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How to Achieve a Balanced Diet

In the pursuit of lifelong health and happiness, balance will play a leading role. Balance is the portrayer of love, positivity, serenity, but balance in physical exercise and nutrition as well will be essential in ensuring general wellbeing, allowing you to enjoy life to the fullest.

Maintaining a balanced diet is the base of health and prosperity, as you truly are what you eat. No extreme can be good for you, and while certain individuals will have to skew the balance line a bit in order to reach their specific goals, for the majority of people looking to lead a healthy lifestyle, adhering to a balanced nutrition plan will be most beneficial.


Calorie in, calorie out

First and foremost, calorie intake should be your priority. While calorie source is of the utmost importance in ensuring a healthy macronutrient and micronutrient intake, calories play a pivotal role in balancing your body fat percentage and maintaining your lean muscle mass. You can easily get a rough estimate of your daily caloric needs via an online calorie calculator, after which you will increase or decrease your total calorie requirements according to your goals, habits and aspirations.

A healthy weight loss regime will entail decreasing your daily calorie intake by 200 calories, gradually losing weight (1kg per week at most), and then slowly increasing your calories by 100 as you reach your desired weight class. On the other hand, if you are struggling to put on weight, you will start by increasing daily calories by 200 and gradually decreasing them when the digits on the scale say you’ve reached your goal.

A gradual increase or decrease in your caloric intake will ensure you gain muscle and not fat, or lose fat without losing your much-needed muscle mass in the process. However, the story doesn’t end here.


The macronutrient balance

Contrary to popular belief, a calorie is not just a calorie regardless of its source. Calories from vegetables are vastly different from calories obtained from meat, dairy or eggs, and a balanced, healthy diet will contain all of these sources.

Moreover, a balanced diet has no room for unhealthy foods, such as processed meats, trans-fats, and excess sugar consumption. While you should indulge in your cravings every now and then, you should always remember one simple piece of wisdom: if you take enough rides with the devil, soon enough he is going to be driving.

This is to say that processed foods and sugar create a state of addiction over time, stifling your progress and ruining your health in the process.

Luckily, you won’t experience any unhealthy cravings if you substitute them with healthy solutions, sticking to whole grains and a moderate fruit intake along with plenty of nuts, seeds and natural sweeteners, such as honey or stevia.

Macronutrients are divided into proteins, fats, and carbohydrates – a balanced diet contains all. Contrary to popular belief, carbs are not bad for you, provided they were obtained from complex sources such as lentils and whole grains. Just as well, too much protein can cause a myriad of health problems, and if you do not control your fat intake, it could have long-term consequences.

Therefore, a good rule of thumb is to divide your macronutrient intake into diverse sources, entailing 35% vegetables, 25% whole grains, 20% dairy, 10%meats, and 5% supplements, which will help you attain a desired level of micronutrients.


The importance of micronutrients

Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals you obtain through diet and supplementation. Unfortunately, tailoring your diet for optimal micronutrient intake is time-consuming and stressful, and it often does not deliver desired results. This is because every micronutrient has a different bioavailability percentage, meaning that magnesium is hard for the body to absorb through diet, while selenium is not, and so on.

Additionally, given the wide range of necessary micronutrients, it is best to complement your diet with vitamin and mineral supplements, ensuring you get the right amount that is imperative for your wellbeing. People who are physically active and partake in challenging training sessions are encouraged to supplement with minerals that will boost their joint, muscle tissue and nervous system health, such as glucosamine, in order to avoid injury and promote optimal recovery and strength gain.

Maintaining a balanced, healthy diet day in and day out is not hard, it simply requires some adjustments, mental fortitude and before you know it, it will become an inseparable part of your lifestyle!

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Guide on Jump Rope Exercises

Jump rope exercises are a great way to lose weight as well as improve your heart and circulatory systems. You probably have not jumped rope since you were in grade school, but now we are going to look at this in a different light.

Losing weight is one of the most important results of jumping rope. For example, if a person jumped rope for thirty minutes per day, it would cause him or her to lose about a pound per week. That is not too bad, especially since the muscles in the legs, arms, back and abdomen will be trained and toned.

When beginning a jump rope routine, it is important to dress comfortably, preferably in workout clothing and gym shoes. The rope should be long enough to extend just beyond your feet when you jump while holding the rope in each hand at the waist area.

The first exercise to begin with is the straight jump rope exercise that you would think of when jumping rope. With the hands holding the rope, begin with the rope back behind, and swinging the rope from behind using mainly the wrists, bring the rope up over the head. When the rope comes down from the head towards the feet, jump up slightly and let the rope pass under the feet.

Try this once until you get used to the rhythm and then begin to try it multiple times until you create a rhythm and timing, knowing when to jump. You may not be very good at this in the beginning, but everyone has to start somewhere.

Once you have established some coordination in your jump rope exercises, jump rope for different time limits. Start with 5 minutes. Set a timer. Then increase the times until you can jump on a continuous basis for 30 minutes. Work on form. Keep the shoulders straight, look straight ahead, chest lifted and jump softly.

The next exercise will involve jumping on one leg for thirty seconds. Then switch to the other leg for the same amount of time. Repeat the exercise twice. Once you become good enough at this that you feel comfortable, switch legs without stopping. This will help in building balance and confidence.’

Jump rope

Next, try jumping rope as fast as you can possible jump. Create a rhythm for this faster speed. You may only be able to accomplish this after several attempts, but strive to hit a number of jumps. You might start out with 5 and work up from there.

Be sure to take adequate resting periods between jumps. You will probably get tired very quickly, so take the time to recover. Be sure that you hydrate yourself as well by having plenty of water on hand.

You can also set a goal of completing so many repetitions per session. This makes things pretty simple, because all you have to do is count. This activity should be tracked and the reps should be increased over time. You could even do them in set, such as 50 reps, then rest. 50 more and rest. Do this until you are tired enough to quit for that session.

Jump rope exercises will work out nearly every muscle in your body, so it is a good idea to start slowly, and work up to more ambitious goals. After six months of rope jumping, you will look in the mirror and see a new person.

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Eating for Healthy Eyes: Are These 7 Superfoods on Your Menu?

A major chunk of population suffers from some or the other type of eye-related disorder or disease. The good news is that some simple changes in your lifestyle and diet can help improve your eye health and maintain it for years to come.

Some nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and C etc., are all essential to keep your eyes healthy. They can be easily obtained from some superfoods which are commonly available.

Listed below are 7 must-eat superfoods for eye health, which you should include in your diet.


The most popular superfood when it comes to eye health is no doubt – carrots. For those who are still searching for an answer to the question – ‘are carrots good for your eyes?’ the answer is a firm yes. Carrots are good for eyes because they are rich in beta-carotene and lutein.

Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A by our body. Vitamin A is important for a healthy vision as it helps maintain a healthy and clear cornea, prevents night blindness and protects the cells in your eyes as well as provides a host of other benefits to your body. Lutein helps boost pigment density in the macula – an oval yellow spot near the center of retina. This protects the retina and reduces the risk of macular degeneration.

You can either consume them raw or cooked, but your body can digest them easily if they are lightly steamed. You can aim to include one carrot a day in any of your meals.


Leafy green vegetables such as spinach are your next best bet when it comes to superfoods for eye health. They are packed with lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are essential for maintaining the health of your eyes. Both these nutrients help slow down age-related macular degeneration and also protect against the risk of cataracts.

You can include around a 100 gm serving of spinach every alternate day in the form of salads, soups or vegetables. Kale, broccoli, collard greens, mustard leaves and Swiss chard are also some of the greens which must be consumed regularly to maintain healthy eyesight.


Here’s one more reason to love almonds. These are rich sources of vitamin E. The benefits of vitamin E lie in its antioxidant properties. Such antioxidants fight the free radicals which damage the cell structure. Also, vitamin E is known to protect your eyes by reducing the risks of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Just a handful of this superfood will provide you with your daily dose of vitamin E. You can use them to add a crunch to your salad or have them raw. However, it’s best to consume them after soaking overnight as this will ensure maximum nutritious benefits to the eyes.


Oranges and other citrus fruits such as lemons, tangerines and grapefruits which are packed with vitamin C also work wonders for your eye health. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. It also helps your body form and maintain connective tissue including collagen which is found in the cornea of eyes. Besides, vitamin C is also known to lower the risk of developing cataracts.

Eat one orange a day if your diet has plenty of other vitamin C rich fruits and veggies such as tomatoes and red peppers.


Salmons are chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can help protect the minute blood vessels within the eyes, keep the retina healthy, prevent the occurrence of dry-eye syndrome and help keep age-related macular degeneration at bay. 30% of the fatty acids which make up the retina come from DHA which is a very common omega-3 fatty acid found in fatty fishes such as salmon.

Two servings of salmon per week are recommended. Grill them with your favourite seasonings or use steamed fish in your salads and soups. Other such fishes which can help you maintain your eye health are sardines, tuna and mackerel.


Blueberries are loaded with multiple benefits such as vasoprotective, collagen-stabilizing, rhodopsin-regenerating, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. All of them together are necessary for healthy functioning of your eyes. Eating them regularly strengthens the blood vessels in the back of your eyes and improves your vision. They also contain anthocyanins which help lower inflammation and high blood pressure apart from preventing blockages in the blood vessels which provide oxygen to the retina.

A handful of these daily will suffice. You can add them to your cereal or smoothie or yogurt. The possibilities are endless and fun.


Egg yolks are also a great source of zinc, zeaxanthin and lutein. These nutrients help lower the risk of macular degeneration. Also, cysteine and sulphur found in eggs are compounds of glutathione which is a vital antioxidant and protein for the eye lens. 

Adding only one egg a day can increase the lutein and zeaxanthin levels considerably. Prefer organic and free range eggs. You can either eat poached or boiled for maximum benefits.

Regular consumption of these superfoods will ensure that your eyes function optimally for a long period of time and also lower the risk of eye-related diseases. So revamp your menu to include these superfoods so as to keep vision problems at bay. Apart from a well-balanced diet it is also important that you go for regular eye checkups. Your ophthalmologist can not only detect common vision issues but also spot early signs of serious eye diseases such as glaucoma. So make sure that you never miss your annual eye checkup.

Author Bio:    

Aaron Barriga is the online marketing manager for Insight Vision Center. With a knack for understanding medical procedures, and an interest in eye and vision health, Aaron loves to share what he knows and what he learns. He blogs with a mission of informing readers about the latest eye care technology and other topics related to eye care especially LASIK. He loves collecting coasters from the different bars and restaurants he visits during his travels.

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CHFA East 2017 Details

Conference: September 14 & 15, 2017
Trade Show: September 16 & 17, 2017 | Open 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m daily

Metro Toronto Convention Centre – South Building

The path to retail excellence begins at CHFA East.  Discover the latest trends and new product offerings from 850 exhibiting companies. Enjoy big savings on show specials, sample products to your heart’s content and make new business connections.  Whether you are sourcing natural health products or specialty foods like organic, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, kosher or halal – it’s all here at CHFA East!

The CHFA East show app is now available. Download it here or from your app store before the show and stay up to date on all the events.


Click here for more information! 

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Why a Dog Could Be Your Best Fitness Buddy

If you’re hoping to improve your fitness and get in shape, then getting a dog could be one of the best decisions that you ever make. Not only is a dog fun to have around; he will also provide you with a reason to get out of the house and participate in regular physical activity. Studies have shown that walking for just half an hour per day can significantly improve your fitness levels and boost both your physical and mental health; by getting a dog, you’ll be signing up for this and more. Here are just some of the best reasons why a dog can be your best fitness buddy.

#1. Dogs Push You to Your Limit

If you want to try harder and push yourself more when you are exercising, then getting a dog could help. Studies have shown that people who walk, jog, or run with their dog tend to walk around 30% faster than those who are walking alongside a human fitness buddy or on their own. Many dog breeds are very playful and love to run, so they will certainly keep you on your toes and help you push yourself to your limits and beyond as your fitness levels increase. Don’t worry, though – if your dog is too excitable on walks, Canna-Pet is a natural supplement that can help them to calm down and relax more.

#2. Dogs Won’t Accept Excuses

Dogs Won’t Accept Excuses

If you’re going to get a dog, then you will need to commit to walking it every day, especially if it is a dog breed that has a lot of energy and needs to have regular exercise in order to stay sane and healthy. According to a study carried out by researchers at the University of Missouri, dog owners are more likely than anybody else to stick to their fitness plans – a likely reason for this is that your dog won’t take no for an answer when it comes to walkies!

#3. Dogs Can Lower Your Risk of Disease

Along with helping you to improve your fitness levels and encourage you to get moving more often, studies have shown that owning a dog can improve your health by lowering your risk of serious diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

#4. Dogs Can Improve Your Mental Health

To improve your health and fitness, it’s also important that you have the right mind-set. If you are suffering from mental health problems such as anxiety or depression, then finding the motivation to go out and exercise can be very difficult. Owning a dog won’t just help you to improve your physical health; it’s also great for your mental health to have a pet who loves you unconditionally and relies on you to keep them happy; it can give you a great sense of purpose in life! As a result, you’ll feel happier, calmer, and more motivated to get moving.

Can you think of any more reasons why dogs are great for your physical fitness and health? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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7 Weight Loss Secrets from Hollywood Celebrities

Celebrities are known for their constant conscious efforts to maintain great figures for their respective careers in cinema or television. Apart from supermodels, celebrities are also required to maintain their body for their roles on screen. Who else should we turn to than to these fitness gurus for tips on how to lose body weight? These celebrities opt for different kinds of body weight loss techniques thereby increasing your flexibility to choose an option that fits best with your lifestyle and body type!

Here are the most effective weight loss techniques that have shown to help the celebrities who use them to lose significant amounts of weight!

1. Salads in Every Meal!

Nicole Polizzi (former Jersey Shore star) has credited her weight loss to eating salads in every meal of the day. She cut down on all the carbs and calories for a healthier diet. This makes a lot of sense scientifically since fruits and vegetables contain high levels of fibre that make you feel full but these fibres are not digested by the body hence reducing the amount of fat getting deposited into your body every time you eat!

She lost almost 40 pounds of weight after her pregnancy using this technique. She consumed 1300 calories per day and exercised 4 days a week with a personal trainer to get these astounding results.

Keep a Food Journal

2. Keep a Food Journal

Carrie Underwood has been keeping a food journal for a very long time to keep herself up to date with what she eats. Recent studies have found that people who maintained a food journal were more likely to lose significant amounts of weight. The key here is that this method helps you keep a tab on what you eat in a day to reduce excessive munching because you already know that you’ve already eaten enough during the day.

3. Plan Ahead!

Candace Cameron Bure has been planning her meals and what she’s going to eat while traveling from home to her work on The View in New York City. She usually eats vegan and avoids red meat. She also ensures that she doesn’t eat any packed or processed food during the flight and carries her own food or a few granola bars to stay energised during the trip.

Planning ahead can help in keeping a constant tab on what you eat.

4. Eat What You Like but Eat Right!

Blake Lively lost her baby weight after getting pregnant in 2014 for playing a role in The Shallows in 2015. She credits this to her method whereby she eats right but also allows herself to have a pizza or a dessert once in a while. According to her the essential part is not punish your body but rather reward it in right proportions by eating whatever you like once in a while. As long as 4/5th of your diet is healthy, the rest can be what you actually like to eat. So, have those Mexican candies in a moderate amount might actually be good for you. Being a perfectionist here makes no sense for her.

5. Slow and Steady Doses of Exercise

Khloé Kardashian believes that you don’t need to go extreme to lose weight. She lost 30 pounds by consistently working out for a year and a half. Though her progress was slow but she was able to eat whatever she liked whenever she wanted to. This also ensured that she had a healthy lifestyle and a healthy mind set too as she didn’t deprive herself of what she wanted to eat.

Make Friends at the Gym

6. Make Friends at the Gym

Studies have shown that people who had gym buddies were more motivated to go to the gym and they did so often as well! Melissa Joan Hart used the same technique to shed 70 pounds after pregnancy. Having a friend or a buddy while you exercise makes these strenuous activities more fun and also ensures that if one person is not feeling motivated then the other person can coerce them to not lose their way.

7. Eating Coconut Oil

Miranda Kerr, the former Victoria Secrets Angel revealed her secret to staying fit. She had a spoonful of coconut every morning. This may sound strange to some but scientific studies have shown that coconut oil helps flush the body’s digestive system thereby increasing metabolism and burning fat.

Keep in mind that having a body that you desire requires a balanced diet and exercising regularly. These tips are an additional help to what you should already be doing every day to lose weight.

Author Bio:

Emily Johnson is a contributor at and writes reviews and blog articles on various Mexican ‘sweet and sour’ treats that you can buy easily. These Mexican sweet treats are perfect for those who crave ‘sugary and savoury’ candies.

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