Tips for Healthy Living

Psychological Ways to Lose Weight. (Posted 06/28/11)
When trying to lose weight, psychology can play a big factor. If mentally you are suffering from debilitating thoughts, ideas and reasoning not to mention deep rooted depression and low self esteem losing weight not to mention trying to push yourself to do much of anything can seem like an insurmountable task. In life we all need certain thing, we all know of the food, shelter and clothing but there are also psychological needs. Everyone needs to have these issue at least to some degree some of the time.
  • Have moments of love, fun, and friends with people.
  • You need to feel a degree of safety and security.
  • You need to have some sense of control over your own life.
  • Have feelings of growing or being stretched to escape boredom and to increase ones self esteem.
  • Have quality time, attention received and attention given with other people.
  • Feel like you belong to something bigger, part of a community
If you are feeling mentally healthy with regards to the points above your quest to lose weight will come much easier than to someone struggling with one or some of these issues.

Food can be pleasurable and as a result people can end up using it to fill a void in other areas of their life to make them feel better. While it is true we all need food to some extent, most of use do not need as much food as we eat but the line can become blurred when suffering psychologically. What makes this a double edged sword is once someone starts to eat for comfort, they end up gaining weight and as a result feel poorly about themselves because of the excess weight they have just gained. This turns into a downward spiral and causes someone to lose control.

What people need in order to lose weight is some motivation, a reason to start a change in their life.

Foods and Food Components to Reduce. (Posted 06/16/11)
More than one-third of all calories consumed by Americans are solid fats and added sugars.

Solid fats are found in fatty animal-based foods such as well-marbled meat, poultry skin, bacon, sausage, butter and whole milk products. Trans fat is found in foods made with vegetable oils that have been partially hydrogenated such as cookies, donuts, pastries and crackers.

Most fats should be polyunsaturated or monounsaturated such as liquid vegetable oils like canola, olive, corn, peanut and soybean. Plant-based foods like nuts, seeds, olives and avocados also contain these healthy fats.

Weight Loss and Children. (Posted 06/14/11)
 The 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) results indicate that approximately 15% of children and adolescents are overweight. What these results demonstrate is that between the 1960s to the 1980s, the percentage of overweight children was relatively stable. However, since the early 1980s, the percentage of overweight children has risen dramatically - from 7% to 11% in children (ages 6-11) and from 5% to 11% in teens (ages 12-19). In other words, the percentage of overweight children and teens almost doubled in the past decade or so. Experts are very alarmed at these statistics, considering that overweight children and adolescents are at far greater risk of becoming overweight or obese adults than are healthy weight children and adolescents.

Encourage children to engage in physical activities.

Many of the rules that apply to adults apply to children; however, it's usually easier to introduce activity into a child's life. Children don't need fitness trainers and gyms. They need to engage in active play, and the more often the parents join them, the better. Encourage children to participate in sports and activities that interest them. Take them swimming or to the park, instead of watching TV or playing computer games.

Help children to develop healthy eating habits. Make small changes. For example, serve low-fat milk rather than whole milk and offer one cookie instead of two. Since children still need to grow, weight loss programs are not recommended unless suggested by a health care provider.

You're Stuck in a "fat-burning" Zone. (Posted 06/13/11)
If you hop aboard a treadmill, elliptical trainer, stair climber, or other cardio machine at the gym, you may see a programming option that allows you to stay in a "fat-burning" zone. It's based on the fact that at lower intensities, the body uses a greater percentage of its fat stores for fuel. Sounds great! You don't have to work as hard and you're sucking some of that fat out of your belly, butt, and thighs.

But do the math and you'll see the problem. At a lower intensity level, your body will indeed burn a higher percentage of fat than carbs but still burn fewer calories overall. Here's an example. A 150-pound woman who walks on the treadmill at 3 mph (a 20-minute mile) burns about 112 calories in 30 minutes. At this moderate intensity, she burns about half of those calories from fat, or about 56 fat calories. If she were to take that workout into a brisk walk for 30 minutes at 4 mph (a 15-minute mile), only about 40 percent of her calorie burn might be from fat. But she'd be burning more calories overall—about 170 in those 30 minutes, or about 68 calories from fat.

Correct it: Burn more calories and make more of those calories come from fat by increasing your overall effort. A great way to achieve that is by doing intervals—periods of higher intensity followed by a slower recovery pace.

You're a Slave to Cardio. (Posted 06/01/11) 
While aerobic exercise is good for your body and soul, if you don't balance those workouts with some strength exercises, you're not only compromising your results but missing a key component of health and fitness. Resistance training—weight lifting, or strength training—is the only way to increase lean muscle mass and lose stubborn bulges. That's important on many levels, especially as we start to get older. (Video: Strength-train at home without heavy weights.)

Starting in their 30s, women lose about 1/2 pound of muscle a year. (Men usually hold on to muscle longer, but the rate of muscle loss speeds up dramatically after age 60.) Because muscle burns calories even when at rest, losing it will noticeably slow metabolism. This is one big reason many of us see that "middle-age spread" beginning in our 40s.

A study from Skidmore College found that exercisers who combined cardio with a high-intensity, total-body resistance routine lost more than twice as much body fat—including twice as much belly fat—over 12 weeks as those who followed a moderate-intensity cardio plan. (Search: New fitness plans.)

Correct it: Substitute a couple of strength sessions for cardio days. Lift weights at least twice a week, hitting all your body's major muscle groups.

You're in an Exercise Rut. (Posted 05/31/01)
When you do the same activity day after day, week after week, your mind isn't the only thing that gets bored-your muscles do, too.  Whether you take the same daily 30-minute walk around the neighborhood loop, or do a few sets of the same old strength moves, after a while your body stops being challenged and your results plateau.

Correct it: Change things up.  Go for a hike on the weekend instead of doing your usual power walk.  Find new strength moves that work the same muscles.  Try a new type of exercise by slipping in a workout DVD.  any little way to mix things up and challenge yourself with something new is a step in the right direction.

Raising Active, Healthy, and Fit Kids. (Posted 05/27/11)

Involve the whole family  
  • Talk about physical activity as a fun lifelong way to take care of your body and balance your food and energy, rather than viewing it as a chore
  • Celebrate accomplishments with fun activities instead of food or extra TV time
Establish a routine
  • Start small, gradually adding new activities to your routine
  • Set aside time each day for physical activity
Let your child pick and choose
  • Organized sports are great but there are many other activities children can do to be active that are not competitive. Let them select or choose as a family
  • Take a nature hike to collect leaves and rocks that your child can use to make a collage.
  • If your child likes to climb, head for the nearest neighborhood jungle gym
  • Let each child take a turn choosing the activity of the day or week
  • If your child likes to read, walk or bike to the neighborhood library for a book
  • Turn on your child's favorite music and dance in the living room
Limit screen time to no more than 1-2 hours per day
  • Ask them to decide how they would like to use their 1-2 hours of “screen time”
  • Avoid putting a television in your children's bedrooms
  • Keep the computer in a family area.
  • Limit other sedentary activities, such as text messaging or chatting on the phone

Mealtime. (Posted 05/26/11)
Make sure your child eats breakfast. Breakfast provides children with the energy they need to listen and learn in school.  Eat together as a Family for at least one meal a day.  Set regular time for family meals, eat at the table since it is easier to talk with each other, rather than in front of the TV.  Actually, turn off the TV at mealtime so you can talk and share the events of the day. 

Serve water, low-fat milk or 100% fruit juice more often than sugar-sweetened sodas and fruit flavored drinks.  Introduce new foods, vegetables and fruits at mealtime.  Encourage your child to put a small quantity on their plate, even if they won't eat it.  Don't nag, its okay if they refuse initially, introduce the food again in a few weeks.  Demonstrate how delicious it is to taste that food.  Don't get upset if they don't like the food or meal, don't take it personally.

Have a contest on which plate is the most colorful (fruits and vegetables in a rainbow of color!)  Try new recipes, often kids will try vegetables when mixed with other foods or special sauces.  Keep the salt shaker off the table.  And offer fresh fruit, sugar-free jello or pudding made with low-fat milk for dessert.

Grocery Shopping. (Posted 05/25/11)
Let the kids help put the fruit or vegetable into the grocery cart.  Teach them how fruits and vegetables gives us clues on how ripe they are.  Ask them, "What is this banana telling us?"  "Is it ready to eat yet?" "Should we pick that bunch?" 

Teach kids to read food labels, as a great way to learn how some foods are better for you than others.  Choose cereals with low or no added sugar.  Look for whole grain cereals and breads with at least 4 grams of fiber.

Take an outing to the local farmers market to teach kids about where their food comes from.

Once you get home, let the kids help you put away the fruits and vegetables.  Try to arrange the fruit bowl so you have many different colors showing - make it a game.  As they are putting away the fruits and vegetables, guess where they came from.

Research study shows that knowledge and skills children learn today, help them choose healthier foods during childhood, as well as tomorrow and into adulthood.

The Hippie. (Posted 05/24/11)
Stretch your hips and hamstrings.

From a standing position, bend forward at your waist, touching hands to the floor.  Alternate bending one knee and keeping the other leg straight (but still keeping both feet flat), and let your relaxed head dangle down.  Pretend your head weighs 500 pounds and is elongating your spine, releasing all your tension.  Stretch each side for 15 seconds.

Tension? Work it Out! (Posted 05/23/11)
If you have any sort of tension in your body, it should be worked out.  When you have food in your teeth, what do you do?  Floss!  When you have tension in your muscles, what should you do?  Stretch!  Muscle pain means something is wrong.  There is not enough blood flowing to that area of the muscle, causing toxins to build up, and toxins cause a myriad of health issues.

Many people suffer from lower back tension.  The real problem is that their hips are tight from sitting all day.  That pain shoots from the hips to the lower back, up to the shoulder area, through the neck and eventually to the head, causing headaches.  All they needed to do was properly stretch the hip muscles before and after sitting at a desk in the car or on a plane for long periods of time.

Healthy Self-Esteem. (Posted 05/29/11)
If you have a positive body image, you probably like and accept yourself the way you are. This healthy attitude allows you to explore other aspects of growing up, such as developing good friendships, growing more independent from your parents, and challenging yourself physically and mentally. Developing these parts of yourself can help boost your self-esteem.

A positive, optimistic attitude can help people develop strong self-esteem — for example, saying, "Hey, I'm human" instead of "Wow, I'm such a loser" when you've made a mistake, or not blaming others when things don't go as expected.

Knowing what makes you happy and how to meet your goals can help you feel capable, strong, and in control of your life. A positive attitude and a healthy lifestyle (such as exercising and eating right) are a great combination for building good self-esteem.

Under-eating can be a Mistake. (Posted 05/19/22)
Not eating regularly through the day causes a disruption in blood sugar and insulin levels which can promote fat storage and lower your metabolism. Under-eating deprives your body of essential nutrients and leads to muscle breakdown to provide energy. Under-eating also places you at risk for binge-eating which can lead to weigh gain. Eat something every four or five hours.

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Snack with Purpose. (Posted 05/17/11)
There’s a big difference between mindless munching and strategic snacking. Snacking with purpose means reinforcing good habits, keeping your metabolic rate high, and filling the gaps between meals with the nutrients your child’s body craves.

Chew on this piece of trivia: In the 20 years leading up to the 21st century (1977 to 1996), salty snack portions increased by 93 calories, and soft drink portions increased by 49 calories.

Combat portion distortion by eating healthy snacks: Triscuits and peanut butter; string cheese; a sandwich bag filled with homemade popcorn; or that classic of kid’s snacktime nourishment, ants on a log aka celery and peanut butter.

Nutra-cookies from ViSalus Sciences are also an incredible anytime snack. Learn more by clicking the Product Tab above.

Vitamins Essential to Brain Health. (Posted 05/16/11)
B Vitamins (B12, B6, and Folic acid)
These vitamins help your neurotransmitters (chemicals that ferry messages around your brain) run efficiently.  Getting 40 mg of B6, 800 mcg of B12 and 400 mcg of folic acid daily, including what's in your multivitamin, should do the trick.

E Vitamins
Foods like spinach, sunflower seeds, mangos and blueberries are great sources of different types of vitamins E and drop your risk of dementia by 25 percent.  However, E is not that easy to get from food, so we will recommend taking a 100 IU supplement of E (alpha-tocopherol) daily.

One serving of Vi-Shape Nutrition Shake mix contains 30% of your daily recommended allowance of both B and E vitamins. Click on the product tab above to learn more.

Try Different Types of Protein. (Posted 05/10/11)
Whether or not you are a vegetarian, trying different protein sources—such as beans, nuts, seeds, peas, tofu and soy products—will open up new options for healthy mealtimes.
  • Beans: Black beans, navy beans, garbanzos, and lentils are good options.
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and pecans are great choices.
  • Soy products: Try tofu, soy milk, tempeh, and veggie burgers for a change.
  • Avoid salted or sugary nuts and refried beans.
  • Vi-Shape Nutritional Shakes - Patented Blend of Tri-Sorb Protein for long-lasting nutrition to help you burn fat and build lean muscle.
Downsize your portions of protein. Most people in the U.S. eat too much protein. Try to move away from protein being the center of your meal. Focus on equal servings of protein, whole grains, and vegetables.

Focus on quality sources of protein, like fresh fish, chicken or turkey, tofu, eggs, beans or nuts. When you are having meat, chicken, or turkey, buy meat that is free of hormones and antibiotics.

Balance Your Food Choices Over Time. (Posted 05/04/11)
Not every food has to be "perfect." When eating a food high in fat, salt or sugar, select other foods that are low in these ingredients. If you miss out on any food group one day, make up for it the next. Your food choices over several days should fit together into a healthy pattern.

Make Changes Gradually. (Posted 05/03/11)
Just as there are no "superfoods" or easy answers to a healthy diet, don't expect to totally revamp your eating habits overnight. Changing too much, too fast can get in the way of success. Begin to remedy excesses or deficiencies with modest changes that can add up to positive, lifelong eating habits. For instance, if you don't like the taste of skim milk, try low-fat. Eventually you may find you like skim, too.

Know Your Diet Pitfalls (Posted 05/02/11)
To improve your eating habits, your first have to know what's wrong with them.  Write down everything you eat for three days.  Then check your list.  Do you add a lot of butter, creamy sauces or salad dressings?  Rather than eliminating these foods, just cut back your portions.  Are you getting enough fruits and vegetables?  If not, you may be missing out on vital nutrients.

Eat a Variety of Nutrient-rich Foods. (Posted 04/29/11)
You need more than 40 different nutrients for good health, and no single food supplies them all.  Your daily food selection should include bread and other whole-grain products; fruits; vegetables; dairy products; and meat, poultry, fish and other protein foods.  How much you should eat depends on our calorie needs.  Use the Food Guide Pyramid and the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels as handy references.  Our Vi-Shape Nutritional Shake mix is scientifically designed to provide the necessary nutrients your body needs.  Click the Products tab above to learn more.

Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals throughout the Day. (Posted 04/28/11)
The body is only able to absorb a certain quantity of nutrients at one time.  Therefore, rather than eating three standard meals per day (which unfortunately typically consists of eating increasingly more calories as the day progresses), most sources agree that the most optimal eating pattern should consist of smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day every few hours--with an attempt to eat more calories during the first two-thirds of the day, when the average individual is generally more active.  This way, your body is given a constant flow of nutrients, your internal organs don't have to work as hard at processing large volumes of food at the same time, your feel less-sluggish, and your metabolism is boosted. 

Strengthen Your Skeleton. (Posted 04/27/11)
Not a dairy devotee?  Drinking mineral water may help up your calcium intake and prevent bone loss, says Joseph Lane, M.D., who studies bone health at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.  Filtered and spring waters have minimal amounts of the bone builder, but Dr. Lane's research shows mineral water contains an average of 208 milligrams of calcium per liter.  That's about one fifth of the recommended daily intake for women younger than 50, who should get 1,000 mg per day.

Deep Breathing. (Posted 04/26/11)
When you have time - at your desk, driving the car, cooking food - do some deep breathing.  Inhale and count to 5 seconds, hold it for a few seconds, and release slowly.  Exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide is one of the best things we can do for our blood and cells.

Get Moving. (Posted 04/25/11)
One of the biggest problems in America today is lack of activity. We know it's good for us but avoid it like the plague either because we're used to being sedentary or afraid that exercise has to be vigorous to be worth our time. The truth is, movement is movement and the more you do, the healthier you'll be. Even moderate activities like chores, gardening and walking can make a difference.

Just adding a little movement to your life can:

• Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes
• Improve joint stability
• Increase and improve range of movement
• Help maintain flexibility as you age
• Maintain bone mass
• Prevent osteoporosis and fractures
• Improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
• Enhance self esteem
• Improve memory in elderly people
• Reduce stress

So, even if you opt for small changes and a more modest weight loss, you can see the benefits are still pretty good. One study has found that just a 10% weight reduction helped obese patients reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and increase longevity.

Eat Breakfast Every Morning. (Posted 04/20/11)
Breakfast eaters are champions of good health.  Research shows people who have a morning meal tend to take in more vitamins and minerals, and less fat and cholesterol.  The result is often a leaner body, lower cholesterol count, and less chance of overeating.

"That one fact [of eating breakfast] seems to make a difference in people's overall weight," says Melinda Johnson, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association (ADA).  She says breakfast can hold off hunger pangs until lunchtime and make high-calorie vending machine options less enticing.

Not only that, researchers a the 2003 American Heart Association conference reported that breakfast eaters are significantly less likely to be obese and get diabetes compared with nonbreakfast eaters.

Fitting it All In. (Posted 04/19/11)
Really busy schedule?  Fit in short five to ten minute workouts several times throughout your day.  Skip for ten minutes when you first wake up, park your car further away from your destination, or take a short brisk walk around the block after dinner.  Those short activities can add up to thirty minutes of excerise before you know it.

Keeping Upper Body Strength as You Age. (Posted (04/18/11)
Maintaining muscle mass and muscle strength is very important in the upper extremities.  We use our upper extremities for so many activities of daily living.

Studies show that resistance training is one of the best ways to combat sarcopenia - the gradual loss of muscle that comes with aging.

You begin losing skeletal muscle in your 30's.  By the time you are about 50, you have approximately a 10 percent loss of muscle mass.  After that it speeds up about two percent per year.  By 80, you could have 40 percent loss of muscle mass.  Anything you can do in terms of weight training and resistance training is going to help preserve muscle mass and muscle strength.

Pick Just One Thing. (Posted 04/15/11)
Choose one habit you can make a bit healthier.  If you drink a lot of soft drinks, try cutting out one soda a day.  By doing this you can lose 15 pounds per year.  Or, begin your meals with a salad.  A study showed that women who had salad at the beginning of a meal (with low-fat cheese and Italian dressing) at 10 percent fewer calories the rest of the day.

Rest and Rejuvenate. (Posted 04/13/11)
The biggest healthy living tip that many people overlook is the need for sleep.

Life can get hectic.  When we don't have enough time to get things done, most of us opt to stay up late to make up for the lack of time.  Or perhaps our busy minds prevent us from getting a restful sleep in the first place.  However, getting less sleep is actually counterproductive to doing anything efficiently, effectively, or well!

Celebrate Success. (Posted 04/12/11)
Set a healthy goal as a family.  Post a tracking sheet on the refrigerator.  Set small milestones and celebrate successes as a family.

Be Congnizant of Your Well-being. (Posted 04/11/11)
Disregard for your health and maintaining unhealthy lifestyle habits can markedly increase the risk of chronic problems in later life.  If you like adrenalin highs, whether it's running a marathon or cliff diving, be careful about you get them--know the hazards of hte activities you choose and how to contain them.  By evaluating the short-and long-term risks involved in your behavior, you can help your body to keep working well as you age.

Don't Smoke. (Posted 04/08/11)
Tobaccos addiction is the single greatest preventable cause of illness, and tobacco smoke is the most obvious environmental cause of cancer.  Exposure to tobacco smoke increases the odds of developing many kinds of cancer, and raises the risks of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

Your Body Needs to Move. (Posted 04/07/11)
With our modern style of living, we often forget that humans are part of the animal reign.  As any other species, we need to move.  Exercise is crucial for our health.  Since the last 60 years, with the dawn of industrialism and modernisation, people do not need to hunt and cultivate their food anymore.  Our ancestors HAD to fight for their survival, harvesting their fields etc.  Long story short: 30 minutes of exercise, 3 times per week is enough to keep your body in good shape!

Work Out First, Do Everything Else Second. (Posted 04/0611)
Its' easy to think: "I'm busy, I'll do my work out later."  Instead, I want you to think, "I'm busy, I'll do my work out now."  If possible do a workout on Monday mornings.  I've noticed that people are generally more emotionally and physically rested on Mondays than they are on any other day of the week.  They also have a lot of adrenaline in reserve, physical energy that they can pour into their workout.  As the week progresses, however, problems at work or complications at home tend to burn people out, and their workouts become less effective and less enjoyable.  When they switch to a Monday workout routine, they feel strong and confident all week long, which translates into more effectiveness at work and home. 

Don't Worry, Eat Happy. (Posted 04/05/11)
Food affects mood.  To keep a rosy outlook, control blood sugar levels by eating every four to five hours through out the day.  Eat foods rich in Omega-3 fats, folic acid, and vitamins B12 and D--four nutrients linked with a better mood.

Six "Happy" Foods:
  • Flaxseeds (omega-3s, folic acid, soluble fiber)
  • Wild salmon (omega-3s, vitamin D)
  • Spinach (folic acid, soluble fiber)
  • Blackberries (folic acid, soluble fiber)
  • Sardines (omega-3s, vitamin D)
  • Beans (folic acid, soluble fiber)
Watch Your Weight. (Posted 04/04/11)
Carrying extra body weight increases the risk of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, postmenopausal breast cancer and cancer of the uterus, colon, kidney, and esophagus.  You can help lose those extra pounds by eating a healthful diet and getting regular physical exercise.

Stay Fit When There's No Time to Exercise. (Posted 04/01/11)
If you have a young sports enthusiasts in the family, play along.  Shooting baskets and kicking a soccer ball around the yard are great ways to get your heart pumping.  Thirty minutes of cardio training is recommended, but even five to ten minutes will elevate your heart rate and speed your metabolism.

Honey. (Posted 03/31/11)
Honey, especially raw honey, can substitute in many recipes for sugar, adding the sweet taste some of us crave and still be good for us.  Buy a large jar of honey so you always have it on hand to keep you away from sugar.  Honey contains alkaline compounds and can counteract an acid diet.  Highly acidic diets contribute to stomach cancer.  And try different honeys, as they all have a slightly different flavor.  The healthy benefits of honey cannot be over emphasized.

Stock Your Car. (Posted 03/30/11)
Stock you car with bottled water and healthy snacks.  Have a small snack before the cravings hit, and you're less likely to pull into that drive-through fast food outlet. 

Grab a Few Fresh Fruits on Your Way Out. (Posted 03/29/11)
Wherever you're going-whether it's a walk or drive to the supermarket or on your way to a meeting - pick up one or two fruits and eat them.  If you leave for work in the morning and don't return until evening, take a few fruits and eat them throughout the day.  Fruits are great for their nutrients, vitamins, and natural sugars that are required in our body.

Avoid Going to Junk Food Shops with your Work Mates. (Posted 03/28/11)
If your work mates are going and you want to go along, go ahead but don't order the burger or french fries.  Go for a nice salad instead.  Or any other healthy meal that takes your fancy.  Junk food is full of "empty calories" that do nothing for your body but put on extra unneeded and unhealthy fat.

Enjoy a Pint of Water First Thing in the Morning (Posted 03/25/11)
If you haven't got time for anything else in the morning, make time to drink a big glass of water.  We lose a lot of oxygen through the night and to rejuvenate our cells, we need to supply them with water and oxygen.  Drink a glass of water and within a week you'll begin to feel less tired.  I like the taste of water, but I know some people do not so if you're one of them, squeeze soe fresh lime or lemon into your water to give it taste and drink up.

Eliminate Processed Sugars or Refined Sugars. (Posted 03/24/11)
Work towards eliminating processed or refined sugars.  All nutrients have been stripped from white sugars.  It is hidden in many of today's manufactured food products we buy such as pasta, rice, bread, soups, crackers peanut butter, ketchup, pasta sauce, and many more.  It's America's No. 1 food additive.  Also, know that brown sugar is nothing more than white sugar with added molasses.

Under-eating. (Posted 03/23/11)
Under-eating can be a  mistake as well.  Not eating regularly through the day causes a disruption in blood sugar and insulin levels which can promote fat storage and lower your metobolism.  Under-eating deprives your body of essential nutrients and leads to muscle breakdown to provide energy.  Under-eating also places you at risk for binge-eating which can lead to weight gain.  Eat something every three or four hours.

Physical Activity. (Posted 03/22/11)
Physical activity decreases body-wide inflammation and increases levels of important memory-boosting neurotrophins in your brain.

Moderate to vigorous physical activity translates into a 45 percent lower risk for dementia, compared to light activity.

Enjoy Healthy Fats & Avoid Unhealthy Fats. (Posted 03/21/11)
Good sources of healthy fat are needed to nourish your brain, heart, and cells, as well as your hair, skin, and nails.  Foods rich in certain omega-2 fats called EPA and HDA are particularly important and can reduce cardiovascular disease, improve your mood and help prevent dementia.

Add to your healthy diet:
  • Monounsaturated fats, from plant oils like canola oil, peanut oil, and olive oil, as well as avocados, nuts (like almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans), and seeds (such as pumpkin and sesame).
  • Polyunsaturated fats, including Omega-3 and  Omega-6 fatty acids, found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and some cold water fish oil supplements.  Other sources of polyunsaturated fats are unheated sunflower, corn, soybean, and flaxseed oils, and walnuts.
Reduce or eliminate from your diet:
  • Saturated fats,  found primarily in animal sources including red meat and whole milk dairy products.
  • Trans fats, found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, baked goods, and other processed foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Spinach and Other Green Vegetables. (Posted 03/18/11)
Spinach and other green vegetables help neutralize free radicals (molecules that accelerate the aging process).  They are loaded with vitamins A, C, and K; folate; beta-carotene; minerals including calcium and magnesium; fiber.  They fight against cancer, heart disease, stroke, obesity, and osteoporsis.

Combine spinach and other green vegetables with cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts; green, yellow, red, and orange vegetables such as asparagus, peppers, and yellow beans for an added boost.

These are all considered "power foods" and will shrink your gut and keep you healthy for life as long as you don't fry them or smother them in fatty sauces such as ranch dressing or cheese.

Make Exercise a Habit. (Posted 03/17/10)
Do a variety of activities you enjoy.  And remember, there's no rule that says you have to go to the gym or buy equipment.

Shift your perception from regimented exercise to physical activity.  Having a variety of activities--weight lifting, walking, running, tennis, cycling, aerobic classes--will ensure that you can do something regardless of the weather or time of day.

Vi-Shape Nutritional Shakes. (Posted 03/16/11)
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Picky Eaters. (Posted 03/15/11)
Patience and persistence are the tools for parents of a picky eater.  Your tenacity to make nutrition a priority will pay off in the long run as your child grows and begins to form food associations, preferences, and priorities.  Your guidance and role modeling will be a positive and formidable influence.  (but you can't see it right now, so hand in there and don't give up.)

Nutrition Facts Labels (Posted 03/14/11)
Read nutrition facts labels to know how much trans fat is found in the foods you eat.  Trans fats from partially dehydrogenation have been associated with cardiovascular disease.  The FDA now requires food companies to list the amount of trans fat on nutrition labels.

Protein and Muscle Building. (Posted 03/11/11)
Simple rule of thumb when it comes to building muscle: post workout snacks or meals should be rich in good quality protein. (Try our Vi-shape Shakes - click on the Product tab to Learn More)

Why is this important? After a workout, the muscles are highly primed to take up the protein for building purposes.

What should I eat before my workout? Carbohydrates provide the needed energy to enable you to maintain a steady performance level. Otherwise, you will see a drop in the intensity of your workout both physically and mentally.

Hydration. (Posted 03/10/11)
DRI-Adequate Intake Guidelines

• 2.7L to 3.7L/day or 11 cups to 17 cups/day (IOM, 2005)
• Please note: There is no specific recommended intake because individual water intake can vary on a day to day basis, this is due to variations in physical activity, environmental conditions, and differences in diet. (DGA, 2010)

Hydration Guidelines

• Drink water within 1 hour before exercising
• < 60 minutes of activity: replace fluids with plain water (unless you are an elite athlete) • > 60 minutes of activity: use sports drinks (6-8% carbohydrate) and water
• To replace sweat losses: drink fluids during exercising
• It is important to replace loss electrolytes, especially in conditions with higher temperatures
√ To replace high sodium losses: add salt to sports drink
√ To replace potassium losses: eat high potassium fruits and veggies pre/post activity, most Americans do not intake the recommended 4.7 gram/day (for example: spinach, cantaloupes, almonds, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, bananas, oranges, grapefruits, and potatoes) (NFS, i5, 2009)

Foods and Nutrient to Increase. (Posted 03/09/11)
The Dietary Guidelines encourage Americans to ear more:

Whole Grains: Increase whole grains by choosing whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice and whole wheat pasta. Make at least half your grain servings whole grains.

Vegetables: Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange vegetables plus beans and peas. Most adults need 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day.

Don't care for vegetables? Try our Vi-Shape Shake as a supplement. Each Vi-Shape Shake contains one full serving of vegetable fiber! Get your nutritional needs from the "Shake Mix that tastes like Cake Mix"

The Primary Benefits of Neuro Smart Energy. (Posted 03/08/11)
Most energy drinks are high sugar, high caffeine, high taurine which can make you feel jittery, not alert. Our product is low caffeine, and combines unique nutritional ingredients to help you feel more awake, alert, and refreshed.
  • Supports energy levels
  • Supports stamina and endurance
  • Supports healthy cognitive function
  • Supports vein health and healthy oxygen transfer
Flavor Your Meals without Salt. (Posted 03/07/11)
Eating too much salt is linked to high blood pressure and many Americans eat more than the recommended amount of salt. If you're having trouble shaking the salt habit, here are a few ideas to give your food a flavor lift without adding salt.

Adding chili peppers or hot pepper sauces can spice up any meal.
Add a spark of flavor to sauces, soups, and salads with vinegar, such as herbed, balsamic, wine or rice vinegars.  Add a salt-free herbal blend.

Be a Morning Exerciser. (Posted 03/06/11)
Statistics show that people are more likely to stick with a fitness program if they exercise first thing in the morning. There's less of a chance to make excuses, and you get it over with before your day begins.

Schedule your workout. Write it in your planner just like a meeting or appointment. Schedule an entire month in advance, writing the day and time of your workout. And if you have to cancel one, reschedule it immediately.

Eat protein first. (Posted 03/05/11)
Most people who are dieting are slightly to greatly protein deficient. This can make weight loss harder and can cause over-training, even if you aren't exercising vigorously. With each meal you should be having some protein to boost your total protein count for the day, but also you will find that proteins tend to be thinker and take longer to chew, heavier in your stomach and take longer to digest. The combination of these factors will help you eat less of the other stuff (carbs and fats) and as a bi-product you will likely eat less total calories in the day.

Imagine that before you had your bowl of cereal, or coffee, or whatever, for breakfast that you ate 3 egg whites. That would fill up some space in the stomach and make the portion of the next item or two that you eat much smaller.

Now imagine that you use that strategy time and time again throughout the day, week and month. You will quickly give your body more of the building blocks that it needs in the additional protein and also reduce the total calories consumed pretty dramatically. Even if you only remove 100 calories per day using this technique that will equal about an extra pound of fat burned each month. Do it for longer and it can really add up!

Diets don't last. (Posted 03/04/11)
The problem with virtually all diets is the short-term mindset into which they feed. Most people approach diets as an all-or-nothing proposition. Rather than making small, even incremental changes in lifestyle that can last a lifetime, diets encourage you to turn your life inside out for two weeks or so. Yet once those two weeks are over you return to your old habits, guess what? Your body returns to its former state as well. If there's a rule of thumb to be had in this regard, it's that small changes last and big ones don't.

Get a Goal. (Posted 03/03/11)
When starting or even maintaining a workout, motivation is key. Jot down your goal and post it in a prominent place like your bathroom mirror.

Whether you want to lower cholesterol or fit into your size six jeans without struggle, chasing a goal is the best way to keep you moving toward fitness.

Tips to Help You Eat Fruits. (Posted 03/02/11)
Make most of your fruits choices whole or cut-up fruit rather than juice, for the benefits dietary fiber provides.

Select fruits with more potassium often, such as bananas, prunes, and prune juice, dried peaches and apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and orange juice.

When choosing canned fruits, select fruit canned in 100% fruit juice or water rather than syrup.
Vary your fruit choices. Fruits differ in nutrient content.

Get the most Nutrition our of your Calories. (Posted 03/10/11)
Choose the most nutrient rich foods you can from each food group each day--those packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients but lower in calories.

Consider This.
If you eat 100 more food calories a day than you burn, you'll gain about 1 pound in a month. That's about 10 pounds in a year. The bottom line is that to lose weight, it's important to reduce calories and increase physical activity. Calories in - Calories out.

Snack Smart. (Posted 02/28/11)
Choose snacks by the calories and nutrients they provide. Include snacks as part of your daily calorie allowance and limit portions to one serving. Plan for nutritious snacks to prevent between-meal hunger. Keep portable, healthy snacks in your desk, backpack or car.

Physical Activity. (Posted 02/17/11)
Find your balance between food and physical activity. Regular physical activity is important for your overall health and fitness-plus it helps control your body weight, promotes a feeling of well-being and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.

Become Portion Savvy. (Posted 02/16/11)
Keeping tabs on your portion sizes helps you manage your calorie intake-a must in any effective weight management strategy. Try this: without using a measuring cup, pour what you think is one cup of dry cereal or one-half cup of rice or pasta into a bowl. Now check the actual amount with a measuring cup. How close is your estimate? To make sure your portion sizes are "just right" visit for healthy eating guidelines in household measures.

Balance your plate with the right portions of a variety of foods. Half of your plate should be vegetables, one fourth lean meat, poultry or fish and one fourth with grains. To round out your meal, add a glass of fat-free or low-fat milk and a serving of fruit for dessert.

Know when you have had enough to eat. Quit before you feel full or stuffed. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that your body is getting food. When your brain gets this message, you stop feeling hungry. So, fast eaters-slow down and give your brain a chance to get the word.

Smart Shopping. (Posted 02/15/11)
Become a smart shopper by reading food labels to find out more about the foods you eat.

The Nutritional Facts panel found on most food labels will help you:
Find out which foods are good sources of fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamin C
Compare similar foods to find out which one is lower in fat and calories
Search for low-sodium foods. Look for foods that are loaded in saturated fats and trans fats

Smart Snacking. (Posted 02/14/11)
Plan snacks ahead of time.
Keep a variety of nutritious ready-to-eat supplies on hand, such as whole-grain crackers and low-fat cheese. Get creative by swapping out different fruits, vegetables, and grains to keep your snacking exciting!

Portion control. (Posted 02/13/11)
Keep portion control in mind. Have a single-serve container of yogurt or put a small serving of nuts in a bowl. Eating directly from a multiple-serving package can lead to overeating.

Snack only when you’re hungry.
Skip the urge to nibble when you’re bored, frustrated or stressed. Feed the urge to do something by walking the dog or working in the garden.

Oatmeal. (Posted 02/12/11)
Oatmeal is the Bo Derek of your pantry: It’s a perfect 10. You can eat it at breakfast to propel you through sluggish mornings, a couple of hours before a workout to feel fully energized by the time you hit the weights, or at night to avoid a late-night binge. I recommend instant oatmeal for its convenience. Make sure you buy the unsweetened, unflavored variety and use other Powerfoods such as milk and berries to enhance the taste. Preflavored oatmeal often comes loaded with sugar calories. Or add a couple of scoops of Vi-Shape Shake mix by ViSalus Sciences for extra flavor and added nutrition.

Make sure you're really getting whole grains.

Be aware that the words stone-ground, multi-grain, 100% wheat, or bran, can be deceptive. Look for the words “whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” at the beginning of the ingredient list. In the US, check for the Whole Grain Stamps that distinguish between partial whole grain and 100% whole grain.

Eat with others whenever possible. (Posted 02/10/11)

Eating with other people has numerous social and emotional benefits—particularly for children—and allows you to model healthy eating habits. Eating in front of the TV or computer often leads to mindless overeating.

Healthy Eating Habits for your Children. (Posted 02/09/11)

Eat meals together as a family as often as possible.

Try to make mealtimes pleasant with conversation and sharing, not a time for scolding or arguing. If mealtimes are unpleasant, children may try to eat faster to leave the table as soon as possible. They then may learn to associate eating with stress.

Involve your children in food shopping and preparing meals.

These activities will give you hints about your children's food preferences, an opportunity to teach your children about nutrition, and provide your kids with a feeling of accomplishment. In addition, children may be more willing to eat or try foods that they help prepare.

Drink Fewer Calories. (Posted 02/08/11)
Drinking beverages such as soda, fruit juice, sports drinks, alcohol, specialty coffees and teas can add up to many "empty calories". Nutritionally speaking, these calories contribute little more nutrition to our diets except for plain, old calories. This means that it can account for putting on weight. Many times drinking extra calories is not compensated for by consuming fewer calories from other foods. Since it is important to drink fluids throughout the day, select them wisely. Drink skim milk, fruit juices and just plain, old water.

Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of color, variety and freshness—then it should be easier to make healthy choices. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious.

Be timely.
Plan your meals for the day and assure you have something to eat as you progress. Doing so will increase your energy, help you avoid missed meals, and prevent binging later in the day. Pack up your meals and have healthy snacks by your side at all times.

Every change you make to improve your diet matters.
You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet. The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy and reduce the risk of cancer and disease. Don’t let your missteps derail you—every healthy food choice you make counts.

It's not just WHAT you eat, it's HOW you eat.Healthy eating is about more than the food on your plate—it is also about how you think about food. Healthy eating habits can be learned and it is important to slow down and think about food as nourishment rather than just something to gulp down in between meetings or on the way to pick up the kids.

A Quick Definition of Healthy and UnHealthy Carbs. (Posted 02/07/11)

Healthy carbs (sometimes known as good carbs) include whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Healthy carbs are digested slowly, helping you feel full longer and keeping blood sugar and insulin levels stable.

Unhealthy carbs (or bad carbs) are foods such as white flour, refined sugar and white rice that have been stripped of all bran, fiber and nutrients. Unhealthy carbs digest quickly and cause spikes in blood sugar levels and energy.

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Results not typical. Healthy weight loss is 1-2 lbs. per week. Results vary by amount of weight you need to lose, diet, exercise, and adherence to the program. ViSalus products are not evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Note: You should not take this product if you are pregnant or lactating, or using blood thinning medication. Please consult your physician prior to use.