Did you make a New Year’s resolution to get healthy in 2015? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. Approximately 45% of Canadians make resolutions and of that bunch, nearly 70% of them are health and fitness related. It’s no surprise then that large gym chains and diet companies see a massive spike in sales the first week of January. But, it doesn’t take long for the determination to wear off. In fact, one in three ditch their resolutions before January is even over. Part of the reason for the major declaration drop-off is the same reason fad diets don’t work: they are not sustainable changes. People try to do a 180-degree, life-altering makeover, literally overnight. Too much, too soon!
Research shows that people stick with positive life changes when they are small, gradual, and easy to manage and maintain. Resolving to go for a walk a few times a week, limiting yourself to two cups of coffee a day or vowing to drink more water: these are the types of goals that have a higher rating of success.
Another idea for a small but effective health adjustment is adding a smoothie to your daily routine. The benefits of a smoothie-a-day are countless. They are a quick, easy and inexpensive way of getting your daily-recommended dose of fruits and veggies. A morning shake has also been shown to be effective for weight loss and revving up the metabolism while giving a much-needed break to the digestive system. Not only that, but these days there are so many super nutritious ingredients we can add to our shakes that offer serious nutritional benefits. Here are the best smoothie ingredients you should be adding to the mix in 2015!
What if I told you you could get more fiber than in a bowl of oatmeal, twice the antioxidant benefits of blueberries, ten times the amount of omega fatty acids than in salmon, and three times the protein of tofu in your smoothie? All it takes is a few spoonful’s of chia seeds. Yes, these revolutionary seeds mean business in the nutrient department, including impressive amounts of magnesium and calcium.
In the past if you wanted to load up on greens in your shakes, you’d have to fill your blender to the brim with spinach, kale and cucumbers, oh my! Costly, timely and somewhat inefficient. Nowadays there are incredible powder formulas that include more plant-based ingredients than you could possibly keep in your fridge. The innovator in the veggie vision is Genuine Health, who began formulating its groundbreaking product greens+ over 25 years ago. One scoop of the superfood formula offers 23 plant-based essential nutrients and provides the antioxidant power of six servings of fruits and vegetables.
If you need a little extra push in the morning, add some maca powder to the mix. Maca is a superfood long used to help boost energy and stamina. Its impressive nutritional profile includes loads of vitamins E, C and B as well as calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids. And if that doesn’t convince you to load up on it this year, Maca has also been shown to improve sexual function in both men and women, and alleviate menstrual related symptoms.
Coo-Coo for Coconut
The benefits of all things coconut are no secret. 2014 was the year coconuts blew-up in the health industry, and for good reason. Specifically, coconut oil is 90-percent made of good fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Instead of being stored in your hips, these MCTs are sent straight to the liver for energy production. That’s right, these fats are a dieter's dream, and are even shown to improve metabolic function. A few scoops of the “miracle oil” will give a big boost to the nutritional value, as well as add a delicious tropical taste to any shake.