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Eat Well ·

8 of the Best Foods to Boost Your Energy Naturally

Need a little extra boost? Check out the 8 best foods for energy in this slideshow!  
Live Life ·

When Does Daylight Saving Time End and Can It Affect Your Health?

People usually have strong feelings about Daylight Saving Time. Some people are not happy about losing an hour of daylight while others are thrilled with the prospect of an extra hour of sleep in the morning. Especially if you’re like most sleep-deprived Americans. The CDC recommends adults get seven or more hours of sleep every night, but over 35 percent of Americans don’t get seven hours a night.1   <br> Sleep is so precious, one survey conducted by the Better Sleep Council found that three in 10 Americans think an extra hour of it is worth $100 or more.2 But on November 4, when the clock rolls back and you gain an hour of shut-eye, your body may feel the impact in other ways. Read on to learn how to work with your body and naturally ease into the time change — so you can feel your best as the days start to grow shorter.  Are you really gaining an hour of sleep? Starting at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November, you’ll “fall back” an hour — but it might not have the effect you expect. Your sleep cycle works alongside your circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle of mental, physical and behavioral changes you experience throughout the day and night. This rhythm helps set your sleep pattern by signaling the production and release of melatonin, a hormone that promotes drowsiness and relaxation.3   <br>Since melatonin is produced as daylight diminishes, the time change means you may feel more sluggish or groggy in the evening with the sun setting earlier each day.4 And while you may have the best intentions of snagging those extra Z’s, most people have trouble falling asleep or wake up more frequently during the nights following the time change.5  <br> What’s more, when your circadian rhythm is disrupted due to a reduction in daylight hours, it could lead to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression tied to the change in seasons.6 Weight gain, low energy and appetite changes are common symptoms specific to the winter-onset of this disorder.6 The Mayo Clinic recommends seeing your doctor if you experience symptoms that linger more than a few days.6   Ease into the time change One of the best ways to avoid any negative health impacts the extra hour may bring is to ease your body into the time change. Here are a few tips to work naturally with your circadian rhythm so you can make the adjustment a little bit easier.    1. Try going to bed an hour later. Falling asleep later the Saturday before the time change may keep you from feeling sluggish. Avoid sleeping in on Sunday to give yourself time to adjust properly.   2. Let the light in. Light, especially daylight, will help fight feelings of tiredness as your body adapts to the extra hour. Before bed, open the blinds a little to let in as much early morning sun as you can.    3. Finish eating a few hours before bedtime. Your metabolism naturally slows in the evenings,7 so when you squeeze in a late-night snack, your body is working to digest the food instead of resting and repairing its cells for the next day. Plus, eating meals later in the evening may cause indigestion — which may make it harder to nod off.    4. Set your cell phone aside. Daylight isn’t the only type of light that affects your circadian rhythm. Your cell phone, e-book and television have something in common: they emit blue light. When you use your devices before bed, you’re exposing yourself to short-wavelength light that may suppress your melatonin levels, ultimately disrupting your sleep.8 Resist the urge to check your devices before bed — you might sleep better without them!   5. Practice sleep hygiene. Getting better sleep will help keep your circadian rhythm in check, making the transition a little easier. Maintaining sleep hygiene, or healthy sleeping habits, sets you up for a great rest every night with or without an extra hour.   We hope these tips will help you feel your best as you prepare for the time change — and don’t forget to set your clock back November 4!  <br> Discover how following your circadian rhythm can positively impact your health, and weight, with Jenny Craig. Contact Jenny Craig for a free appointment to get started on the road to better health.      Sources: [1] https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/data_statistics.html [2] https://bettersleep.org/research/sleep-surveys/survey-daylight-saving-time-may-contribute-to-sleep-loss/ [3] https://www.nigms.nih.gov/education/pages/Factsheet_CircadianRhythms.aspx [4] https://observer.com/2017/11/use-daylight-savings-time-to-your-advantage-this-fall/ [5] https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/daylight-saving-time-fall-back-doesnt-equal-sleep-gain-201311016836 [6] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651 [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929498/ [8] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/q-a-why-is-blue-light-before-bedtime-bad-for-sleep/
Live Life ·

What's the Difference Between Health and Wellness?

“Health” and “wellness” seem to be two words that pop up quite frequently—whether it be in the news, in conversation or on the bottle of kombucha you just picked up at the grocery store. But what does health and wellness really mean and is there any difference between the two?   Though these terms are often used interchangeably, you may be surprised to learn they have distinctive meanings. “Wellness” commonly refers to your overall well-being, a lifestyle that you actively seek and one that is continually evolving—whereas, “health” refers to your actual mental and physical state.   But there’s so much more to health and wellness than just their definitions. Read on as we discuss how they’re related and tips that you can integrate into your daily routine to help you improve both. What is health? The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”1 While it may seem like your physical and mental state are separate entities, they are actually closely connected. Physical health To maintain your physical health, it’s important to focus on good nutrition, exercise, and overall self-care practices. By doing so, you may be able to reduce your risk of major chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, just to name a few.2   The National Institutes of Health suggest following these steps to improve your physical health:3 Be active. Work toward or maintain a healthy body weight. Eat healthily. Develop healthy habits and identify habits that do not serve your well-being.     There’s no need to completely overhaul your entire routine overnight—just start small and begin with the basics. Start by learning more about the benefits of good nutrition (take this fun quiz to test your knowledge). Then, focus on integrating simple, low-impact exercises, like walking into your day. In addition to being great for your physical health, exercising and eating right can be great for your mental health, and you may even notice an improvement in your mood.   Mental & social health Mental health is just as important as physical health and refers to your emotional, psychological, and social well-being.4 Your mental health impacts how you think, feel and act, as well as your ability to relate to others, make choices, and deal with stress.4   A variety of different factors can affect your mental health, including:4 Life experiences (such as trauma) A family history of mental health problems Biological factors (such as brain chemistry or genes)   Mental and social health conditions can be more difficult to pinpoint and diagnose than physical health. However, mental health and physical health are connected: it’s possible for someone suffering from physical health issues to develop depression or feel the effects of stress.5 Conversely, depression or excess stress may impact a person’s body weight.6 By practicing regular self-care you can help nurture your mental health and your overall wellness may even benefit. What is wellness? Wellness is a word you’ll find everywhere from yoga studios to grocery stores—and you might notice that everyone seems to have a slightly different idea of what wellness is and how to achieve it.   The University of California, Davis explains wellness as an “active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness; it is a dynamic process of change and growth.”7 At its core, wellness is centered around three basic ideas. According to the National Wellness Institute:8   Wellness is a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential. Wellness is multi-dimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment. Wellness is positive and affirming.   Ultimately, wellness is more than just being healthy; it encompasses all aspects of our physical, social, intellectual, emotional, occupational and spiritual well-being. Tips to improve your health and wellness Improving your health and wellness can positively impact your life. To start, try making healthful, mindful changes. No change is too small! Try meditation Meditation can be a great way to work toward achieving a balance between your body and mind. If you feel like you’re constantly on-the-go and your thoughts are always racing, practicing mindfulness techniques may help give your mind the rest and stillness it needs to recover in times of stress. Exercise regularly Consistently getting your heart pumping may offer a number of health and wellness benefits, including improving how you feel, boosting your energy and bettering your sleep quality.9 Start by doing light exercise, such as going for a walk or a short swim and gradually increase your time and intensity from there. Stick to a sleep schedule With the rise of electronic devices, individuals are experiencing even more obstacles to getting a good night’s sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends sticking to a regular sleep schedule to help you fall asleep a little easier by aligning with your natural circadian rhythm, your body’s internal clock.10 Research suggests getting more sleep may reduce the effects of stress11, maintain healthy blood pressure,12 reduce the risk of high cholesterol levels,13 and improve your mood.14 Find ways to reduce stress Stress may impact your health and wellness, so it’s important to find constructive ways to counteract its effects. Try integrating activities like reading or light exercise into your routine that allow your mind and body to recharge. Make time for self-care When faced with a busy schedule, it can be hard to make time for yourself. Block out some time each week to do something you enjoy – whether that be spending more time with friends, family, or taking the time to relax and unwind solo.   Starting small and making simple changes can add up in a big way when it comes to improving your health and wellness. If you want to find a better balance between your health, wellness and food choices, contact a Jenny Craig consultant to book your free appointment today.       Sources: [1] http://www.who.int/about/mission/en/ [2] https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/publications/trs916/summary/en/ [3] https://www.nih.gov/health-information/physical-wellness-toolkit [4] https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5541277/ [6] https://www.webmd.com/depression/news/20091006/depression_anxiety_linked_weight_gain#1 [7] https://shcs.ucdavis.edu/wellness/what-is-wellness [8] https://www.nationalwellness.org/page/AboutWellness [9] https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm [10] https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-tools-tips/healthy-sleep-tips [11] https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2013/sleep.aspx [12] https://www.huffpost.com/entry/sleep-a-surprising-way-to_b_431845 [13] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2398756/ [14] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/between-you-and-me/201308/all-night-the-effects-sleep-loss-mood
Move More ·

A Beginner's Guide to Exercise

If you’ve been focusing on better health, you’ve likely been watching what you eat and perhaps being mindful of when you eat. But have you considered adding in more activity into your daily life? Getting your heart rate up and working your muscles are important components of maintaining your health, weight loss and physical fitness.    You might be wondering, “what’s the right type of exercise for me to try?” or “how long should I exercise?” While figuring out how to begin a new exercise routine may seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. As you get started, use this guide to learn about the five main types of exercise and how to safely incorporate physical activity into your day.    Remember to always consult your physician before starting a new exercise program.  The five types of exercise  When you think of the word “exercise,” what comes to mind? Exercises are physical activities that help to maintain or enhance your physical and general health.1 Rather than only relying on one or two types, try incorporating several into your routine to challenge yourself and support different areas of your health.  Aerobic exercises Aerobic exercises increase your breathing and heart rate.2 Aerobic activities, like jogging, have a regular pace, test your endurance, and use glucose (blood sugar) and fat for energy. This type of exercise may help to improve your endurance by giving your heart and lungs a workout.2    Aerobic exercise may offer you many benefits, including:3   Reducing inflammation Improving your mood Increasing your ability to burn fat    It may also help lower blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, and depression.4     If you want to give it a try: Swimming, walking, cycling and dancing are all excellent ways to get your heart rate up. Anaerobic exercises Not to be confused with aerobic exercises, anaerobic exercises are quick and intense, involving short bursts of energy. Anaerobic activities only use glucose as fuel. During high intensity exercise, less oxygen is being delivered to your muscles, prompting your body to use blood sugar as an immediate energy source.5  <br> Anaerobic exercise may:6 Increase your bone density and strength Maintain your weight Protect your joints <br>If you want to give it a try: Sprinting, weight training and jumping rope are great anaerobic activities. Strength training Strength training helps to build muscle, which naturally begins to weaken with age.7 By strengthening and maintaining your muscle health, it may be easier to accomplish regular tasks, like carrying groceries or pushing a lawnmower.    Strength training may help to:7   Improve your balance and posture Reduce pain and stress in your lower back and joints Help with controlling your weight    If you want to give it a try: You can try strength training exercises using barbells, dumbbells, gym equipment, or your own body weight.8 Examples of different exercises include curls, squats, lunges, and push-ups. Balance exercises Balance exercises help to improve stability. Improved balance may help prevent falls and allows you to feel more secure on your feet.9 Maintaining good balance also enables you to stand, walk and go up and down stairs more easily.    Working on your balance can help you stay in tune with your body and even increase performance.10 Try these simple balancing exercises: Standing on one foot for 10 seconds each Walking heel-to-toe for 20 steps   If you want to give it a try: Other exercises that may improve your balance include tai chi and various types of yoga. Stretching As you age, your muscles and tendons begin to lose their flexibility. Regularly stretching muscles helps keep them long and more flexible, which may help reduce the risk of injury and pain, and increase your range of motion.9 Stretching has many benefits, including reducing the risk of sore muscles after a workout and preventing muscle damage, strains, joint pain, and muscle cramps.9 The American Council on Exercise recommends stretching after a workout, when your muscles have already been warmed up.11       If you want to give it a try: Gentle yoga classes are a great way to improve your flexibility while improving your strength.  How to incorporate physical activity into your day  By gradually beginning to exercise, you’ll ease your body into doing more physical activity.    Start slowly and listen to your body. Begin introducing exercise slowly to reduce the risk of injury. Try going for a brisk walk, swimming, or a doing 10-minute workout at home to start. Most workout videos and classes offer modified routines to help you build up to a more intense level. The Centers for Disease Control recommend building up to “150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalent mix of the two each week.”12 It's important to listen to your body — so if something doesn't feel right, stop exercising and rest.    Find a fitness buddy. Working out with someone is a great way to connect with friends and meet new people. What’s more, a workout buddy will help hold you accountable. Trying a new class or type of workout with a friend can make it more enjoyable too!   Try different exercises. Experiment with different classes and types of exercises until you find something that you like. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, you’re more likely to stick with a new workout routine when it doesn’t feel like a chore.13     Finding an exercise program that works for you is a great way to build healthy habits on your road to weight loss and better health.   If you’re ready to start focusing on your health with the right support to help you reach your goals, Jenny Craig can help. Contact us to set up your free appointment today.      Sources: [1] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/153390.php [2] https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/the-4-most-important-types-of-exercise [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4142018/ [4] https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/the-4-most-important-types-of-exercise [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5329739/ [6] https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/anaerobic-exercise#2 [7] https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/the-4-most-important-types-of-exercise [8] https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/five-benefits-of-strength-training.html [9] https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/the-4-most-important-types-of-exercise [10] http://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/balance-exercise [11] https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/501/when-is-the-best-time-to-stretch [12] https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm [13] https://health.gov/news/blog-bayw/2018/01/5-factors-help-people-stick-new-exercise-habit/
Recipes ·

Simply Inspired: Chicken Marsala with Zoodles

Dress up our delicious Chicken Marsala with some fresh and free additions, placed on top a bed of yellow squash zoodles for a satisfying meal.   Ingredients 1 prepared Jenny Craig Chicken Marsala 1/3 cup tomatoes (diced) 1/3 cup red onion (diced) ½ cup squash (spiralized) Green scallions Lemon zest Ground pepper Fresh parsley chopped Instructions Create your zoodle base by sautéing your tomatoes, onion, and squash until soft. While cooking, season with the lemon and pepper. Top with the prepared Jenny Craig Chicken Marsala Garnish with green onions and chopped parsley and enjoy!   
Live Life ·

How to Help Yourself Stay Healthy During Menopause

Menopause may be a natural part of every woman’s life, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. There are the relatively minor annoyances that start to occur as you approach the “change of life”—thinning hair and dry skin, to name a couple—as well as issues that can be much more difficult to deal with: irregular, sometimes heavy periods; hot flashes and night sweats; sleep problems; and mood swings.1 And once you are in full-fledged menopause, you are at increased risk of certain health conditions.   But before we look at the issues you need to be aware of—along with steps you can take to help prevent or treat them—let’s examine some facts about menopause:    The road to menopause typically begins in your late 30s. This is often when your ovaries begin to produce less estrogen and progesterone, the hormones that are responsible for regulating your periods. At this point, you likely won’t have signs of menopause, although your fertility can start to decline.1 Before you enter menopause, you will experience perimenopause. The declining levels of your hormones will eventually alter the length of time between your periods, marking the beginning of perimenopause, or the “menopausal transition.” Perimenopause often begins in the 40s and can last for months or years. You may have the classic signs of menopause but are not considered to be in menopause yet since you are still having periods.1,2 If you’re still menstruating, you’re still in perimenopause. You are considered to be in perimenopause until you haven’t had a period for 12 months. At that point, you have entered menopause.1 The average age of menopause in the United States is 51.2 However, there is a wide range, with most women entering menopause between the age of 40 and 58.2  Health Concerns of Menopause In addition to the sometimes-uncomfortable symptoms of menopause, you are also at an increased risk of certain health problems, including the following: Hair loss Many women complain of hair loss after menopause. While experts aren’t sure of the cause, they suspect that hormonal changes may play a part.3   What you can do: The North American Menopause Society recommends the following:3 Eat a healthy diet. This includes limiting your consumption of red meat.3  Choose foods that are rich in biotin, iron, vitamin D and zinc. Broccoli, cheese, eggs, lean meat, legumes, nuts, poultry, seeds, spinach and sweet potatoes are good sources.4 Check with your doctor to rule out underlying problems. Hair loss can also be caused by thyroid disease or other medical conditions. Osteoporosis This condition, which causes your bones to become brittle and weak and to break easily, is more common during menopause. That’s because the loss of estrogen that occurs with menopause causes you to lose bone mass, which increases your risk.5  What you can do: The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends you:6 Eat a well-balanced diet. Focus on eating lots of fruits and vegetables and getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D. Good food sources include milk and other dairy products, tuna and dark-green leafy vegetables. Get regular exercise. It’s important to do both weight-bearing exercise (dancing, hiking, tennis or fast walking, for example) and muscle-strengthening (such as lifting weights or using your own body weight, or working out with elastic bands).  Avoid secondhand smoke. Also watch your alcohol consumption.  Heart disease and stroke Estrogen helps relax the blood vessels and keep them open; it also helps maintain healthy levels of cholesterol. Since estrogen decreases with menopause, there’s an increased risk of cholesterol building up in the arteries leading to the heart and brain, which in turn increases the risk for heart disease and stroke.7    What you can do: The American Heart Association recommends the following:9  Quit smoking if you smoke. Also try to avoid secondhand smoke.  Eat a healthy diet. Focus on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish and nuts.  Limit red meat. Also avoid sugary foods and drinks.  Aim to get approximately 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Exercises that use larger muscles at low resistance—such as walking, cycling, dancing or swimming—are good choices. Weight gain According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, many women gain an average of five pounds after menopause. While experts aren’t sure of the exact cause, they say lower estrogen levels may play a role.5    The reduced estrogen of menopause also causes an increase in abdominal fat, according to the International Menopause Society.8 This increase is a critical factor in the development of insulin resistance—which, in turn, is a major risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. Abdominal fat is also associated with other conditions in postmenopausal women, including breast cancer.    What you can do: Watch what you eat. According to the Mayo Clinic, you may need to watch your portion sizes even more and focus on daily activity to maintain your current weight.1  Protect your sleep. Research has shown a link between sleep loss and obesity. One study showed that five or fewer hours of sleep per night was associated with a more than two-fold increase in obesity among women when compared to those who slept seven to eight hours per night.9 Reduced sleep was also associated with central abdominal fat. Consider time-restricted feeding. Preliminary research suggests that individuals who follow a time-restricted feeding routine tend to lose more weight those who eat regardless of the time.10 By avoiding late-night meals and consuming the majority of your calories during daylight hours, you’ll be working with your metabolism when it’s most efficient. You can put this into practice by eating over a 12-hour period (for example, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.) and then letting your body rest by refraining from food—except water or herbal tea—for the other 12 hours (which includes sleep).    Menopause can be a difficult transition, both physically and emotionally. But hopefully with these tips, you’ll be empowered with knowledge to change some lifestyle habits and make the transition easier on yourself.   Do you need some strategies to help with weight loss during menopause? Jenny Craig offers delicious, balanced, healthy meals—along with your own personal weight-loss consultant. Contact us today to get started.     Sources: [1] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20353397 [2] https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/menopause-101-a-primer-for-the-perimenopausal <br> [3] https://www.menopause.org/for-women/expert-answers-to-frequently-asked-questions-about-menopause/women-s-health-and-menopause-faqs <br> [4] https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/ <br> [5] https://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause/menopause-and-your-health <br> [6] https://www.nof.org/preventing-fractures/prevention/ <br> [7] http://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/consumer-healthcare/menopause-and-heart-disease <br> [8] http://www.imsociety.org/manage/images/pdf/92cc05c0149e4aef6ae67c02dccc1f17.pdf <br> [9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2605208/ <br> [10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6004924/  
Live Life ·

8 Surprising Ways to De-Stress

It seems like stress is inevitable these days. Between juggling work, social engagements, family, and trying to squeeze in some time for yourself, stress is most likely a part of your daily life.    But it’s important to take note of how much time you spend stressing and ensure your mind and body are getting a break, as handling an overwhelming amount of stress can result in some not-so-pleasant symptoms. Common side effects include headaches, muscle pain, fatigue, overeating and undereating.1 These physical symptoms are a result of the body’s natural “fight or flight” response to stress. While this may have kept our prehistoric ancestors safe from danger, many of our modern stressors are more psychological than physical. Our current reactions to stress haven’t fully adapted to these changes, which sometimes leaves us with a literal pain in the neck.2   What’s more, over time, experiencing stress without appropriate treatments may lead to a variety of health complications including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or obesity.3 In addition, stress-induced weight gain can leave a lasting impact on your health and derail your weight loss goals.      But if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t fret! Although it might feel difficult to find ways to de-stress in our always-on world, there are ways to find your calm. Keep reading for eight of the best ways to de-stress—most of which are readily accessible and low-cost or free! 1. Be a tourist in your hometown While most people will agree that going on a relaxing vacation is a great way to de-stress, sometimes work, finances or family can dominate your schedule. Get creative with a mini-vacation and take a trip around your town or city. It’s easy to follow routines, visit the same places, take the same routes, and see the same people. But break the habit! Try doing something unfamiliar, even if you don’t have a concrete plan. Try a restaurant you have always wondered about or check out a local museum nearby. Take a hike on a new path. If you’re focused on enjoying new experiences, your mind is less likely to concentrate on potential stressors.4 2. Put your green thumb to work Tap into your inner gardener by adding a few plants around your home. Plants aren’t just trendy home décor—research has shown that interacting with indoor plants may help to reduce physiological stress and anxiety.5 Try chamomile, lavender and jasmine for their wonderfully soothing aromas.6 3. Make time to laugh Don’t be afraid to laugh out loud! Make time to do something that makes you laugh, and bask in the good vibes. Whether it’s playing with your kids without any distractions, watching cute puppy videos or seeing a stand-up comedy routine, laughter may help to reduce stress hormones.7 4. Reflect on positive experiences Most tips for reducing stress in your life are centered around objects: bringing something into your life that makes you happy or eliminating something that’s upsetting. Instead, try taking note of what you already have. It can be easy to focus on all the things that aren’t going exactly right. To combat that natural impulse, start your morning by writing down one, or a few things, that you’re grateful for in your life. By beginning each day with gratitude, you’ll be amazed at how much you already have for which to be thankful. 5. Spend time with a four-legged friend  Animals have been shown to provide comfort and reduce stress in humans.8 In one study, researchers found that pets offered social support crucial for handling psychological responses to stress.9 If you don’t own a pet, try volunteering with a local animal shelter or rescue. You’ll de-stress while sharing some TLC with an animal in need–it’s a win-win! 6. Try a new hobby Practicing a calming hobby like crafting is a great way to reduce stress. Try something creative such as macramé or knitting.10 You might even decide to make a homemade gift for someone. Giving to others helps you to feel good in return!  7. Prepare a delicious, nutritious meal  Activities that require focus and completely engage your mind may be beneficial for reducing stress. Break out a recipe you’ve bookmarked and give it a shot! Following a set of instructions, paired with repetitive actions like chopping and stirring may help keep your mind occupied and focused on the task at hand, delivering delicious results. In need of some inspiration? Check out our Simply Inspired recipes.  8. Schedule regular breaks  If your calendar is constantly packed with back-to-back meetings and tasks, you probably aren’t allowing your mind any time to wander, relax, and recharge. To combat this, schedule small blocks of time on your calendar to get a coffee, take a few minutes to sit silently, or go for a short walk. Taking a few minutes to decompress works wonders!    We hope you found these ways to de-stress useful. Remember, it’s important to take the time to unwind, no matter how busy life may be—for your health and your happiness.    To learn more about a weight loss program that can help you focus on bettering your health, contact Jenny Craig for a free appointment today.      Sources: [1] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987 <br> [2] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/19/body-stress-response_n_2902073.html <br> [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3428710/ [4] http://healthliving.today/unusual-ways-to-de-stress/3/ <br> [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4419447/ <br> [6] https://inews.co.uk/inews-lifestyle/wellbeing/plants-help-relieve-stress-much/ <br> [7] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/296344 <br> [8] http://time.com/4728315/science-says-pet-good-for-mental-health/ <br> [9] https://habri.org/research/mental-health/ <br> [10] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/09/06/stress-relief-that-works_n_3842511.html
Eat Well ·

10 Sweet Treat Alternatives Just In Time For Halloween

Satisfy your sweet tooth without the added sugar! Check out these simple sweet treat alternatives!
Eat Well ·

Coffee Lovers Rejoice! Here are 6 Health Benefits You Can Get from Your Daily Cup of Joe

Love coffee? You’re not alone. Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are estimated to be consumed in the world—daily.1 Besides being a popular way to start the morning, new research is unveiling coffee’s surprising health benefits. Whether you like your coffee hot or iced, there are even more reasons to love this powerhouse beverage.    We’ll drink to that!   1. It’s part of a healthy lifestyle (and may even help you live longer!). Whether you enjoy decaf or regular, ground or instant coffee, it may help you live longer compared to non-coffee drinkers, a new study from JAMA Internal Medicine says.2 Participants were studied over a 10-year period and drank anywhere from one to eight cups of coffee per day. The researchers found that coffee drinking was inversely associated with mortality. So, go ahead, enjoy that extra cup of coffee!   2. It might decrease your liver cancer and liver disease risk. Your liver is an essential organ that helps to break down fat and filter blood before it circulates throughout the rest of the body. Drinking coffee brewed showed a lowered risk of chronic liver disease in high risk individuals, a study of almost 10,000 people revealed.3 Another study examined existing research from 1966-2007 and found that increasing one’s daily coffee consumption by two cups may reduce the risk of liver cancer.4   3. Coffee may benefit heart health. If you don’t like coffee, these studies might help you have a change of heart. Scientists found a possible link between caffeine and heart health when they discovered caffeinated cells kept damaged heart cells from dying.5 However, since it was an animal study, more research is needed to understand the effect on humans.5 Japanese researchers observed a lower risk of cardiovascular disease-related deaths in coffee drinkers between the ages of 40 and 79.6 These findings may point to coffee helping to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, but more research is needed to solidify this conclusion.     4. The caffeine in coffee may boost short and long-term memory. Feeling forgetful? One study showed participants who ingested 100 milligrams of caffeine (about two cups of coffee) showed improved short-term memory skills.7 Tests showed brain activity in the area that controls working memory, which helps you remember things for a short time. Researchers concluded caffeine may help to regulate the brain’s short-term memory functions.8 A separate study from Johns Hopkins University explored the effects of 200 milligrams of caffeine on memory. This increased dosage showed participants were less likely to forget images they’d seen the day before, suggesting caffeine helped their long-term memory over a 24-hour period.9   5. It may improve alertness and positivity. Nothing says “teamwork” like a cup of coffee. Ohio State University released research from two studies suggesting that drinking caffeinated coffee may improve feelings of positivity among people working as a group. In the first study, half the participants drank coffee before debating a controversial topic, while the other half had coffee after the discussion. The test group who’d had coffee first reported being more alert and spoke positively about their team members’ contributions, compared to those who drank coffee later. The second study was similar, where half the participants had caffeinated coffee, while the others had decaf. Again, results showed the group who had caffeinated coffee were more alert and provided more positive reviews of their peers.10 So, the next time you’re about to head into a big meeting, consider taking a quick coffee break first!   6. Coffee could help (temporarily) kick-start your weight loss. Some studies show the caffeine in coffee may temporarily boost your metabolic rate, or the speed of your metabolism, a few hours after consuming it.11-12  Your metabolism is the chemical process that provides energy for your body.  Along with an increase in metabolic rate, one study showed increased levels of fat oxidation, or using fat as energy.13-14  So it may not be a bad idea to enjoy a regular cup of coffee along with a variety of delicious, healthy foods and regular exercise! Wake up and smell the coffee!   If you look like this before your morning cup o’ joe, we totally get it. <br> Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or a casual sipper, there are so many reasons to enjoy one of the world’s most popular beverages. Aside from tasting great and providing a jolt of caffeine, new studies continue to uncover coffee’s many perks. As with all foods and beverages, it’s best to have it in moderation. And check with your healthcare provider if you experience any adverse effects while consuming caffeine.  <br> Cheers to good health! Interested in learning more about how to lose weight the healthy way while enjoying your favorite foods–and coffee? Get in touch with a Jenny Craig consultant to set up your free appointment today! <br>   Sources: [1] http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.571.8956&rep=rep1&type=pdf <br> [2] https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2686145 <br> [3] https://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(05)01774-9/abstract?referrer=http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16344061 <br> [4] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016508507005689 <br> [5] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-healthy-addiction-coffee-study-finds-more-health-benefits/ <br> [6] https://jech.bmj.com/content/65/3/230 <br> [7] https://press.rsna.org/timssnet/media/pressreleases/pr_target.cfm?ID=270 <br> [8] https://press.rsna.org/timssnet/media/pressreleases/pr_target.cfm?ID=270 <br> [9] https://hub.jhu.edu/2014/01/12/caffeine-enhances-memory/ [10] https://news.osu.edu/coffee-helps-teams-work-together-study-suggests/ <br> [11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7486839 <br> [12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2912010 <br> [13] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7369170 <br> [14] https://www.encyclopedia.com/sports/sports-fitness-recreation-and-leisure-magazines/fat-oxidation
Recipes ·

Holiday Hacks – Cocoa Bites

A serving of our Bewitching Cocoa Bites is the perfect treat without any unhealthy tricks. Try this tasty recipe and send us a picture of your creations! #HolidayHacks Ingredients: 5 cups of rice crisp cereal  6 tablespoons butter  3 cups mini marshmallows  10 oz. package of peanut butter and milk chocolate morsels  1/3 cup cocoa powder  1/3 cup light corn syrup Instructions: Measure 5 cups of rice crisp cereal, set aside.  Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over low heat.  Add 3 cups of mini marshmallows, a 10 oz. package of peanut butter and milk chocolate morsels, and 1/3 cup of cocoa powder.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until marshmallows and morsels are melted. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/3 cup of light corn syrup.  Add cereal, stir until well coated.  Shape mixture into 1 ½” balls and place on a cookie sheet.  Cool completely.  Store in a cool, dry place. Makes 30 servings. <br>Serving size: 1 cocoa bite  <br> Per Serving: 1 starch, 1 fat     If you’re a Jenny Craig member, check with your consultant before making any swaps or changes to your plan to ensure you stay on track!   <br>  

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