Tag Archives: weight loss tips

Become a Writer for Better Health

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Food journaling is a tool in your toolbox when it comes to healthy eating practices. It can unveil eating patterns and identify areas you need to change by making you constantly aware of what you are putting into your body.

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To keep a food journal, be sure to include the following:

Amount – Sometimes being specific is necessary (i.e. weight loss plateaus, blood sugar control) so you get a true sense of what you are actually having and how that may be impacting your goals. Other times, people just want to be more conscientious of what they are eating and in those instances, specificity is not necessary.

Time/Place – Record when and where you are eating and drinking.

Sensory – Jot down what you’re doing while eating and drinking. For instance, maybe you are snacking while watching TV or reading a book. Also note whom you are with. You may find that you consume more while around certain people.

Emotion – It’s important to describe how you feel when you are eating/drinking (angry, sad, happy, nervous, starving, bored, etc.). At the end of each day, analyze how your emotions affected your eating.

 

 

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Day 29: 30 Days of Hope

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This adorable mom and daughter started our health program in June 2013 and lost 97 lbs! They are ready for this summer and look at them now. Don’t they both look amazing?

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What’s your Achilles’ Heel?

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We all have it. That one thing (or even two things) that we just love so much, it will derail every goal and good intention when it comes to eating healthy.  Mine is french fries…

 

 

and chocolate…

 

 

 

and mushrooms, the deep fried ones!

So how do you have your cake, or fries, or chocolate… and still stay healthy? It’s about all about MODERATION and PREPARATION.

You know about MODERATION.  Keep your serving size small and don’t go back for seconds.  Also, some things just aren’t healthy for you if you eat them EVERY DAY.

PREPARATION is a little harder.  Just because you are not adding sugar or frying something, doesn’t mean you are sacrificing taste.  I love to cook and here’s what I’ve come up with for my three Achilles’ heel items.

 

Suntanned French Fries

  • cooking spray
  • 1 pound butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and cut into thick French fries
  • 1 pinch salt to taste
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil or 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 drop oregano essential oil or 1/8 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Blot any moisture from the butternut squash fries with paper towels, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper, and Cajun seasoning.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned and tender, 15 to 20 minutes, turning once.

 

Chocolate Bark

chocolate-bark

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
  • 1 drop Peppermint essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon honey

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine all three ingredients and mix until well combined. Taste the mixture, and adjust sweetness, to taste.
  2. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a dish lined with parchment paper, and smooth with a spatula.
  3. Place in the freezer to set for 20 minutes, then use a knife to cut into bite-sized chunks.
  4. Serve directly from the freezer and enjoy!

Notes
It’s important that the coconut oil is not melted, or the coconut oil and cocoa powder will separate while setting. For a smooth texture, solid or softened coconut oil is best.

 

Not Deep Fried Mushrooms

  • 1/2 c. quinoa flour
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 c. soft bread crumbs (I prefer whole wheat)
  • 1/2 c grated parmesan
  • 1 drop basil essential oil or  2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 c egg substitute, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 c. non-fat milk
  • 16 oz fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 c. Smart Balance Light buttery Spread. melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Lightly grease 15×10-inch jelly-roll pan.
  3. In plastic bag, combine flour and paprika.
  4. In another plastic bag, combine crumbs, cheese and basil.
  5. In small bowl combine eggs and milk.
  6. Shake mushrooms in flour mixture and dip in egg mixture.
  7. Shake in crumb mixture, pressing crumb mixture to mushrooms to coat.
  8. Arrange mushrooms cap-side down on prepared jelly-roll pan.
  9. Drizzle with butter.
  10. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Fried_Mushrooms

You don’t have to give up foods you enjoy when you’re working on living and eating healthy. Most recipes can be modified to give you the foods you love without the not-so-good oils, sugars, fats, and calories that are NOT good for your health.

Day 27: 30 Days of Hope

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This is Don. He is a police officer in Riverton, UT and found that his excess weight was causing problems on the job. He lost 60 lbs and is back in the best shape to do his job and protect his community.

Don

Locked in Chains

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Addiction is just as restrictive as any man-made prison or religious concept of hell.  We all have our own addictions; i.e. nicotine, alcohol, control, retreat, food, shopping, I could list hundreds.

What causes us to get addicted to a substance or behavior? Simple. At some or several points in our life, we felt the need to develop a coping mechanism. From the need to cope, we fell into patterns of behavior that quickly became an addiction.

My personal addiction is food. I built up habits that allowed me to control what I ate when I couldn’t control my life.  However, finding comfort in food meant that I eventually became unhealthy and overweight.

How do we get out of those behavior patterns? Not so easy as determining how we became addicted in the first place, BUT there is light at the end of the tunnel. Addictions can be overcome. To do this, specific tools are needed.

First, SUPPORT is key to overcoming any addiction. Even food addictions. Knowing you are not alone, not in the battle by yourself, is a big shot in the arm when trying to break any addiction.

But like any warrior, you need tools.

Support,

Structure,

The ability to build better coping habits,

Recognizing the basis or fears that caused our addictions in the first place,

these are our basic tools.

Before you can really use these tools though, you have to know what you are using them against. So what are your deepest fears? What is it you are trying to hide from via your addiction?

E=mc² : the Health Equation

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We all know the formula E=mc².  Did you know it applies to your success at losing weight, gaining muscle, and reshaping your body?

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Let’s break it down.

m= Manipulation of muscle, or exercise, is great but it can’t stand alone as a means to reshape the body.  Muscles need food to grow, stretch, and define.  Not just any food either. It has to be the RIGHT food building blocks, particularly lean proteins.  Carbs won’t do it, fats certainly won’t do it, and sugars…well, we all know that those are useless for anything other than a quick energy burst followed closely by a dramatic plunge in your blood sugar levels and a drop in your energy reserves. No, muscles NEED lean proteins and they need them immediately BEFORE you tax those muscles in order for the protein to be put to optimal use. Additionally, your muscles need fuel RIGHT AFTER you tax them.  They will use the protein you consume to get through a tough workout or labor intense job, but once the work is over, those muscles need MORE food.  To keep those muscles working long after you have actively stressed them, they require fiber, at least 1 1/2 cups of healthy fiber. The fiber feeds your muscles and continues to fuel them as they recover from the workout you’ve given them.

Here’s what happens inside that muscle you are working so strenuously.

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You need protein to provide energy to the muscles as you tear them apart in exercise and fiber to fuel them as they begin the repair process.  ** Not only does fueling immediately before and right after a workout aid your muscles during exercise but it keeps your muscles from pulling vital resources from other parts of your body like your internal organs or brain.

c²= Consumption squared is the foundation of a healthy body. What goes in should be sufficient to effectively feed and fuel your brain, your blood, your muscles, your bones, and your internal and external organs. Yes, you need to feed your skin (the largest organ of the body). That being said, quality and quantity are important in this equation. Foods high in sugar, fat, and simple carb construction are not good for your body as a fuel source.  They burn off too quickly and the body only manages to use a small portion of them before they are expended. Foods low on the GI (Glycemic index), i.e. lean protein, dark green veggies, complex carbs, high fibers, are great for the body as they pack a whole lot of fuel and energy into a small package. These foods also take longer to get through the body, thus allowing the body to use the majority of these fuel sources to build muscle, repair the body, and strengthen organs. A diet high in low GI foods produces much less waste (urine and feces) than a diet high in simple carbs, sugars, and fats. But you can go overboard here as well.  The body is only capable of extracting a certain percentage of what it needs from what it is fed at any one time.  Eating too much of a good thing (low GI foods) results in the body having to store what it can’t use right away.  That means the fat cells and the liver (the body’s storage units) receive the excess. When you are trying to lose weight, feeding your fat cells is the LAST thing you want to do. So watch those serving sizes!

Let’s end our equation and talk about the results of Manipulation of muscle PLUS Consumption squared.  The result is…

E= ENERGY. Sufficient energy to build muscle, trim your waistline, strengthen bones, and increase mental acuity. The result is not just sufficient energy but an excess of energy which increases “m” exponentially. You will feel better, move more, be capable of achieving more physically and mentally, when you apply the principle of E=mc² to your health.

The Brain is Driving

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Many people fail to understand that losing weight STARTS in the mind.  Several of my clients have struggled recently with cravings, emotional eating, and other “roadblocks” that have derailed their progress on losing weight. They look for reasons to explain the lapses, blaming them on lack of will power, events beyond their control, etc.

The actual culprit is the mind.  When the mind is NOT engaged in building or changing a habit, then the habit doesn’t stick and despite good intentions, the body/person fails in reaching their goal.  The mind must be engaged in the process. It is the driver behind the wheel, the power behind the action. The body is just the luggage in the trunk of the car.

When building any habit, the process must first begin in the brain.

For example:  If you want to stop giving into cravings, you must:

1. Determine why you are having a craving.  Is it emotionally triggered, event triggered, or just a bad habit? Like eating ice cream while watching TV each evening after work.

2. Once you determine why you have a craving, you have to create a list of activities that will short circuit your craving. If you have a sudden craving for chocolate, instead of raiding your child’s Easter candy stash, put on some music and fold laundry, or take the dog for a walk, or leave the situation that is encouraging the craving (in this case, turn off the TV). Having a list of alternative reactions is a MUST!

3. When the craving hits, you have to follow through with the alternative choice. It’s not enough to just recognize the drive behind the craving. You have to actively short circuit it.

4. You must be consistent.  Within 21 days, you will have created a new, healthier habit and you will notice a marked decrease in craving “episodes”.

When you apply your mind and give it the power to change the body, there is nothing you can’t achieve.

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