What You Need for a Picnic at the Beach

Picnics are an age-old family tradition. It can be quite relaxing and enjoyable to eat outdoors, and a picnic is a great way to bring friends and family together.

People often have picnics in parks, but you can also enjoy them at the beach (another bonus for this location: far less chance of being invaded by ants!). Sounds like a great idea? Here are some tips on what you will need:

Avoid Foods That Can Spoil in the Heat

A quick rule of thumb here: avoid bringing anything that needs refrigeration at all times. You can always put these in a cooler, however.

Bring Fun Foods

Eating healthy is important, but doing so all of the time can be a drag. Picnics are meant to be fun occasions, so be sure to bring some chips, cheezies, and chocolate to help balance off the healthier items. It can’t hurt to break the rules once in a while, especially if you have kids with you.

Prepare for Sun Exposure

You will be out of doors for sometime, so make sure that everyone has a hat and sunscreen. An outdoor umbrella will also help to cut down on the excess UV rays and assist in keeping everyone comfortable.

Bring Water

Nothing wrong with bringing a variety of beverages, but make sure you also include water to help keep everyone properly hydrated. For extra coolness, you can freeze the bottles of water before you leave.

Utensils

Unless you are only bringing food that can be eaten by hand, make sure you have all of the utensils you will need. That includes extras, like bottle openers and a hand-operated can opener. Include some napkins and wet naps as well.

Be sure to also bring along a frisbee, football, or something else you can easily have fun with after your feast. Enjoy!

Is Coffee Actually Good for You?

Coffee is something everyone talks about and seemingly everyone drinks. Every time I pass by a Tim Horton’s with a line out the door, I wished I owned that location. Many people rely on coffee with the same degree that they need water and food. There was a period when I drank 6-7 cups per day and could hardly get out of bed without one. It became such a monkey on my back, that I eventually quit. I’ve backslid a little, but try to have no more than one caffeinated drink per day.

We all know that caffeine has negative affects upon sleep and is also not good for your heart. However, there are periodic articles stating that, no, caffeine is actually beneficial for the human body. The latest tells of two studies that claim people who drink coffee 2-4 times a day have an 18% lower risk of death than those who did not indulge. The studies were conducted using diverse populations, which can lend credence to the validity of the results thanks to divergent diets and lifestyles. Among the reasons cited for this good health are lower instances of inflammation, healthier lipid profiles, and better glucose control.

It can be very difficult to know what to believe when we hear such studies. I am tempted to give them the benefit of the doubt, but while a plethora of studies yield more information, they also mean more contradictory results. There are also studies where the results have been manipulated to favour interested parties or the people conducting the tests are not above board.

The best answer is to decide what works best for you and monitor how you feel. If you think you would like to try the 2-4 cups of coffee strategy, go for it, but if the added caffeine results in you sitting awake at night, it’s not worth the trade-off for something not proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Weight Loss in Middle Age

We all know (all too well) how important fitness is at any stage in life. Excess weight can put a real strain on your heart and make you more susceptible to all manner of diseases, including cancer.

However, the ease with which one can lose weight changes at different stages in life. When you are young, the body has more energy and you can bounce back faster from any injuries or illness. As we age, our muscle density decreases and we feel stiffer and tire out faster.

Life can be more difficult when you are older, but letting your fitness decline will just make things worse. That said, there is no reason you cannot make adjustments to your physical fitness plan in order to reflect the changes your body undergoes with age.

First off, talk to you doctor. The two of you can discuss your fitness and weight loss goals. It is important to include your physician because they will have a good idea of what is suitable for you at this stage in life, based on your current physical state.

At this part of your life, the key is to lose fat. Don’t worry so much about what your scale says. You need to maintain your muscle, so doing so will make it seem like you are gaining weight.

In addition to exercise, be sure to drink plenty of water. Yes, water is important for maintaining proper bodily function, but it can also help you lose weight. As we age, the body has a more difficult time telling the difference between thirst and hunger. Thus, some people end up eating more than they should and that leads to weight gain.

Finally, make sure you have enough lean protein in your diet. Protein is an important component for both muscle growth and repair.

Essential Nutrients To Have In Your Body

There are many nutrients in our body, and there are a couple that are essential for our body to function.  Essential nutrients are nutrients that your body cannot make up on its own which means you need to intake it.  These nutrients include carbohydrates, fat, minerals, protein, vitamins and water.

Carbohydrates are what gives your body and brain energy.  We need carbs in order for our body to function.  Carbs comes in all different foods including breads and grains.  A common misconception is that there are no carbs in fruits or vegetables.  In fact, a great source of carbs do come from fruits and starchy vegetables.

Another energy source for our bodies is fat.  There are healthy fats and unhealthy fats.  Healthy fats include nuts, fish and avocado, foods rich in omega-3 fats.

Minerals are also an essential nutrient.  Many nutrients we think of like sodium, iron, and calcium are all minerals.  Our body needs sodium to maintain the function of our body’s cells.  We need iron in our body because it carries oxygen throughout our body.  That’s why when someone has an iron deficiency, they’re often tired or have a lack of energy.  To combat iron deficiency, check out the liquid form of iron supplement.  Another important mineral we need is calcium.  Calcium keeps our bones and teeth strong, so we’re able to munch on meats and other hard to chew foods.  It’s important to always intake enough calcium so the bones can properly support your body.

foodOur body also needs protein to function.  Protein helps build and repair our body tissue.  Good foods that have a lot of protein include dairy, eggs, chicken and other low-fat meats.

When we think of nutrients we need, we often think of vitamins.  Vitamins are necessary for a number of different things.  Vitamin C helps provide structure to our blood, bones and ligaments.  Vitamin D helps to equal out the calcium in our bodies.

Last but not least, we have water.  Many people don’t think of water when it comes to essential nutrients.  However, water may be the most important factor.  Without water, our body definitely cannot survive for very long.  Water helps our bodies transport all the nutrients to the cells.  It also help our body get rid of the waste and bacteria from everything we intake.  You should always be aware of how much water you consume.  Most people don’t consume enough.

So there you have it.  A comprehensive list of all the essential nutrients your body needs to survive and be healthy.  Remember, there are many people who suffer from deficiencies of these nutrients.  The most common is lack of iron.  However, there are supplements that you can take to combat these deficiencies.  If you’re not a big fan of supplements, the alternative to iron supplements or other nutrient supplements can be found.  If you’re suffering extreme fatigue, insomnia, or anything else, you may have a deficiency.  Contact your doctor for more information.  Remember, you are the only one who can keep your body at its best.