If you're striving to live a healthier life, starting the day off right can make the difference in achieving your goals for the day. It's not always easy to live a healthy life, but if you incorporate changes gradually, you'll affect your lifestyle in positive ways. Starting your day with healthy practices helps establish a healthy mindset for the rest of the day.
Implementing these healthy habits in the morning will invigorate you all day:
1. Get plenty of sleep the night before. Experts advise 7 to 8 hours of sleep nightly for your health.
2. Establish a routine to take care of your skin. Clean your face with facial soap or cleanser, apply a toner or astringent, and finish with your facial moisturizer.
4. Have a good breakfast. The possibilities for a healthy breakfast are varied:
5. Remember your vitamin! If your doctor recommends a vitamin supplement, after breakfast in the morning is usually an opportune time to take it. Taking your vitamin ensures you're doing what you can to get adequate vitamins and minerals.
6. Consider taking a morning walk either before or after breakfast. Exercising in the morning brings vitality to your day.
7. Write a short list of tasks you hope to accomplish. Being organized is another healthy way to start your day. Make it a ritual to sit down for a few minutes in your morning to gather your thoughts and make a plan for the day.
8. Take care of your teeth in the morning. So important to healthy living, brushing your teeth thoroughly is integral to good health and a great start to your day.
If you're trying to live a healthier life, you would do well to incorporate these habits into your mornings. Making changes in your lifestyle are best when introduced gradually. Keep your health goals foremost in your mind and these healthy habits will automatically have you starting your days with a smile.
Yes you should (end of post).
But what exactly is it about coconut oil that makes it so healthy? And which type is best?
Let’s dive into some of the fascinating research and find out.
Coconut oil is a special kind of fat
Coconut oil is fat and contains the same 9 calories per gram as other fats.
It is extracted from the "meat" of the coconut. Coconut oil is a white solid at room temperature and easily melts into a clear liquid on a hot day.
The idea of adding coconut oil to your diet is NOT to add on to what you already eat but to substitute it for some of the (possibly) less healthy fats you may be eating now.
And here’s why - Because not all calories or fats are created equal.
Coconut oil contains a unique type of fat known as “Medium Chain Triglycerides” (MCTs). In fact, 65% of the fat in coconut oil are these MCTs.
What makes MCTs unique is how your body metabolizes them; they're easily absorbed into the bloodstream by your gut, where they go straight to the liver, and they're burned for fuel or converted into "ketones."
This metabolic process, unique to MCTs, is what sets coconut oil apart from other fats.
Coconut oil MCTs may help with fat loss
Coconut oil’s MCTs have been shown to have a few different fat loss benefits.
First, it can help to increase feelings of fullness, which can lead to a natural reduction in the amount of food you eat.
Second, because of their unique metabolic route, MCTs can also increase the number of calories you burn; this happens when you compare the calories burned after eating the same amount of other fats.
In fact, a few studies show that coconut oil may increase the number of calories you burn by as much as 5%.
Third, some studies show that eating coconut oil can help reduce belly fat (a.k.a. “waist circumference”).
Just remember not to add coconut oil to your diet without reducing other fats and oils!
How much coconut oil should I eat?
Many of the studies that showed increased fullness, increased metabolism, and reduced belly fat only used about 2 tablespoons per day.
You probably don’t need any more than that.
What kind of coconut oil is the best?
There are so many coconut oil options available in grocery stores these days
that it can make it difficult to know which is best.
I recommend you stay away from "refined" ones, and opt for "virgin" coconut oil. That is because it is processed at lower temperatures and avoids some of the chemical solvents used in the refining process; this helps to preserve more of the oil's natural health-promoting antioxidants.
Pro Tip: Always (and I mean ALWAYS) avoid "hydrogenated" coconut oil. It can be a health nightmare because it contains the infamous "trans fats."
One thing you should also consider is that each oil has a specific high temperature that you should avoid surpassing (e.g. its "smoke point"). For virgin coconut oil, that temperature is 350F. That means you can safely use it on the stovetop on a low-medium setting, as well as in most baking.
Substitute some of the fat you eat with virgin coconut oil; this may help you to lose weight and belly fat by naturally helping you to eat less, as well as slightly increasing your metabolism.
Oh, and it tastes great too!
Recipe (Coconut Oil): Homemade Healthy Chocolate
⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup cocoa/cacao powder
4 tablespoons maple syrup
2 dashes salt
4 tablespoons slivered almonds
1. Melt coconut oil, and whisk in maple syrup, salt, and cocoa/cacao powder until smooth.
2. Stir in slivered almonds until evenly distributed.
3. Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze.
4. Store in fridge or freezer to avoid melting.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: Substitute other seeds, chopped nuts, or dried fruit instead of the almonds if you wish.
It's difficult to stay energized throughout the day. When so much is expected of you, it's no wonder that you may be seeking various methods to keep yourself pumped up.
You might start with an innocent cup of coffee, only to realize that down the road you need several cups to get you going and then some more to keep you going throughout the day. Then, when you try to stop, you get plagued with awful headaches.
Most energy drinks are unnatural and addicting. They're usually packed with sugar, too. When you drink them, you get that "sugar high," only to be followed by the inevitable crash. Then you need something else to pick you up. It's a frustrating cycle that repeats itself every day.
Your best bet is to turn to natural ways to increase your energy. By incorporating some simple strategies into your daily routine, you'll soon notice that you're waking up feeling refreshed and your natural energy keeps you going even on your busiest days.
Try some of the following ways to increase your energy naturally:
1.Exercise in the morning. Getting up early to exercise might sound dreadful. After all, you know how tired you feel in the morning and the idea of getting up even earlier and doing physical activity just seems downright insane. It's true that the first few mornings will be tough, and you may even feel like giving up altogether. But force yourself to give it a try.
2.Yoga. Yoga is an all-natural energy booster that's been around since ancient times. It's a series of stretches and body movements, called asanas, that you can practice at any time of day. Even if you start a yoga session tense and stressed, you'll end feeling calm, relaxed, and energized. See if you can find a local yoga class, or for a lower cost option, buy a yoga DVD.
3.Choose herbal supplements. Herbs are all-natural ways of boosting energy. With herbs, you'll never have to turn to the help of synthetic drugs. You can add herbs as ingredients in your foods or take them separately in supplement form.
4.Avoid crash foods. Your diet is extremely important when it comes to how you feel throughout the day. Some foods may increase your energy initially, but then they cause you to crash in the end. Anything with high sugar content will cause this roller coaster effect.
5.Get enough sleep. A necessary amount of sleep will be different from person to person, but most people need 6-8 hours of sound sleep for the best results. Not getting enough sleep is a huge factor in low energy levels.
6.Eat your breakfast. It's true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but unfortunately, it's the most popular one to skip. You may think that if you're not particularly hungry that it's better to skip this meal so you can eat more calories later. However, such thoughts play havoc with both your metabolism and your energy levels.
Bringing these strategies into your regular daily routine will enable you to feel more energized throughout the day. If using all of them entails too much of a lifestyle change, simply add them one by one. Sooner than you think, you'll be enjoying the benefits of an unending source of natural energy: YOU!