Friday, March 25, 2016

You'll never press snooze again: 5 surprising ways to make waking up a breeze

These are five ways to start your day right:

1. Prep For Succes

Lay out workout clothes the night before. It's much easier to leap out of bed and lace up your running shoes when they're the first thing you see. If you have time, plan your daytime outfit too.

You'll soon discover you have more time to enjoy a healthy breakfast and squeeze in a little more cardio!

2. Your Alarm Matters

Say no to jarring alarms that put you in a bad mood the minute you wake up. Instead, choose a sound that makes you feel good, whether it's a peaceful melody or an upbeat song.

If you use your phone to wake up, rename your alarm with a goal! You can't press snooze to a line like, "Feel amazing for my reunion!" or "Complete that race like a rock star!"

3. Turn it UP!

There's nothing like blasting jams bright and early in the morning — and maybe dancing a little bit while you get ready.

Doing this not only puts a pep in your step, but it also helps your body warm up for that sweat session!

4. But first, coffee!

It's no secret that we love coffee. For a surefire morning boost, set your coffee machine to start brewing a few minutes before your alarm goes off.

The energizing aroma will beckon you out of bed like nothing else. If you prefer cold brew, prep a batch the night before.

5. Your dreams are your reality!

Visualization is one of our top secrets to success! All you need to do is spend a few minutes before you go to bed and first thing in the morning to visualize exactly what you want to achieve.

Visualize yourself confidently rocking your favorite jeans, finishing that race, feeling healthy and having tons of energy. Talk about motivating!

Golden Guidelines for Brain Health

Foods to Avoid:

The "Great White Hazards" white flour products, white potatoes, white rice, sugar/sweets

Trans fats-- strictly avoid processed or fast foods made with partially hydrogenated oils (check labels), stick margarine, and shortening

Limit saturated fats-- red meat, whole dairy productsm butter, and palm oil

All sugary beverages-- soda, fruit drinks, sport drinks, etc.

Excess alcohol-- limit to 1 drink or less daily

Help your body defy gravity

Lifting weights gives your body a total lift, especially arms and chest, areas that give away your age fastest.

You can fight gravity by toning and tightening these areas. You are not destined to wear long sleeves to hide flabby underarms anymore!

The key: You have to work at it and be consistent or you won’t see results.

Immunity Essentials

My desire to stay well has much more to do with building my immune system all year-round rather than just surviving this year’s holiday or flu season. Nearly 1 of every 2 men, and 1 of every 3 women will be faced with a cancer diagnosis and it’s imperative to continuously support and build up your immune function to live cancer free and healthy!

Seasonal changes, aging, and stresses of the holiday’s can suppress your immune system and leave you depleted by the beginning of the New Year. Using natural supplements, foods, and lifestyle changes throughout the year can help your maintain your strength and stay well. NOW is the time to put these immune powerhouses into practice for the entire year.


#1. My personal favorite…SLEEP. Poor sleep interferes with your immune function, multiplies your chances of getting sick, decreases longevity, and drastically affects your ability to fight cancer. Less than 7 hours a night and you’re doing yourself a health disservice! Read more about the importance of sleep and how to maximize your sleep benefit here.

#2. It thrills me to see TURMERIC more widely available. Turmeric is a cancer cell destroyer and works on nearly every type of cancer. It’s active compound, curcumin, has the ability to simultaneously kill and promote healthy cellular growth. I suggest juicing or taking in capsule form (organic only) for highest benefit, you need a minimum of 95% curcuminoids and 3 grams 3-4 times daily. I recommend Organic India Turmeric Supplementsor Gaia Herbs Supreme Turmeric Capsules.

#3. I grew up banned from eating them, but MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS are potent immune boosters and should be a part of your health routine. The Shiitake, Reishi, and Maitake mushroom stimulate the immune system, build up our resistance to viruses, and block tumor formation. The ABM mushroom (Agaricus Blazel Murill) is clinically the strongest cancer fighting and immune boosting mushroom available. Don’t like the flavor? Can’t easily find them available to cook with? Not a problem, you can find high quality mushroom supplements here.

#4. Increasing your VITAMIN C dosage is one of the easiest ways to boost immune function. Low levels of C are linked to infection and disease. Vitamin C is not dangerous in heavy doses, showing no side effects from increase. Lyphospheric Vitamin C can break cell’s lipid barriers and increase absorption by up to 90% preventing viruses, disease, cancer, and improving cardiovascular health. You can also supplement with one of my favorites, Pure Synergy’s Pure Radiance Vitamin C Capsules.

#5. Another cancer fighting vitamin, VITAMIN D has been clinically tested to reduce risk of 17 different types of cancer. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to auto-immune disorders and directly correlated to cancer deaths. The vitamin helps kill viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Sunshine is still your best source of vitamin D, I recommend 20-30 minutes a day in direct sun with exposed skin (early morning or late afternoon are great times). Another great option is an easy to take, daily drop of Thorne Vitamin D/K2 Supplement.

#6. Nothing works for boosting my immune system or spirit more than a homemade bowl of CHICKEN SOUP. There is a reason why this is a go-to for cold and flu season, the chicken provides cysteine and amino acid that breaks up congestion, while the hot soup can strengthen the movement of white blood cells and the broth is ultra hydrating. Any combination of bone in chicken and broth slow cooked with celery, onion, carrot, and herbs is all it takes! Here is my recipe.

#7. While a plant-based diet reduces inflammation and creates an alkaline environment, your body needs ZINC for immune support. If you’re deficient, animal products are better sources than plant, think only organic grass fed beef, chicken, shellfish, or lamb. Zinc builds immunity and is actually very anti-inflammatory. Vegetarians, be sure to intake good amounts of legumes and nuts to maintain your intake or supplement with Ortho-Molecular Reacted Zinc or Thorne Research Zinc-Citrate.

#8. I love the taste and loathe the stinky breathe, but GARLIC is well worth it! The sulfuric acid compounds in garlic are strong enough to eliminate bacteria and infections while studies show that garlic consumption may reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer, especially cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. Use fresh garlic for max benefit as heat can decrease the potency.

#9. I eat two Brazil nuts a day to keep my SELENIUM levels where they should be. You may not hear of selenium as much as other immune booster’s on this list, but it’s very important in cancer fighting. Selenium reduces the risk of several cancers and it’s considered a “miracle mineral” for its immune boosting qualities. If you would prefer to take your selenium in supplement form, Thorne Selemonethionine is a good start.

#10. Whether you’re making the choice to nourish your newborn or an adult who needs immune support, COLOSTROM is amazing. Colostrum is in the breast milk of all mammals post birth and serves the purpose to build up the newborn immune system and promote growth. You can purchase colostrum to rebuild the immune system and destroy bacteria and viruses.

Your Body On… A Dance Party

Boost Memory ~ Dance not only instills grace, but it also helps you age gracefully. According to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, dancing may boost your memory and prevent you from developing dementia as you get older. Science reveals that aerobic exercise can reverse volume loss in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory. The hippocampus naturally shrinks during late adulthood, which often leads to impaired memory and sometime dementia.

Improve Flexibility ~ Those plies and arabesques that ballet dancers practice aren't just for aesthetics - they also increase flexibility and reduce stiffness. You can skip the ballet slippers and still reap the benefits of ballet by practicing some simple stretches at home. Increasing your flexibility will help ease joint pain and post-exercise soreness.

Reduce Stress ~ If you're feeling tense or stressed out, you might want to grab a partner, turn up the music, and tango! In a controlled study in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, researchers found that partner dance and musical accompaniment can help you bring about stress relief.

Diminish Depression ~ Dancing really does lift your spirits, according to a study that tested the effects of dancing on people with depression. Patients who participated in a upbeat group dance showed the fewest depression symptoms and the most vitality. Got the blues? Grab a friend and go out dancing!

Help Your Heart ~ Dance is great activity for those at risk for cardiovascular disease. People with hart failure who took up waltzing improved their heart healthy, breathing, and quality of life significantly compared to those who biked or walked on a treadmill for exercise.

Lose Weight - Bored with your bicycle? A study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that an exercise program of aerobic dance training is just as helpful for losing weight and increasing aerobic power as cycling and jogging.

Balance Better ~ If you are nervous about falling as you get older, some dance lessons might help ease your worries, according to a study in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity that showed tango dancing can improve balance in aging adults. Dancing requires a lot of fast movements and good posture, so frequent dancing will help you stabilize and gain better control of your body.

Increase Energy ~ Can't seem to find your get-up-and-go? Taking a dance class might help. Research found that a weekly dance program could improve your physical performance and increase energy levels among adults.

Make Friends ~ A dance class is the perfect setting to make new friends and branch out socially. Maintaining positive relationships may just rank up there with healthy eating and exercise. Being socially engaged leads to increased happiness, reduced stress, and a stronger immune system.

There are many forms of dance, belly dancing, ballet, salsa, ballroom, hip-hop, square dancing etc. If it has been a while since you've been on the dance floor why don't start by taking our Zumba classes offered by Tina Zukaitis at our Homestead at Hartness location. Please call 864-420-3371 if you are interested in signing up for in studio Zumba classes and Aqua Zumba!

Simple Tips for Healthy Eyes

Your eyes are an important part of your health.

There are many things you can do to keep them healthy and make sure you are seeing your best. Follow these simple steps for maintaining healthy eyes well into your golden years.

Have a comprehensive dilated eye exam.

You might think your vision is fine or that your eyes are healthy, but visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure. When it comes to common vision problems, some people don’t realize they could see better with glasses or contact lenses. In addition, many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration often have no warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages.

During a comprehensive dilated eye exam, your eye care professional places drops in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupil to allow more light to enter the eye the same way an open door lets more light into a dark room. This enables your eye care professional to get a good look at the back of the eyes and examine them for any signs of damage or disease. Your eye care professional is the only one who can determine if your eyes are healthy and if you’re seeing your best.

Know your family’s eye health history. Talk to your family members about their eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with a disease or condition since many are hereditary. This will help to determine if you are at higher risk for developing an eye disease or condition.

Eat right to protect your sight.

You’ve heard carrots are good for your eyes. But eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens is important for keeping your eyes healthy, too.i Research has also shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.

Maintain a healthy weight. 

Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and other systemic conditions, which can lead to vision loss, such as diabetic eye disease or glaucoma. If you are having trouble maintaining a healthy weight, talk to your doctor.

Wear protective eyewear. 

Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities around the home. Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields, and eye guards specially designed to provide the correct protection for a certain activity. Most protective eyewear lenses are made of polycarbonate, which is 10 times stronger than other plastics. Many eye care providers sell protective eyewear, as do some sporting goods stores.

Quit smoking or never start. 

Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.ii,iii

Be cool and wear your shades. 

Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.

Give your eyes a rest.

If you spend a lot of time at the computer or focusing on any one thing, you sometimes forget to blink and your eyes can get fatigued. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eyestrain.

Clean your hands and your contact lenses properly.

To avoid the risk of infection, always wash your hands thoroughly before putting in or taking out your contact lenses. Make sure to disinfect contact lenses as instructed and replace them as appropriate.

Practice workplace eye safety. 

Employers are required to provide a safe work environment. When protective eyewear is required as a part of your job, make a habit of wearing the appropriate type at all times and encourage your coworkers to do the same.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Reasons to Avoid GMOs If You Have an Autoimmune Disease

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are potentially one of the greatest health concerns of our time. Although the issue of their safety has received a lot more attention lately, due to the House of Representatives’ controversial vote to block any mandatory labeling of them, the issue has flown largely under the radar.

In fact, an estimated 92% of corn and 94% of soy grown in the U.S. are genetically modified, despite the fact that there is very little research on the long-term effect these scientifically engineered foods have on us. What’s worse, of the research available, a majority of the most publicized studies were funded by the very companies developing and selling GM seeds.

Studies funded by consumer-oriented organizations, such as The Institute for Responsible Technology and The Environmental Working Group have found an alarming number of connections between GMOs and health problems, including intestinal damage, inflammation, higher rates of disease, and even death.

Based on the evidence they and other trusted scientific organizations have gathered, I strongly recommend avoiding genetically modified foods. In this article we’ll look at three reasons why genetically modified foods are a poor choice, particularly if you have an autoimmune or inflammatory condition, and I’ll share some practical tips for avoiding them.

1. GMOs Contain More Pesticides than Non-GMOs

GMO crops were specifically developed to allow farmers to use more herbicides without killing the crops themselves. This is problematic because continuous exposure to toxins, including pesticides, is one of the key environmental triggers for developing an autoimmune disease, and maintaining a high toxic-burden can cause your existing autoimmune condition to progress.

Monsanto’s infamous GMO seeds were developed to be “Roundup ready”, meaning they can withstand the active herbicide in Roundup, glyphosate. As a result, glyphosate use has increased 16-fold since the Roundup ready seeds were introduced in the 90s, a statistic that should worry all of us because the World Health Organization recently released a reportstating that glyphosate probably causes cancer in humans.

Another problem caused by the widespread use of glyphosate in our crops is that it has led to a sharp increase in glyphosate-resistant weeds. These “superweeds” require even greater herbicide use, and are often combated using older, more dangerous herbicides, such as 2, 4-D, a chemical that has been linked with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine disruption, and reproductive problems.

2. Genetically Modified Foods Cause Leaky Gut

Many GM crops, including corn, were engineered to produce their own insecticide, called Bt-toxin, by combining the plant’s DNA with DNA from bacteria. Bt-toxin kills insects by destroying the lining of their digestive tracts. The poison is not specific to insects and also pokes holes in human cells, damaging the intestines and causing leaky gut, which we know is a precondition for developing an autoimmune disease. The growing body of evidence that GMOs are dangerous prompted the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) to publicly warn that “it is biologically plausible for Genetically Modified Foods to cause adverse health effects in humans.”

Beyond Bt-toxin, GM plants are also engineered to enhance plants’ natural “plant protectors,” including prolamins, agglutinins, digestive enzyme inhibitors, and saponins. These chemicals contribute to leaky gut, gut dysbiosis, and inflammation, all of which negatively impact those of us with an autoimmune disease or inflammatory condition.

3. GMOs Disrupt Your Gut Balance

Glyphosate, the herbicide used on GM crops, is also a potent antibiotic that can attack the bacteria in your gut. Unfortunately, the good bacteria in your gut, the kind that help with digestion and keeping the bad bacteria in check, are more likely to be susceptible to glyphosate, while the bad bacteria, including strains that cause salmonella and botulism, arehighly resistant to glyphosate. This means that eating GMO foods can decrease your healthy bacteria and increase the bad bacteria, putting you at risk for Candida overgrowth, leaky gut, and inflammation, which can contribute to autoimmune disease.

How to Avoid GMOs

It might seem that genetically modified foods are ubiquitous in our modern food system, but if you arm yourself with the right knowledge, then you can make smart shopping decisions to avoid GMOs.

Choose organic whenever possible

Organic foods are by definition non-GMO, so buying organic fruits, veggies, and packaged foods will ensure that you avoid GMOs. Plus, organic foods are free of dangerous pesticides, herbicides, and other toxins used on conventionally farmed foods. Look for labels that say “100% Organic” or “USDA Organic.” Assume that anything labeled “Made With Organic” contains some organic ingredients, and the rest may be GMO.

For organic, GMO-free pantry items I like to order from Thrive Market, an online marketplace that offers wholesome products at wholesale prices. Their membership-based model lets you buy healthy products at 25 – 50% below retail prices. You can shop by “values” including certified organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, paleo, etc. Use this link and you’ll get your first month free!

Switch to grass-fed meat

Unless marked otherwise, most livestock is fed genetically modified, pesticide-laden corn, soy, and alfalfa, instead of traditional grass. This is extremely important because the diet of the animals you eat affects you as well, and if they ate a diet of GMO feed, it will end up in your body. Also, because livestock are now given growth hormones and antibiotics to get them as fat as possible as quickly as possible, they’re ingesting high quantities of genetically modified feed over their short lifespans.

For this reason, I recommend buying only grass-fed (not just grass-finished), pasture-raised, organic meats. I like to order my meat from U.S. Wellness meats. It’s all organic, grass-fed, and free-range, and they have a wide variety of beef, bison, lamb, chicken, pork, and more.

Use The EWG’s Guide to Avoiding GMOs

The EWG has created a very helpful resource outlining which foods are most commonly GM, and which foods are a safer bet. Buy them all organic if you can, but if that’s not feasible, at the very least buy organic when it comes to the most commonly GM foods.

Support the mandatory labeling of GMOs

Currently, GM foods are not required to be labeled. Several states have passed legislation that would mandate labeling of GM food, but the federal Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act would prohibit any state regulation on GMO labeling, effectively nullifying any progress made thus far at the state and local level.

The DARK act passed the House of Representatives this summer, and it will be up for a voteany day now in the Senate. The EWG and many other organizations are working very hard to ensure that this bill is not passed in the senate. Help support this effort by signing the EWG’s petition, or making a donation!

Effectiveness of Beach Workouts

Exercise isn’t just for your body; it’s designed to improve your mind and emotions. And if you’re looking to intensify your exercise high, your best bet is to work out on a sandy beach. Researchers at the University of Plymouth have found that all outdoor locations are associated with positive feelings (enjoyment, calmness, refreshment), but that exercise at the coast is most beneficial. The environs of urban parks were not as satisfactory. Though, they add, an outdoor urban workout is still better than staying chained to a desk all day.

“There is a lot of work on the beneficial effects of visiting natural environments, but our findings suggest it is time to move beyond a simple urban versus rural debate and start looking at the effect that different natural environments have on people’s health and well-being,” says researcher Mathew White

Staying Fit on the Road

Balancing a daily workout with your job, personal life and family is a constant struggle. This can be especially hard if you are required to travel for work. But traveling can be fun. You get to see lots of different cities and the best part is that you don't have to sacrifice your workout program.

Many hotels and motels realize that business travelers these days don't just want to sit around and order expensive room service. For instance, the Hilton Hotel now offers "health-fit rooms" which have exercise equipment inside the room.

If you're not lucky enough to stay in one of these "health-fit rooms," don't despair. Most hotels have a fitness center. It used to be that hotel gyms had just a few pieces of rusty old bicycles in a converted storage room. I remember trying to work out in some of these gyms. A few still had posters of Charles Atlas on the wall. What a challenge that was!

Things have changed. Nowadays, hotel gyms usually offer modern strength training and cardio equipment and sometimes even have personal training as well as yoga and spinning classes.

Before you book your hotel, call or check the hotel's website to see what kind of fitness facilities are provided. If there's no gym on the premises, the hotel may have an arrangement with a nearby fitness club. To find the best hotel gyms in the city you're going to, check out this website:

If your hotel just doesn't have a gym or you enjoy the privacy of working solo here are some simple ways you take your workout anywhere on the road.

Outdoor Workout: If you can't find a hotel with a gym, try to book a hotel near a park or recreational area. Go for an exhilarating run or walk. That will get your endorphins going first thing in the morning and get you pumped for the day's meetings. I prefer going for an early morning run while mixing in the circuit below. All you need is a picnic bench and a positive attitude.

Space-saver Circuit: This circuit doesn't involve any equipment, just your own body weight. Start with a short warm-up by marching in place or doing jumping jacks for three minutes. Then do one set of 10-50 reps--depending on your current fitness level--of push-ups, alternating lunges, dips, squats and sit-ups/crunches. If you're up for it, repeat the circuit two or three times. I like to do a descending pyramid or 50-40-30-20-10 of the above exercises. Believe me--this will really get your heart rate up and work your muscles.

Bring A Video: Most hotel rooms have DVD/VCR machines. Bring your favorite fitness or yoga video with you. I'm in the process of putting together workout videos for this purpose.

Remember to be prepared to try different routines and exercises when you travel. You'll have to be flexible. If the hotel gym doesn't have the elliptical trainer you normally use, try something else. If you're used to lifting free weights and the gym only has machines, try them. Changing up your normal workout routine is actually a good thing. But there's no excuse for not working out.

5 Yoga Practices for Mind-Body Balance

Over time, yoga becomes something we live, not just something we “practice.” The inevitable pressures of life have less of an impact on us as we respond in a more conscious manner. As we become balanced and harmonious, our interactions with people and situations become more deliberate, calm, and relaxed. We bring union and harmony to every encounter, whether it’s a random meeting on the street, a talk with our child, or a family reunion. When our inner world begins to change, our outer world shifts to reflect our new perspective.

Daily Yoga Practice Establish a regular yoga practice. Keep in mind that it is more powerful to practice each day for ten to twenty minutes than to do much longer sessions only once or twice a week. If you’ve never tried yoga, explore a variety of styles and teachers to find one that feels right for your own unique needs.If you practice at home, create a sacred space for yourself: Find a time when you won’t be interrupted, turn off your phone, and move through your practice, focusing on the inhalation and exhalation of each breath. You may want to explore the practices in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga Guidebook.

Meditate Meditation and yoga are two complementary practices with the same purpose: to experience the union of body, mind, and spirit. Meditation helps you go beyond the mind’s busy thought traffic into the stillness and silence of pure awareness. At the Chopra Center we offer instruction in a simple yet powerful practice called Primordial Sound Meditation (you can locate a teacher in your area by visiting You are also invited to participate in our 21-Day Meditation Challenge. You will receive a daily guided meditation and various tools and techniques you can use to deepen your practice.You can practice meditation right now by closing your eyes and observing the inflow and outflow of your breath for a few minutes. If thoughts arise, just let them go and return your attention to your breathing. One of the most important things to remember about meditation is that we’re not trying to get rid of thoughts – we’re just becoming aware of them, letting them go, and returning to the silent space beyond. Be gentle with yourself and don’t judge your meditation practice. Try this practice for a few minutes each day, gradually extending the time.

Practice Non-Judgment At the beginning of the day, tell yourself, Today I shall judge nothing that occurs. Throughout the day, remind yourself of this statement whenever you catch yourself judging. Judgment comes from the ego’s need to control and is based on fear. Your true Self is completely free of these things because it recognizes that everyone is the same spirit in different disguises.

Finding Compassion on the Road Driving is an excellent laboratory for self-awareness – and an ideal place to cultivate equanimity and calm. Before you start the car, give your body a good stretch to each side and set your intention for a peaceful, safe journey. As you drive, relax your grip on the steering wheel. Keep your tongue at fire point (the spot on the roof of your mouth just between your two upper front teeth) to keep your jaw relaxed.Be aware of situations that cause you to become frustrated, such as slow traffic or someone cutting you off. When these situations arise, see if you can focus your attention on your breath and put your awareness in your heart, letting go of the story you’re telling yourself about “the jerk” in the other car. Advanced yogis can practice feeling compassion for the other drivers as well. You can silently repeat, “Just like me, they want to feel happy, peaceful, and loved.”

Cultivate Witnessing Awareness Throughout the day, practice shifting into a witnessing mode of awareness. Turn your attention to the silent witness within – your soul – and take time to commune with the intelligence in all living things. Listen to the crash of the ocean waves, see the smile of a loved one, or watch a beautiful sunrise. Established in the peace of your inner silence, you will experience joy and reverence for nature and life in all its manifestations.

Let's Go Shopping for Cooking Oils!

Fat is what gives our foods flavor, and if you know exactly which oils to select, you get the best of both worlds—great tasting food that guards and protects your health too. Remember, it is the type of fat in your diet that really matters. Your goals are to bring in the make-me-healthier fats and to keep the unhealthy fats out.

Ground Rules

Use extra virgin olive oil as your oil of choice. It is fine for room temperature and low to moderate heat cooking. For high heat (frying, etc.) see below.

When the robust flavor of olive oil is not desired, use neutral tasting avocado oil or canola oil. “High heat” canola best for cooking/baking. Choose organic canola if you prefer non-GMO foods like I do.

Use grape seed oil, sesame oil, or avocado oil for high heat food prep like stir-frying or pan-frying. (All stand up well to very high heat.)

Use pan sprays for a quick and easy way to apply a light coating of oil when desired. Olive oil or canola oil-based varieties best for low to moderate heat and refined grape seed or coconut oil varieties best for high heat.

Feel free to use nut oils (walnut oil, macadamia oil, etc.) when called for in recipes – they are all great for you!

For very occasional (I hope!) deep frying, use coconut oil, peanut oil, or avocado oil.

Avoid the oils high in omega 6 fats (Americans consume too much of this fat)—corn oil, soybean oil (also called “vegetable oil”), safflower oil and sunflower oil.

Strictly avoid all shortenings like Crisco.

Rules of the Road for Healthy Living

Whether you’re heading out for a business trip or vacation with your girlfriend, your diet might take a dive. Between fast food stops, huge restaurant meals, and a general "I-can-eat-whatever" attitude, the result is often vacation pudge that lasts longer than you want. Follow these eating guidelines and you’ll have a good time on the road, minus the longstanding consequences.

1. Plan ahead.

Pack smart. That means stocking up on travel-friendly grub that’s nutrient-dense, non-perishable, and has sustaining calories, says Rikki Keen, R.D., director of sports nutrition at Florida Hospital and a consultant to NFL athletes. Fill your bags with snacks like beef jerky, dark chocolate chips, nuts, and individual peanut butter packets. Keen has her football players carry Caveman Bars because they’re made of mainly wholesome ingredients like nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.

2. Know where you’re going.

When you’re in a new city or on the road, avoid stopping at the first fast-food burger joint you see as soon as you’re hungry. Keen recommends using an app like AroundME while you’re on your way to the destination. It will let you locate healthier restaurant chains, like Chipotle or Sweet Tomatoes. (Here are 4 Chains That Are Fixing Fast Food.)

3. Eat every 2 to 3 hours.

It doesn’t have to be much—just a handful of nuts or dried fruit. This avoids a so-hungry-you-ate-a-gas-station-hot-dog situation, says Keen.

4. Carry your greens.

Look, you’re probably more focused on hitting that famous BBQ joint than getting your quota of seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day, says Mike Roussell, Ph.D., Men’s Health nutrition advisor. If that’s the case, Roussell suggests bringing powdered greens like Amazing Grass’ Amazing Meal along for the ride. You can buy the freeze-dried fruits and vegetables in small packets or in bulk and, mix them with smoothies or into oatmeal for breakfast.

5. Pop an important supplement.

Roussell advises taking melatonin if you’re traveling across time zones to help reset your internal clock faster, so you get better acclimated to the new location. From a weight loss standpoint, good sleep is key: A 2013 study in the journal Obesity found that one night of poor sleep drives up hunger hormones that make people purchase high-calorie foods.

6. Power up your coffee.

Get your day started off right with hunger-taming, quality protein. Baggie up some vanilla whey protein powder and toss it in your go bag, says Keen. When you stop and get coffee, add milk, stir, then mix in 1/2 to 1 scoop of the protein powder.

7. Back off booze.

Whether you’re at a business dinner with clients or a conference reception, stick with two drinks. The problem with going over is that you don’t think clearly with a buzz, so you’re more likely to stuff yourself with a tray of apps. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that guys consume an extra 433 calories from alcohol and food when they booze. Focus your efforts on networking instead of knocking back your fourth IPA.

8. Read the airline menu.

You don’t have to survive a long flight on Jack and Coke and free pretzels alone. Many airlines now offer protein boxes with hummus, olives, and whole-grain crackers, which provide a balance of protein, fat, and complex carbs, says Keen.

9. Scan the buffet.

On a cruise or in a hotel, buffets offer an unending amount of fare that’s fried, covered in sauce, or heavy in carbs. Make a beeline to protein-packed items instead. At the continental breakfast bar, your best choice is eggs. At dinner, visit the carving station with pork tenderloin and pair with vegetables or a salad. Eating high-protein meals can keep you fuller throughout the day and make you less likely to call up room service for pizza late at night, reports a 2011 study from the University of Missouri.

10. Practice the ‘one and done’ rule.

You’re allowed to cheat on your diet while on the road, but breakfast, lunch, and dinner don’t all have to be gut-busting affairs. Pick one high-calorie item a day, like ice cream from that local creamery for dessert. Eat it, enjoy it, then move on, says Keen.

11. Drink more water.

Always carry an empty glass or stainless steel water bottle with you and drink about 8 ounces of H20 every hour to prevent dehydration. Thirst often masquerades as hunger, says Keen.