Posted: Tuesday, Jul. 03, 2012
Photo by: Nathan Abplanalp Photography
Amanda Wilson is a student who has a passion for helping others and is now committed to helping herself. She enjoys spending time with her pup, Gia, being with family and friends and traveling. Contact Amanda here.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.Happy July to everyone! Can you believe that we are half way through this year? How crazy is that?! The beginning of a new month is often viewed as a time to re-evaluate goals, set new ones and start fresh. Whether it is the beginning, middle or end of the month, why not start now on doing the things you need to do to be a healthy and happier you?Since Independence Day is tomorrow, I wanted to do something a little different this week, but first let me say thank you to all the men and women who have sacrificed so much to protect the freedoms many of us take for granted daily. Freedoms like an ability to wear what we want, criticize who we want, eat what we want and worship/believe in whatever we choose.Being that the 4th of July represents the day America declared its independence from Great Britain, I found it fitting to take a look at some things that I am declaring my independence from. * Cheeseburgers- Such a comfort food, but when Im left with the aftermath of thinking about the saturated fat and calories Ive consumed, the comfort is long gone. Im aligning myself with veggie burgers and turkey patties. Same great taste, but healthier. * Chips- Salty, greasy, crunchy and delicious BUT the volume you get for the calories are not worth it. The evil thing about chips is that every bite leaves you wanting more. You know how it goes: once you pop, you cant stop." Before you know it, you have eaten 500 calories' worth, and youre wondering who came in and stole half the bag while you werent looking. Instead I will stick with other options that wont leave me feeling as guilty such as popcorn (without the movie butter and oil), trail mix and kale chips. All are capable of fulfilling the salty craving with more nutritional value. * Bread- Not just any kind of bread, but soft white rolls covered in a warm honey butter spread that is sure to cause much harm. They are melt-in-your-mouth good, but my body will pay for it later in ways that my hips cant afford. Therefore, I am reaching for the 100-percent whole grain, high fiber slices. The benefits are feeling full longer, essential vitamins and no enriched or refined flours. * Ice Cream- every day seems like a good day for ice cream, especially with the 100-plus degree weather weve been having lately. My favorite is plain, rich chocolate. Add some chocolate syrup and peanut butter chips, and I am one happy girl! As I try to beat the heat, fat free frozen yogurt has become my best friend. I am able to choose from a variety of flavors to suit whatever mood I may be in, and still stay on plan. If Im feeling fancy, Ill top it with some fruit. Can you say LOVE! Another go-to is fruit smoothies. Fruit, almond milk, ice, blend, and voila! You can even add ground flax seed or veggies for a healthy boost and still enjoy a sweet treat. * Cheese dip and creamy dressings- If there is ranch dressing or some sort of cheese dip around, it is likely that I am dipping something in it. It is a bad habit that is extremely addictive. One day youre fine, and the next thing you know you are dipping everything from sandwiches to chicken to fruit in to the calorie packed creamy concoctions. I think its no secret that this is not good. Alternatives include salsa, mustard and avocado. These serve as flavorful toppings without the bad fat. * Candy- I enjoy chocolate bars and chewy, sweet gummies just as much as the next person, but I know its not good for me all the time. Now when I feel the need for something sweet I opt for granola, grapes, orange slices or sugar-free Jell-O pudding. I get my fix and feel proud about the choice Ive made.Have a Happy 4th of July, and let me know how you are liberating yourself!
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