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By Kathleen Crowley

Week Four: Reap the Benefits
We are reaching over thirty days of healthy living here with Week Four of The Pioneer, go you!  We together have been making several changes to our daily regimes, and we are sure the results are now beginning to show. Not only do we begin to look good, but by living a healthy life style we most importantly start to feel good. As time increases, the changes in our diet and lifestyle become a lot easier, and sooner or later they will become almost natural. We will eventually want to eat an apple rather than a chocolate bar, because we have now witnessed first hand how such choices truly affect our bodies. We begin to see how water and natural foods become a big part of our daily intake –for the energy and refreshing feeling become more than addicting. What this weeksí nutritional column intends to do is to congratulate those who have been following, and to prove to you that such choices are truly rewarding.

The Benefits of…

Avoiding sugar and flour: One of the most important tips The Pioneer emphasizes is to avoid excess sugar and flour. Although such substances can be addicting, the results of avoiding them are exceptionally rewarding. In simple terms, sugar is a toxic. Why? Foods high in sugar cause the overproduction of insulin into the blood stream, transforming the sugar into FAT for storage. Refined sugar found in white flour, pasta, potatoes, candy, etc., slows our bodies down causing unwanted responses. We break out, we feel overstuffed, and our hunger is never quite satisfied. By consuming unprocessed, unrefined sugars and whole grain, we have an immediate boost of energy, a surge of vitamins and nutrients, and such calories are stored properly rather than turning into fat cells. A big difference right?

Water: Water is the utmost important aspect of a healthy lifestyle; it is a nutrient vital to our health and such benefits should never be underestimated. Especially for those trying to lose weight, water should never be ignored. Water flushes out the by-products of fat, diluting the bodyís waste products and toxins stored in the kidney and the liver. Water also fights against head and body aches, muscle spasms, fatigue and anxiety –all typically caused by dehydration. When the body is properly hydrated, benefits are shown all over (even in our skin!).

Exercise: We all know the obvious benefits of exercise, but here are a few that we donít recognize too often: 1) it improves your mood 2) fights chronic diseases 3) boosts energy level 4) promotes better sleep and 5) fights depression. Continue making exercise part of your daily regime, and for the who still canít get in the swing of it, below we even included some motivating tips to get you there!

Overall a healthy lifestyle is the simplest and easiest way to stay physically fit, feel good, and reduce the chances of illness. By living well, we are able to maintain a healthy weight, which lowers the chance of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Yes it is true that we live in an age of obesity, but we also live in a world of information where we can take it upon ourselves to learn how to live the right way. There are no excuses! Learn, live, and love your body –after all, it is your temple.

For those of you who e-mailed me at  HYPERLINK “”, I appreciate you comments, questions and suggestions. As promised, I took one particular question several of you had asked and decided to feature it in this weekís issue. The question read: ìI have been following the nutritional column as best as I can eating wise, but I just canít get myself to the gym, any suggestions?î YES! This is a typical concern for college students, especially (as explained in last weeks issue) as the cold weather dwells upon us and the work oad starts to kick in, we become lazy and way too busy. Well luckily here we have a few tips that will make your initiation to get up and go much easier, enjoy!
Wake up and GO! By working out first thing in the morning, you have absolutely no time to contemplate it. Plus, youíll feel great and accomplished all day long.
Just get dressed. Put your sneakers, jam out to a good song and trust me youíll get in the mood to work out.
Tell yourself youíre only going for a quick fifteen minute jog. Once youíre in the vibe, youíll probably wind up staying longer than you thought.
Train for an event. Knowing that you have something to go to, you become more motivated. Maybe mark HALLOWEEN as your big hurrah –get motivated to look good in that costume.
Make your ultimate playlist. As stated in last weeks issue, music is pure motivation. As you get ready for the gym, play your favorite song and get pumped.
Google your favorite celebrity and find out their professional work out plan. Look in awe at their awesome bodies and go get it. Thereís no reason you canít have what they have, they just want it more!
Make working out enjoyable. Donít feel pressured to go run on a treadmill –spice it up a little. Take a kickboxing or yoga class, or better yet go for a swim. Those are all fun and enjoyable ways to workout and theyíre things you can look forward to.
OK so you donít have time, no big deal. Simply implement exercise into your daily regime. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk the extra long way to class, avoid sitting on your lunch break by taking it to go and walk the park!
Working out can be fun, remember that. Any which way you plan to do so is great. The greatest thing of all is that not only do you burn calories, but working out relieves stress. Take advantage of it, use it as a natural medicine.
All in all, at the end of the day the most important thing is that you are happy with yourself. No matter how great a job, how high a GPA or how much weight you can bench in front of your friends..none of it truly matters in comparison to whether you are happy with who you are and how you feel. When it comes down to it, you will always be with yourself. People come and go, but itís your body that will remain your sanctuary. Take care of your body, respect your body, and do your best to stay healthy. But please, if you take one thing from this column, donít take life too seriously and donít be so hard on yourself. Yeah of course eat well, get to the gym, but go out and have fun, you only live once!
Until next time, have a HAPPY, relaxing and healthy week.
Katie 🙂

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