are cookies in the break room and you always eat multiple cookies, either don’t go in there on Thursdays, bring your own snack, or take one cookie and leave the room so you won’t overindulge.
---While it is important to be healthy, it is also important to be happy. Indulging every once in a while can help you to live a healthier lifestyle and not just “be on a diet.”

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What are Black Soybeans?

I've been hearing a lot about black soybeans in the news (This is mostly due to Dr. Oz's show). I wanted to do some investigating to see how good they really are.

What Are They?
Black soybeans are simply a variety of soybeans, which are seeds from a plant. I found it to be very interesting that mature, dried soybeans can be a variety of colors, including black, brown, and blue. Fresh, undried, soybeans are always green in color.

What Are The Health Claims?
"Eating black soybeans helps you to lose weight, easily, lower cholesterol, and fight inflammation."

What Does the Science Say?
The National Institute of Health's study shows that consumption of various beans may inhibit oxidative stress. Black soybeans showed the greatest improvement in risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. This study was only conducted on rats thus far. The most consistent effect of soybeans on blood fats has been a moderate lowering of LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Comparison to Regular Soybeans
Black soybeans have less calories, total fat, carbohydrates, and sugars. Regular soybeans, on the other hand, have more fiber and protein.

Health Benefits
Soybeans, in general, are a good source of Vitamin K, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Folate, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Fiber. Black soybeans, however, have a higher antioxidant content.

To sum it all up, all types of beans are a great choice for both a vegetable and protein source. Black soybeans have a slightly higher antioxidant content; however, it is not such a big deal if you eat regular soybeans in their place.

Final Bean Tips
-Throw some beans into a soup or stew for a protein boost.
-To use as a simple side dish, cook (sauté, stir-fry, boil, etc) and season with olive oil, onions, and garlic.
-Make "nuts" by roasting chickpeas in the oven. Mix 1 can of chickpeas with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Spread over a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Enjoy as a quick snack!