7 Smart Ways to Stay Active This Winter

Don’t Let Cold Weather Destroy Your Efforts
  — By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor
Baby, it’s cold outside. And, if you’re like me, winter weather can sometimes make working out seem less than desirable. After all, who likes to dress like a mummy to go for a run, or risk slipping on ice when out for a walk? Even heating up the car in the wee hours of the morning to get to the gym for your favorite Spinning class can be quite tough!

Although you may want to stay snuggled up in your warm bed, winter shouldn’t be a time that your fitness plans hibernate—especially with all of those holiday treats around. With the right attitude and mix of exercises, winter can actually be a fantastic time to mix up your workouts, get creative and even reignite your love of fitness by trying new, fun activities. Not to mention, exercise can help you beat those winter blues!
How to Make the Most of Winter Workouts

  1. Change your mind. Winter isn’t just about cold weather, it’s a whole new season! Embrace the time of year by sitting down and revisiting your goals, then plan out what you’d like to accomplish during the next few months. We’re all so busy these days that time seems to fly, which is why it’s important to reflect on our past accomplishments and current goals. It can help you see winter in a new, inspired light.
  2. Go out and play! If you can’t seem to muster the energy to work out this time of year, try “playing” instead. You can burn quite a few calories playing indoors or out. The best part about playing is that it doesn’t feel like working out—though you can still get your heart rate up and have an excellent cardio session. Have a blast in the winter wonderland outside by making snow angels (214 calories burned per hour on average), having a snowball fight (319 calories burned per hour), or even building a snowman (285 calories burned per hour). No snow in your area? Try ice skating—an activity you can do indoors or outdoors. Ice skating can burn more than 450 calories per hour—and it’s a blast!
  3. Take up a winter sport. If you’re a competitive type, why not try a new winter sport? From skiing to snowshoeing, there are many great options that burn mega calories and put a whole new twist on your cold-weather workout plans.
  4. Get creative at home. Sure, getting to the gym can be more of a hassle when it is cold outside, but never use snowy weather as an excuse to miss your daily exercise. Instead, work out at home, where’s it’s cozy and warm. Whether you pop in a new workout DVD, invest in a few pieces of fitness equipment or even just use your body weight for a killer workout, exercising at home can be a convenient (and fun!) solution to staying on track. And the best part about working out from your own home? You don’t have to worry about sharing a TV with fellow gym goers or possibly catching an illness at the gym. Home really is where the (healthy) heart is.
  5. Try something new. There’s nothing like signing up for a new class or joining an indoor sports league to get you up and moving during chilly months. By trying something new, you reignite your motivation for fitness, cold weather and all! Whether it’s indoor volleyball, a dodgeball league, a bootcamp class or even tennis lessons at a local indoor racquet club, participating in a regular activity that you’ve paid for (or have teammates counting on you to play in) is a fantastic way to stay active in the winter time. You might even make some new friends or learn some new skills.
  6. Set a big goal—and some little goals. If winter weather leaves your motivation to exercise colder than an icicle, heat things up with a challenging, new goal. It can be anything from losing those last 10 pounds, to running a 5K (yes, you can still run outside in the cold) or even doing a full pull-up, but choose a goal that you really want and that will stretch you beyond your comfort zone to reach it. Setting a smart goal that you then break down into smaller, achievable action steps is a great way to start. Instead of focusing on simply working out this winter, this type of goal-setting allows you to focus on the bigger picture—your dreams.
  7. Get excited. If you’ve never been a winter fan, start focusing on what you do love about it and how this time of year provides new opportunities for your fitness and health. From eating delicious in-season produce (oranges, kale, and chestnuts, oh my!), to curling up with a big mug of sugar-free hot cocoa in front of the fireplace after a long workout, there is much to love about winter when you embrace and appreciate it.

While there are many great workout options this winter, be sure you always stay safe no matter what you do—especially if you decide to enjoy the winter weather outdoors. Here are some safety tips to follow. But most of all, have fun out there. It’s a wonderful time of year—enjoy it!

Source List:
Get Physical: Play in the Snow, from FitSugar.com

Original Post on SparkPeople.com

9 Superfood Swaps for a Healthier Diet

Multitasking Foods to Add to Your Meal Plan
  — By Jen Mueller
Deciding to change your diet can be an overwhelming idea. You’ll have to clean out the pantry, remove any and all treats, stock up on rabbit food and mentally prepare to feel hungry all the time. That’s the only way to improve your diet and reach your health and weight-loss goals, right? Wrong. The truth is, the small changes you implement can add up to big results.

Rather than depriving yourself of foods you love, work to incorporate multitasking superfoods into your new healthy lifestyle instead. Superfoods benefit your body in a variety of ways. Not only do these nutritional powerhouses fuel your body, they can also fight illness and help prevent disease. Plus, they are easy to prepare and taste great, too. By making smart substitutions, you enjoy foods that are full of important nutrients without sacrificing taste. Try some of these simple diet swaps to incorporate more superfoods into your daily meal plan.

  1. Quinoa instead of brown rice. The trendy grain has more protein, fiber and iron than brown rice. It also contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants with numerous health benefits. Quinoa cooks in less than 15 minutes and can easily be substituted for rice in casseroles, side dishes, soups or salads. Discover the power of quinoa by giving one of these simple recipes a try.
  2. Oatmeal instead of cold cereal.  Oats have a good amount of fiber and protein, which will help keep you feeling fuller longer, but not all oatmeal is created equal. Opt for old-fashioned or steel-cut oats, which are minimally processed to retain their full nutritional value. Jazz up your hot bowl of oats with seasonal fruits, cinnamon or a natural nut butter and you’ll never be bored with breakfast again. If you do choose cereal, be sure to read labels to find the healthiest options.
  3. Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. With a thicker, creamier texture than traditional yogurt, Greek yogurt makes for a nice replacement for sour cream in a variety of dishes, including tacos and chili, or in baked goods. Compared to sour cream, Greek yogurt is higher in protein and B12, and also contains healthy probiotics.
  4. Dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Everyone enjoys a treat now and then, so why not get a nutritional boost at the same time? Milk chocolate is higher in fat and sugar than dark chocolate, and also contains less of the original cocoa bean. Cocoa is a good source of flavonoids, which makes dark chocolate the more nutritional choice. Next time that chocolate craving strikes, look for a bar with at least 70 percent cacao.
  5. Kale or spinach instead of romaine. Romaine lettuce is a good low-calorie option, but it doesn’t provide much added nutrition. Instead, try kale or spinach in your salad, as a sandwich wrap or in your favorite smoothie. Both are high in vitamins A, C and K, manganese and folate. Be forewarned, though, the texture and taste of kale can take some getting used to, so start small and experiment with different methods of preparation.
  6. Sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. Sweet potatoes have risen in popularity because of their great taste and nutritional benefits. They are high in beta-carotene and vitamins A and C, and are also lower on the glycemic index than regular potatoes, meaning sweet potatoes don’t spike blood sugar levels as much. Try them as a baked or mashed side dish, atop your next salad or as a sweet treat sprinkled with a little butter and brown sugar.
  7. Green tea instead of coffee. Before you panic about losing your daily cup of Joe, this diet swap doesn’t mean that coffee is bad. Coffee has been linked to a reduced risk of certain diseases, improved cognitive function and decreased risk of depression. That said, green tea contains flavonoids, has less caffeine than coffee and won’t stain your teeth. All this is not to say you have to give up coffee if you are a diehard fan, but is rather something to consider for variety and different health benefits.
  8. Cinnamon instead of sugar. While cinnamon has a number of unproven health benefits, it is still a better option than added sugar. Too much sugar in any diet increases the risk of obesity and other diseases, making substitution key in a healthy eating plan. Swapping cream and sugar for cinnamon in your coffee to save calories, or sprinkling cinnamon on pancakes or unsweetened applesauce to add flavor are just a few ways cinnamon can help satisfy your sweet tooth.
  9. Hummus instead of mayonnaise. A turkey sandwich with mayo tastes good, sure, but the calories and fat from even a small amount of this popular condiment can be a diet killer. Made with chickpeas and other fresh ingredients, hummus is a better source of protein, fiber, heart-healthy fat and iron compared to mayonnaise. It can be used in a variety of ways, such as in wraps, on sandwiches, in salad dressing, as a dip or even on a flatbread pizza in place of sauce.

Do you have a favorite superfood swap? 

Original Post on SprakPeople.com

13 Shortcuts to Meet Your 5-a-Day Quota

Easy Ways to Eat More Fruits and Veggies
  — By Erin Whitehead, Health and Fitness Writer
We all know we should be eating our fruits and vegetables. You’ve probably heard the recommendations for meeting a 5-a-day quota, or seen the USDA’s recommendation to fill half of your plate with fruits and veggies during each meal. And you probably already know that eating fruits and vegetables provides a number of important health benefits, like reducing the risk of chronic diseases and heart disease and helping you manage your weight. Eating a diet filled with veggies and fruits might also protect against certain cancers and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

With all of those benefits, you’d think the entire human population would be chowing down on bok choy and snacking on spinach. But not everyone has a built-in love for the produce department. If you struggle to fit in your fruits and vegetables, read on for some tips and tricks to make eating a healthier diet easier than ever!

Tips for Increasing Your Fruit and Vegetable Intake

1. Eat a fruit or vegetable with every meal. If half a plate of fruits and vegetables seems like an overwhelming goal for you right now, start by simply adding one fruit or veggie to each meal. You can eat them as a side—think a cup of green beans with dinner or a banana with breakfast—or simply start adding them to foods you already eat. Fruit is a cinch to add to oatmeal, yogurt and cereal in the morning. Add onions and peppers to meat dishes, or pile a few of your favorite vegetables onto your sandwich. Once you start working them in, you’ll welcome the new additions!

2. Snack smart. Instead of hitting the vending machine for an afternoon pick-me-up, start snacking on fruits and vegetables. Cut veggies and hummus or sliced fruit with yogurt dip will satisfy you more than a candy bar will.

3. Drink up. While you should limit the number of calories you get from beverages, if you have trouble fitting fruits and vegetables into your busy life, work them into a drink that you can take on the go. Try out smoothie recipes until you find a few you love and work them into your rotation as a breakfast or afternoon snack option. You can easily get several fruit and vegetable servings in a yummy beverage. If you simply want juice, look for 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice for it to count as a serving, but limit yourself to no more than one serving of fruit or vegetable juice per day, as the calories are concentrated and juice removes some of the other benefits of produce (such as fiber).

4. Slurp some soup! Soups and stews can be a nutritious, filling way to get lots of vegetables into a meal. Soup is an easy way to increase the variety of veggies you eat, too, as it can make some of your least favorite options more palatable. If you don’t make your own, make sure you know the healthy soup options at the grocery store.

5. Be ready at all times. Have cut fruits and vegetables in the fridge ready for munching at all times. Whether you buy the pre-cut options in the produce department or take the time to cut and bag it yourself, you’re more likely to eat it if it’s readily and easily available. Have hummus, low-fat ranch or fruit dip on hand, too, if it’ll encourage you to eat up.

6. Keep them in sight, in mind. Just like you keep sweets out of sight to discourage incessant snacking, keeping fruits and veggies in sight will help you think of them as an option for eating. Stock a fruit bowl at work each week and keep a bowl on the kitchen counter at home so you’ll be more likely to eat it when you’re hungry.

7. Bar hop. Next time you’re blanking on a quick, easy place to grab lunch, head to the salad bar at a local grocery store. With an endless variety of vegetables, cut fruit and soups, it’s an easy way to make sure you get a meal rich in nutrients and fiber.

8. Start smart. Make it a habit to order a salad or vegetable-based soup when you’re out at restaurants. These fiber-rich starters may keep you from overeating when your meal comes, in addition to helping you add more vegetables into your day.

9. Bag it up. It may be more expensive to buy pre-chopped lettuce mixes, but they make whipping up a salads a breeze. Throw a few into your shopping cart so you can take salads to work for lunch or have dinner salads ready throughout the week. Just make sure your salad toppings are healthy ones!

10. Use the freezer. If you buy produce in bulk only to have it rot in your refrigerator before you get to it, start using your freezer more frequently (and check here for produce storage tips!). Have a stock of frozen fruits and veggies on hand at all times so you’ll always have them ready for smoothies and easy dinner sides.

11. Chop them up. If you have a hard time crunching into big vegetables, try slicing and dicing them into a more manageable size. Shred carrots and zucchini or finely dice onions, pepper and spinach to hide in pasta sauces, hamburger patties, omelets and casseroles.

12. Pack portable produce. If you’re a snacker who gets hungry when you’re out running errands or on the way home from work in the early evening, carry easy-to-eat fruit and vegetable items for snacking. Spinach and kiwi may not be convenient on the go, but baby carrots, chopped broccoli and celery sticks are great for munching anywhere, as are no-muss, no-fuss bananas, apples and grapes. Dried fruits like raisins and prunes are easy to have on hand for a quick snack, too.

13. Find the ones you love. While you should aim for a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet, don’t hesitate to stick to the handful you love if you can only stomach a few. It won’t do you any good to buy the spinach you know you hate if it’s just going to sit in your crisper until it turns into goo. Buy your favorite fruits and vegetables and eat up, while allowing yourself to experiment with new options every now and then. You never know–you might find a new favorite!

The USDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both have calculators on their sites to help you calculate how many fruit and vegetable servings you should aim for each day. Everyone’s caloric and dietary needs are different and depend on age and activity level, so see what’s recommended for you and make that your new goal!

Sources

USDA’s MyPlate. ”Add More Vegetables to Your Day,” accessed November 2011. http://www.usda.gov.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ”Nutrition for Everyone,” accessed November 2011. http://www.cdc.gov.

Original Post on SparkPeople.com

Tips to Stay Full Longer

Beat Hunger and Boost Satisfaction
  — By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian
No doubt about it, hunger is unpleasant. In fact, it can be downright embarrassing when your tummy grumbles for your attention at the most inopportune times. When you’re watching your calorie intake to lose or manage your weight, there will be days when you might experience ongoing hunger, even when you’re eating at the top of your calorie range. It can be so distracting and debilitating that you’re ready to throw in the towel. If deprivation is what eating healthy is all about, then forget it!

Not so fast. Don’t give up on your new way of eating until you add what could be the missing ingredient back into your eating and weight loss program. What’s the elusive “secret” to feeling fuller, longer? Satiety.

Satiety (sa-TIE-e-tee) is that wonderfully pleasant feeling of fullness you get as you eat, when you’re no longer hungry, but aren’t overly stuffed or uncomfortable. You are just satisfied beyond desire. The more satisfied you feel after a meal, the less you’ll eat later. So how do you increase satiety without eating MORE?

When making food choices, it’s still important to meet the nutrition recommendations outlined in your SparkDiet. But if you’re having problems staying full, adjust your meals and snacks to incorporate these tips: <pagebreak>

Eat More Low Density Foods
Calorie density refers to the number of calories per gram of food. Foods that are HIGH in calorie density contain a high number of calories per gram; foods that are LOW in calorie density contain a low number of calories per gram. Calorie density is the key to feel full without overeating.

When you eat too many calorie dense foods, you’ll end up consuming a lot of calories to fill your belly. If you focus on low calorie density foods, you can fill up on fewer calories because low density foods contain a lot more water, which adds weight and volume to the food, but no calories.

Just drinking a glass of water along with the meal does not provide the same degree of satiety. Research has shown that to reduce hunger and boost fullness, the water has to be in the food. Why? Because there are separate mechanisms in the brain to control hunger and thirst. If the food you eat contains the water, it will stay in the stomach longer while the food is being digested. Beyond that, there is also the psychological component of eating food versus drinking water. When you eat food, even water-rich food, you get more sensory stimulation because you have more food going through your mouth and you’re eating for a longer period of time, both of which help you feel more satisfied with your meal.

The following are all water-rich food choices with about 90% bound water. They can have a great impact on the calorie density of your diet.

  • EAT MORE broth-based soups like chicken noodle or vegetable. Be sure to look for soups that have less than 200 calories per 1 cup serving.
  • EAT MORE leafy greens like lettuce, baby spinach and mixed salad greens with fat-free dressing.
  • EAT MORE fruits like apples, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, strawberries and watermelon.
  • EAT MORE non-starchy vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes and winter squash.
  • TIP: Start your meal with a bowl of broth-based soup or low-calorie leafy green salad to fill up on fewer calories. Turn to non-starchy vegetables when you get the munchies. <pagebreak>

Fill Up on Fiber
Fiber contains only 1.5 to 2.5 calories per gram, while other carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram. Fiber-rich foods also necessitate more chewing and slow the passage of food through the digestive tract. The fiber in carbohydrates helps prevent those peaks and valleys in blood sugar levels that can cause cravings and poor food choices. They also may stimulate a satiety hormone in the brain.

  • EAT MORE fiber from whole grains, fruits and vegetables with skins, beans, lentils and legumes. Aim for 25-35 grams each day to help reduce your calorie intake and increase your satiety level.
  • TIP: Avoid refined carbohydrates (like white bread, white rice, white pasta and sugar). When eaten alone, refined and simple carbohydrates can wreak havoc on satiety by causing rises and falls in blood sugar which trigger hunger every few hours.

Lean on Protein
Studies suggest that protein appears to help prolong satiety more than carbohydrates or fat can. Continue eating the amount of protein that your SparkDiet recommends, since consuming even a little bit of protein with each of your meals and snacks will help you stay full. Meeting your protein needs is important, but eating more protein than your body needs will NOT boost your metabolism.

  • EAT MORE lean protein from meats, chicken, seafood, low-fat dairy, legumes, lentils and soy products.
  • TIP: Prepare your meat using low-fat cooking methods like grilling and baking.

Fit in the Fat
Cutting fat intake reduces the calorie density of a food. In other words, you get a bigger portion of food for the same calories when it has fewer fat grams. However, if you go too low in fat you won’t enjoy the flavor, texture or satiety of your food. Plus dietary fat is essential for staying healthy.

  • EAT ENOUGH fat to meet the fat recommendations in your SparkDiet. This will bring the pleasure and satisfaction back to your meals so you’re less likely to overeat later.
  • TIP: Eliminate fat where you don’t need it, opting for reduced fat foods instead of full fat versions. Select low-fat dairy products, low-fat salad dressings, low-fat mayonnaise, etc. and limit saturated and trans fats. <pagebreak>

Go Nuts
Nuts have been shown to have a very positive impact on satiety because of their protein and fiber content. A SMALL handful of these nutritious nuggets will often hold you over until your next meal. Of course, portion control is important because nuts and seeds are high density foods.

  • Choose nuts like peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews and others. Even seeds make good choices.
  • TIP: Keep your portions in check! One serving of nuts or seeds is about the size of a golf ball.

Drink Up!
Drinking plain old water can help with your weight management program, especially if you are substituting calorie-containing beverages like regular soda, juice and sweetened coffee for water, which is healthy and calorie-free. For some people, drinking water throughout the day also keeps their hands busy so that they’re less likely to eat out of habit or boredom.

  • DRINK MORE water throughout the day, aiming for about 8 cups total. Some calorie-free beverages can make good choices, but moderation is important. Check out these beverage guidelines to meet your body’s needs.
  • TIP: Don’t drink your calories. Calories from beverages add up quickly and affect your weight. Most people don’t pay attention to the number of calories they drink, and that can hurt your weight loss efforts. Limit your intake of caloric beverages to less than 200 calories each day, and be sure to add these calories to your Nutrition Tracker.

Make It Work
Now that you know which foods have the staying power, it is important to spread these satisfying foods throughout the day into designated meals and snacks. Then you’ll be reaping the benefits all day long.

Even better, slow down and savor every bite. Research has shown that it can take 20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that you have reached satiety. So take your time and enjoy every delicious bite along the way.

Get in touch with your satiety center by giving your stomach time to signal your brain that you have had enough to eat, and by selecting the right kinds of foods when you do eat. Finding ways to feel fuller while eating fewer calories—now that’s the secret to success!

Single Family Home in Orange

$85,000.00

 

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Call Robert for details and showings 609-474-0360.

 

HUD Home – Single Family.  – Two  bedrooms, 1.5 baths.    Three car detached garage.  On a quiet street near parks, transportation and shopping.  Property currently available for owner occupants only.   Bid deadline is January 21, 2018.  Property is Sold “AS IS”. Buyer may be eligible for $100.00 down payment ask how. If home built before 1978 a LBP addendum is included. FHA financing IE   (insured with escrow) 203K Eligible. Case # 352-571613  For property condition report, forms, disclosures, availability and to place a bid please visit http://www.hudhomestore.com. Buyer to verify all information.

4 Reasons to Sell This Winter [INFOGRAPHIC]

4 Reasons to Sell This Winter [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Buyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes for sale which means that buyers are often competing with one another for the few listings that are available!
  • Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed to sustain a normal housing market.
  • Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

Time on the Market Drops to New Low in 2017

Time on the Market Drops to New Low in 2017 | MyKCM

According to recently released data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median amount of time a home spent on the market hit an all-time low of only three weeks in 2017.

Strong buyer demand, a good economy, and a low inventory of new and existing homes for sale created the perfect storm to accelerate the time between listing and signing a contract. The time needed to sell a home has dropped substantially since its highest mark of 11 weeks in 2012.

The chart below shows the median weeks on the market from 1987 to today.

Time on the Market Drops to New Low in 2017 | MyKCM

Bottom Line

If you are a homeowner who is debating whether or not to list your home for sale, know that national market conditions are primed for a quick turnaround! Let’s get together to discuss exactly what’s going on in our area, today!

The Benefits of Homeownership Go Beyond the Financial

The Benefits of Homeownership Go Beyond the Financial | MyKCM

Homeownership is a major part of the American Dream. As evidence of that, 91% of Americans believe that owning a home is either essential (43%) or important (48%) to achieving that “dream.” In a market where some people may be unsure about the benefits and possibilities of buying a home, it is important that we remember this.

Homeownership is NOT just about the money. In fact, some of the major benefits are non-financial. Here are a few of those benefits as per the National Association of Realtors:

  • Consistent findings show that homeownership does make a significant positive impact on educational achievement.
  • Several researchers have found that homeowners tend to be more involved in their communities than renters.
  • Early studies of homeownership and health outcomes found that homeowners and children of homeowners are generally happier and healthier than non-owners, even after controlling for factors such as income and education levels that are also associated with positive health outcomes and positively correlated with homeownership.

Bottom Line

Homeownership means something more to people and their families than just the financial considerations.

How Rising Prices Will Help You Build Family Wealth in 2018

How Rising Prices Will Help You Build Family Wealth in 2018 | MyKCM

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate on average by 3.35% per year and to grow by 24.34% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey.

So, what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position?

As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchases and closes on a $250,000 home this month (January). If we only look at the projected increase in the price of that home, how much equity will they earn over the next 5 years?

How Rising Prices Will Help You Build Family Wealth in 2018 | MyKCM

Since the experts predict that home prices will increase by 4.2% in 2018, the young homeowners will have gained $10,500 in equity in just one year.

Over a five-year period, their equity will increase by nearly $45,000! This figure does not even take into account their monthly principal mortgage payments. In many cases, home equity is one of the largest portions of a family’s overall net worth.

Bottom Line

Not only is homeownership something to be proud of, but it also offers you and your family the ability to build equity you can borrow against in the future. If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to today!