Healthy You

This page is LOADED with awesome Health Tips I hope you all can appreciate and learn something from.  I’m always adding new info so make sure to check back frequently or subscribe to the Fitssential Living newsletter by clicking the “SUBSCRIBE” tab at the top of the page.  

Vitamin B
So VITAMIN B unlike vitamin C or E, isn’t a single vitamin.  It’s made up of a bunch of vitamins that are called the B vitamins, or the vitamin B complex.
The B vitamins work together to increase your metabolism and energy, and decrease stress, depression and heart disease. A lack of vitamin B in your diet will leave you feeling so tired that you can’t function properly, as well as make your mouth and tongue red, swollen and cracked– no fun!
Meet the B Vitamins:


  • B1 (Thiamine) – Helps metabolize carbohydrates into glucose. Found in whole-grain cereals, bread and brown rice.
  • B2 (Riboflavin) – Breaks  down carbs, fats and protein. Sources include milk eggs and cheese.
  •   B3 (Niacin) – Lowers cholesterol and keeps skin healthy.  Found in protein-rich foods such as fish, eggs, meat and potatoes
  • B5 (Pantothenic Acid) – Keeps your central nervous system healthy and fights allergies and fatigue. Found in meats, legumes and whole-grain cereals.
  •   B6 (Pyridoxine) – Like B2, B6 breaks  down carbs, fats and protein. Also helps produce red blood cells. Found in avocados, bananas, soybeans and fish.
  •   B7 (Biotin) – Keeps your hair and nails healthy. Good sources include cauliflower, mushrooms, oatmeal and rice.
  •  B9 (Folic Acid) – Important for pregnancies cuz it protects against birth defects. Found in leafy, green veggies, orange juice, whole grains and beans.
  •  B12 (Cyanocobalamin) – Helps make all the blood cells in your body to prevent anemia a blood disorder that makes you feel weak and tired.  Rich sources of B12 include meat (especially liver and shellfish), poultry, egg yolk and milk. 


**To keep toxins moving through the colon the average adult needs to eat 25-30 grams of fiber daily. Whole fresh fruits and vegetables are
excellent sources of fiber. Try eating more of these High Fiber Super-Stars!!


Interesting WATER Facts:

drink water

One glass of water shuts down the midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.

The lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen , or on a printed page.

Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated; this likely applies to half the world population.

In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as much as 3%.

Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.


Stressed? Try eating Sunflower or Pumpkin Seeds!

sunflower seeds

If you’re a stressed eater, try sunflower or pumpkin seeds.   They are lots of chewing and not many calories.  Just don’t spit the seeds on the floor 🙂  

What’s up with WATERMELON!?!


Watermelon is a natural diuretic.  It has more Lycopene than tomatoes. Lycopene has been shown to aid in protecting against certain caners.  Watermelon has also ben helpful in alleviating depression!  Eat up some watermelon this summer!!!!

What items you should ALWAYS buy ORGANIC!

what to buy organic 2

Buying organic produce will help you avoid ingesting pesticides.  Thin-skinned fruits and veggies have  higher levels of pesticides in them.  If possible, buy orgranic peaches, apples, strawberries, pears, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, cherries, lettuce, and grapes to reduce pesticide ingestion.


Add a Little SPICE to your Diet!!! 


If you love hot spicy food, you’ll be glad to learn that eating spicy food can actually raise your metabolism and burn fat!!!! 
Studies from 1986 until now have shown that you may burn more calories when you eat spicy foods such as chili, hot peppers, or mustard with a meal.
The fat-burning effect can last up to a few hours after eating spicy food, meaning you may be burning additional fat stores during this time.  A study in 2007 that was published in The Journal of Obesity  found that participants in a double-blind weight loss trial who took supplements containing spicy extracts lost more weight than those who took the placebos.  Spicy foods can stimulate body temperature and circulation, which can induce sweating and raise metabolism.  Another plus to eating spicy foods– Eating spicy foods may naturally limit food intake.  Eating spicy foods can increase your feeling of satiety and prevent you from overeating.  The spicy food leaves a burning sensation in your mouth.  Many people wait until that “fire” in their mouth is put out before eating anymore of the spicy food.  By the time the stomach had a chance to communicate a feeling of fullness to the brain which decreases hunger signals.  
**People who should avoid spicy foods include people who suffer from chronic heartburn, people who have ulcers, or other intestinal problems.  

10 Snacks for a Sweet Tooth!

sweet tooth 2

Craving something sweet?!?! Choose one of these low cal sweet alternatives to satisfy that craving if need be!!

1. 2 Fig Newtons (110 calories)

2. 1/2 cup Total cereal with 1/2 cup non-fat milk and 10 raspberries (125 calories)

3. 1/2 cup sliced strawberries with 1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt (100 calories)

4.  Frozen fruit bar (110 calories- check label)

5.  Baked apple:  Core medium apple; mix 1/4 cup cooked brown rice with cinnamon and  1 tablespoon raisins and stuff into the center of the apple.  Bake @ 350 degrees until tender (150 calories)

6. Lindt chocolate ball (70 calories)

7. Fudgsicle (100 calories)

8. 1/2 cup sorbet made with real fruit (look for brands with 100 calories per 1/2 cup)

9. Whaguru Chew (150 calories- available @ natural food stores)

10.  1/2 cup pudding, low-fat (100 calories)

OR!  Have a Shakeology Shake!! See the recipes under my Shakeology tab.

Order Shakeology at:

Curb your hunger BEFORE and BETWEEN Meals!

cucumber carrots celery

Snack on low calorie, high water content veggies, such as greens, carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers!

Top 10 Superfoods


10 Foods to EAT EAT EAT!
1.       Tomatoes- Tomatoes contain lots of vitamins A and C and lycopene.  Lycopene is a plant chemical that helps protect our bodies against cancer and our skin against UV damage that be caused by the sun.  Lycopene is concentrated when tomatoes are cooked.  When cooking tomatoes use a small amount of oil to increase lycopene absorption by the body.
2.      Bell Peppers- These are low in calories and loaded with anitoxidants.  One whole bell pepper contains only 30 calories and twice you daily requirement of vitamin C.
3.      Avocado- Good fats like those found in avocado help your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins.  Avocados contain a plant chemical called lutein, which is stored in the maculae of your eyes and promotes eye health.  A 1 ounce serving of avocado has 50 calories.
4.      Beans and other Legumes- The legume family is a powerhouse that includes beans, peas, peanuts, and lentils.  These are all excellent sources of fiber.  They are also rich in folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, and antioxidants.  Their high protein and complex carbohydrate profiles provide steady energy that lasts for hours.  A daily serving of cooked beans may lower blood cholesterol by as much as 18%.  Beans also contain prebiotics.  Prebiotics are nutrients that are used by specific strains of bacteria.  When prebiotics are added to a diet they increase the chances of beneficial bacteria growth in the intestines.  Lentils are often underestimated.  They are loaded with vitamins, nutrients, protein and fiber.  They take only 20 minutes to cook and are an excellent, inexpensive form of protein.  A half cup of cooked lentils contains 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber.
5.      Wild salmon and other cold-water fish- Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids.  These are essential fats that are not produced by our bodies.  Omega-3’s are crucial for brain function, healthy skin and hair, and a well-tuned cardiovascular and nervous system.  Omega-3’s are also found in seaweed, watercress, flaxseed, walnuts and almonds.  The plant form takes longer to convert to the active form of fat our bodies need, so cold-water fish are the best sources of Omega-3.
6.      Lean Protein- Lean proteins contain micronutrients (such as calcium, iron, selenium, and zinc) that are essential not only for bone formation and nerve transmission, but also for fighting cancer, forming blood cells, and keeping our immune systems robust.  Lean proteins aid in repairing tissue, building and preserving muscle and making important enzymes and hormones.
7.      Whole Grains- The grain family includes barley, corn, millet, oats, brown rice, rye and wheat.  Whole grains offer protein, B vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and antioxidants that help protect against heart disease, some cancers, obesity, and diabetes.
8.      Greek-style yogurt- Greek-style yogurt is strained more than typical American style yogurts, which removes more of the yogurt’s watery whey.  Since whey is mostly carbohydrate (with a small amount of protein), the strained yogurt contains less carbohydrates and more protein.  One cup of plain fat-free Greek yogurt has approximately 100 calories, 5 grams of carbohydrates, and 20 grams of protein.  One cup of American style yogurt contains approximately 100 calories, 19 grams of carbohydrate and 10 grams of protein.
9.      Berries- All fruits are excellent sources or nutrients, but berries are especially nutritious.  Fresh berries can give your memory a boost as well as protect your body against cancer and heart disease.  Berries contain antioxidants such as anthocyanin, which has triple the power of vitamin C and is known to block cancer causing damage and the effects of many age-related diseases.  If you are watching your weight, fresh berries are better than dried.  The water of the fresh berries makes them more filling and the vitamins are at their peak when they are freshly picked.  Strawberries as well as oranges are excellent in terms of providing vitamin C.  They are both a great immunity booster.  Other great choices are blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
10.   Nuts and Seeds- Most of the calories in nuts comes from fat, but our bodies need these fats.  In conjunction with a diet containing fresh fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains, nuts provide protection from heart disease and help reduce blood pressure.  All varieties of nuts are high in protein.  Sesame seeds are an excellent source of calcium and heart healthy fats.  They contain several forms of Vitamin E which are believed to play a role in the prevention of aging-related diseases such as heart disease and cancer.



Are you aware of all the awesome health benefits cinnamon has??

Studies have shown that cinnamon has anitfungal, anitbacterial, and antiparasitic properties.  It also has anti-inflammatory properties.  Cinnamon may also help people with Type 2 Diabetes control blood sugar. It may significanlty lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides (fatty acids in blood). It is also a great source of dietary fiber, iron, and calcium.  Doctors have also conducted studies that showed that smelling cinnamon actually improves memory and performance on certain tasks.

I substitute my cream in my coffee with cinnamon each morning.  It’s just the right thing to make my coffee taste flavored and I cut back on the calories cream adds to my coffee!

Try it out!!

Make a Weekly Meal Plan!


Planning will help you avoid the trap of impulsive food buying.  Pre-plan a well-balanced diet containing lots  of healthy and clean foods.

This also helps alleviate stress and keeps you from  grabbing a quick meal when you are busy.

I personally have recipe cards that I alternate  throughout my week for dinners.

I find healthy recipes and commit to only eat  those for my dinners.

I select the recipe cards and put them in order Sunday-Saturday.

Craving a Snack? GO NUTS!!

Eating one or two ounces of nuts daily is associated with reductions in heart disease and cancer risk.  A recent study out of Harvard University shows that eating nuts is associated with lower body weights. So what are the healthiest nuts to snack on? Let’s find out!

1. WALNUTS- (185 calories per 14 halves or 1 ounce)

These offer a significant amount of Omega-3 fat acid.

2. ALMONDS- (23 nuts= 162 calories)

These contain 37% of your daily value of Vitamin E.

3. PECANS- (19 halves= 193 calories)

Pecans contain more antioxidants than any other tree nut!

4. PISTACHIOS- (49 nuts= 157 calories)

These are rich in antioxidants that are linked to healthy vision.

Pack a little bag of your favorite of these to go in your work bag or purse. They make a great healthy snack 🙂 


Stop Smoking and Start getting Smokin’ Hot!!

determined woman

Making positive lifestyle changes can add years to your life. A study of Harvard alumni found that those who stopped smoking lowered their mortality rate by 41%. Those who began a moderately vigorous exercise program lowered their mortality rate by 23%. Make the change!! It’ll be worth it in the end!

Yogurt– Does a Body GOOD! 


Yogurt can make your gut HAPPY!! Let’s get one thing out of the way first: when we talk about yogurt, we mean real, unadulterated yogurt with live, active cultures. Skip the sugary, flavored yogurts, and go for plain. If you like yogurt with fruit in it, you can throw some fresh or frozen fruit into your cup of healthy, plain yogurt.

A Tufts University review found that yogurt with active cultures can help with lots of gastrointestinal woes, including lactose intolerance, constipation, diarrhea, colon cancer, and inflammatory bowel disease.

A daily serving of yogurt is a huge thank you gift to your intestines.


Staying hydrated throughout our day helps cleanse your system.  Make sure you are drinking enough water throughout your day.  I strive to drink 8 glasses a day!  I also drink a full 8 oz glass of ice water as soon as I get up in the morning to kick-start my metabolism!

Here is a great app that I use.  Even though I know I want to consume all my water, the visual reminder helps– especially on busy days!

The app is called “Drink Water”.  It’s FREE check it out!



Reduce your Refined Sugar Intake!!!

smart snacking

Sodas are the largest source of refined sugars in the average Americans diet. To cut back on refined sugar intake watch for these words: SUCROSE, GLUCOSE, DEXTROSE, FRUCTOSE, CORN SYRUP SWEETENERS, MALTOSE, and LACTOSE on food labels. Refined sugars cause internal imbalances in pH levels making

your body more acidic. Your body tries to fix this imbalance naturally by

drawing on the minerals from within our body. This results in minerals such as calcium being taken from the teeth and bones which ultimately leads to tooth

decay or osteoarthritis.


 Ways to Avoid Snacking at Night:

brush teeth

Brush your teeth early in the evening rather than just before bed. It keeps you from snacking if you’re not really hungry.

Monitor your hunger patterns. Choose a bedtime that’s early enough to keep you from after-dinner snacking. Stick to that bed-time. If you must snack before bed, have a something small and healthful. Maybe a tiny portion of whole grain cereal with milk or a few almonds.

Mayo vs. Mustard:

mayo vs mustard

Grabbing a Sandwich for Lunch?!? Hmm.. are you going to get MAYO or MUSTARD?

Let’s weigh our options!

Mayo is typically 70-80% fat – that includes artery clogging saturated fats.

Mayo (1 tbsp.)= 90 calories and 10 ngrams of fat

Yellow Mustard (1 tbsp.)= 5-10 calories (depends on brand) and less than 1 gram of fat!!

Lesson Learned: Try to limit that Mayo intake and choose MUSTARD whenever possible!



Next time you make a veggie soup, make sure to add one extra delicious ingredient- SWEET POTATOES!!! When you add sweet potatoes to your soup you infuse the broth with hearty servings of vitamins A, B6, and C, potassium, copper, manganese, iron, and fiber. Sweet potatoes also contain sporamins, which are unique root storage proteins that have antioxidant properties and help increase your immune system 🙂


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