Modern Day Diet Disasters

Posted on February 01

I hope you are having a happy new year. I'm going to assume that, since we've started working together (or at least since you've been receiving my newsletter), your thoughts, attitude, and approach towards diets have changed. 

And for this, I first want to say thank you. I'm proud of you.

Thank you for showing up in our sessions, reading my newsletters, and trusting me on your journey towards a healthier, more vibrant life.  

I'm proud of you for making an investment in yourself. 

I'm grateful that you trust me on this journey. 

This month, I want to share some tips and insights on modern-day "diet disasters" that I'm either seeing in the marketplace or hearing from clients. I hope this issue can educate, inspire, and empower you to not fall for the latest weight-loss gimmick, but, instead, to nourish yourself to be your best. 

 
Modern Day Diet Disasters
This year, you're determined to succeed. You've promised yourself and everyone else that you are going to get in shape, and you’ve been talking about losing weight for a long time. You believe you have all the tools at your disposal in order to achieve success. You've purchased the hottest diet book, have stocked up on the weight loss wonder foods, and have made a financial commitment to your workout plan. This year will be different, you know it!

Your Proposed Game Plan for Success:
  • Diet begins Monday morning. Sunday, the night before "D" day, you feast on your last supper. Chicken fried steak, French fries, hot bread with real butter, all followed by warm apple pie and vanilla ice cream.
  • Pantry is stocked with all-natural, gluten-free, dairy-free, keto-approved foods.
  • You've planned out your meals. No room for deviation.
  • You've set and shared your diet rules with family and friends. No dining out, fast food, pizza, sweets, chocolate, sugar, or bread.
  • You're going to weigh yourself three times a day to make sure your plan is working.
  •  

While this may look like the perfect "weight loss" plan, this is really screaming "diet disaster!" Listed below are a few of the most common mistakes committed by the modern "waist watcher" and some recommendations on how to turn these common weight loss mistakes into a recipe for long term success.

Disaster #1: Waiting to start your diet on Monday, or after the kids go back to school, or after your big deadline.

Modern Day Fix: Avoid seeing a diet as having a start and end date. Change your thought process from thinking this is a dreadful 4-week diet to thinking more long-term lifestyle changes. Making small changes in your daily routine can make a big difference in helping you reach your ultimate goal.

Disaster #2: Assuming that if a food is labeled gluten-free, keto, dairy-free, all-natural, or organic, then it can be eaten in unlimited quantities.

Modern Day Fix: Stock up on whole foods, especially fruits and veggies. And when you do want to indulge in a treat, have a small serving. Your taste buds will thank you.

Foods labeled gluten-free, keto, dairy-free, all-natural, or organic, do contain calories, so you still need to watch the servings. Focus on eating quality, satisfying, nutrient-dense foods. With this simple mental shift, not only will you end up consuming fewer calories, but you'll also increase your overall nutrient intake.

Disaster #3: Avoiding all carbohydrate sources and eating unlimited amounts of high-fat meats, cheeses, and nuts.

Modern Day Fix: Follow a balanced diet that focuses on a variety of foods. Focus on consuming high-fiber carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits, and lean protein sources.

Incorporating carbohydrates that are high in fiber is a great way to manage weight. Fiber-rich foods have a slower digestion rate than low fiber foods, meaning they help fill you up for a longer period. In essence, this should result in consuming fewer calories.
Two Modern Day Solutions for Common Diet Disasters
Disaster #4: Skipping meals and snacks in an attempt to "save" calories. 

Modern Day Fix: Eat a meal with complex carbohydrates (vegetables), protein, and a little bit of fat every 3 to 4 hours.


Eating 3 meals throughout the day not only helps to keep your metabolism working, but it also prevents you from overeating later in the day. If you fuel yourself properly during the day, then you'll be less likely to nibble mindlessly. Did you know that snacking on 2 oz of chips (about 2 handfuls) adds approximately 304 calories and 20 grams of fat to your day? This is equivalent to a turkey sandwich and a small apple. Now, which meal appears more filling?

Disaster #5: Relying purely on the scale to measure your success.

Modern Day Fix: Find other ways to monitor your success and changes. Sometimes the scale can prove to be our worst enemy. Instead of using the scale, try using a favorite pair of jeans to determine how you are doing. Remember, muscle is more dense than fat, therefore, a pound of muscle will take up much less room in your body than a pound of fat. If the scale has not budged for two weeks, but you can fit into your "skinny jeans," then you must be on the right track.  Another option is to use a scale that gives more data than just your weight. Some scales can give you pounds of muscle, visceral fat and subcutaneous fat... all important information during your weight loss journey.
Featured Recipe
Creamy Avocado Tomato Soup


This fresh avocado recipe is great for a heart healthy lifestyle. Avocado replaces heavy cream in this rich and hearty tomato soup that is perfect for a chilly afternoon.

Prep time: 20 minutes, Cook time: 20 minutes, Ready In 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3/ 4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium tomato juice
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp. sugar or 1 tsp stevia or truvia
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 ripe, fresh avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • fresh thyme, as a garnish
  •  

Instructions:
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, frequently stirring, about 5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute.
Stir in tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste, tomato juice, sugar, pepper, and dried thyme.
Add broth. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat, and let simmer 5 minutes. Let soup cool 5 - 10 minutes.
Cut 1-1/2 of the avocados into cubes and add to the cooled tomato mixture.
Puree the tomato and avocado mixture using an immersion blender until smooth. Reheat before serving. (Alternatively, puree soup in a food processor until smooth. Add pureed soup back to the pot and reheat before serving.)
To serve, pour soup into shallow bowls. Slice remaining avocado half, and place on top of the soup.

Makes 4 - 1 cup servings

Nutrition Information: Calories 120, Total Fat 8g, Sodium 170mg, Total Carbohydrate 12g, Dietary Fiber 4g, Protein 3g

Purple Produce ...

Posted on January 24
Purple produce provides vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Purple fruits and vegetables are high in anthocyanin, which has a positive effect on brain health, inflammation, and heart disease.
 
Purple foods may also enhance calmness and boost mood, giving you a few more reasons to add them to their meal plan.
 
1. Purple foods help kill cancer
2. Purple foods are ulcer-fighters
3. Purple foods are good for your liver
4. Purple foods are good for the heart
5. Purple foods help prevent urinary tract infections
p

Avocados .....

Posted on January 20
Here are some facts you might find interesting about the avocado fruit:
 
- A medium-sized avocado contains about 10-13 grams of fiber.
 
-It contains more potassium than a banana.
 
-It's an important source of the carotenoids, lutein & zeaxanthin, in a lipid matrix, which can be helpful for their absorption. These carotenoids are especially important for eye, brain, and skin health.
avocado

It’s National Gourmet Coffee Day

Posted on January 18

7 Fitness Trends for 2022

Posted on January 03
Are you ready to spice up your workouts in 2022? After the last two years, you may be on the lookout for new activities that help you feel good and have fun. Is wanting to feel good both physically and mentally one of your reasons for getting a workout in? Research has shown that exercise helps to elevate your mood and improve depression.

In addition to improving your mood, exercise keeps your heart and bones strong. The 2020 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, and muscle-strengthening or weight-bearing activities at least three times per week. You’ll know you’re at moderate intensity when you can speak a few words at a time but not sing or talk continuously. Those muscle-strengthening workouts are essential not just for your muscles; they also help keep your bones strong.

Finding both aerobic and weight-bearing workouts can seem daunting - there are so many options! How do you know which one is right for you? The 7 trends below will help you stay on top of the 2022 trends and give you some ideas to try in the New Year.
7 Fitness Trends for 2022

1. Working out together and apart
More people than ever have discovered that they can get a great workout at home. Over the last two years, the use of live streaming and online classes has exploded.

On-demand and pre-recorded workout use have grown 311%, and live streaming of classes has grown 971% since the pandemic. And, this trend will continue gaining momentum in 2022 - especially with technology and workouts becoming more and more intertwined (more about this later).

Live streaming and on-demand workouts include everything from pilates and yoga to walking in place so you can get those steps in, as well as strength training. If you want the energy of a live class while being at home, you can find just about any gym class in an on-demand or live streaming format.

2. Functional Movement + Mobility
One in five Americans is projected to be over 65 by 2030. The fitness industry is taking notice and adapting to this trend.

Workouts focusing on functional movements and mobility will continue to gain ground. Functional movements incorporate muscle groups and joints like walking lunges, bodyweight squats, and planks.
These workouts focus on maintaining the ability to keep doing the things you love for many years to come!

Taking injuries, surgeries, and movement restrictions into account is an absolute must, and these workouts cater to specialized modifications. You can stay active and find both aerobic and weight-bearing activities regardless of your restrictions.

3. Getting outside
After being home for so long, and with an increase in so many of us working from home, you may want a breath of fresh air. This means heading outside for your workout!

If you don’t want the cost of a gym membership, getting a workout outside may be just the ticket! Walking outside has the added benefit of working your body differently due to the changes in terrain and uneven surfaces you encounter.

Make it social by meeting a friend or a group to work out together outside. You both may feel more comfortable than hitting the treadmills in the gym.

As an added bonus, being outside can improve your attention, lower your stress level, and put you in a better mood. And, there’s always the added benefit of Vitamin D! All of these things will help you return refreshed and ready to go when you get back to the office or home.

4. Workouts that make you happy
Rather than focusing on burning as many calories as possible, the trend of finding joy and happiness in movement is here to stay! One way to do this is to look at activities you relished as a kid or activities that keep you engrossed, so you lose track of time.

Doing workouts that leave you smiling because you had fun doing it means you’re more likely to do it more often. And, it’s OK to have fun working out and not concentrate on how many calories you burned.

5. Mind+Body workouts
A holistic approach that encompasses both moving the body and training the mind draws new advocates like never before.

Traditionally, workouts like tai chi, yoga, and qigong fall into this category. Fitness professionals embrace this trend and incorporate breathing exercises and meditation into their classes. Some workouts include mindset, goal setting, and motivational tools that expand traditional classes into mind+body territory.

6. Mini workouts
Sitting for more than eight hours a day is associated with an increase in premature death and some diseases. Yet, taking an hour or two to hit the gym just doesn’t work for many people anymore.

Workouts that can be done in 10-minute blocks are building momentum. These workouts don’t require a change of clothes or a shower and can be done any time.

Jumping jacks, squats, lunges, walking up and down a flight of stairs, or taking walking breaks can all be done at just about any time to have movement spurts through the day. Even a 10-minute stretch session at your desk can leave you ready to tackle the next block of work.

7. Tech workouts
Technology and workouts are woven together in new and exciting ways. Technology, such as smartwatches, provide feedback about your training. And, you can use technology to create a workout, like what we’re seeing with mirrors that offer a virtual workout partner and virtual reality workouts.

Using tools to track workouts as well as statistics keeps growing in popularity. Doing a bike ride and posting it to a social sharing app like Strava can be fun, motivating, and bring competition into working out.

Wearables can not only track your workout but provide feedback and other information about your performance. The Apple Watch, Fitbit, and more help people count steps, monitor heart rate and oxygen saturation, and report workout-specific statistics.

Finally, smartwatches aren’t the only wearable. Virtual reality headsets are the latest workout innovation. Virtual reality is making inroads into the fitness space. Rather than looking at a screen while working out, virtual reality provides a 360-degree, immersive experience. For example, in one workout you use a sword to slash apart flying targets that fly at you all set in stunning locations. Both experienced exercisers and newbies will find these workouts fun and never boring.
5 Steps to Getting Started

Want to try a new workout this year, and don’t know where to start? These 5 steps will get you off the couch and on your way.
  1. Think about workouts you’ve enjoyed and disliked. Knowing what you do and don’t like can help you choose a new activity to try. Choose one to three ideas to look at further.
  2. Search online to see what you need to get started. Is there one or more that you’re attracted to? Don’t let perfectionism get the upper hand by telling you, “You can’t start until you have the perfect clothes, equipment, etc.” What is the minimum you need to get started? If you enjoy the workout, you can get more gear later.
  3. Make a plan to get started. Look at your calendar and plan a day and time to get started. If you’re taking a group class, check the schedule and choose a day and time for your first class.
  4. Honor the commitment you made to yourself and keep that workout date. If you want to back out, ask what your “future self” would say if you skip the workout.
  5. Remember, everyone was a beginner once. It is normal to not be great at it when you’re trying something new. Don’t let this keep you from trying a new type of training. Everyone who is rocking the workout now was once a newbie. You can master the new exercise as long as you stick with it.
Featured Recipe
Meal In a Bag: Chicken and Veggies


Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 to 1 1/4 lb.)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 bunch thin asparagus, trimmed
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


Directions

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high. Cut six 12-inch lengths of heavy-duty foil. Coat each piece with cooking spray.
  2. Combine chicken, sweet potatoes, asparagus, tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, salt, and black pepper in large bowl; stir to coat thoroughly. Evenly divide the chicken mixture among the foil sheets (place on the side coated with cooking spray).
  3. Gather together the long ends of each foil piece, then fold up its open ends to form a packet.
  4. Cook until the vegetables are tender and lightly charred, turning halfway through, about 20 minutes total. Serve hot.

Holiday baking ...

Posted on December 16
2 Simple Baking Swaps to Lower Your Sugar Intake This Holiday Season....
 
For any baked goods this Christmas, like cookies or muffins, simply swap out almond flour for white flour and Truvia for regular sugar.
Home-Sweet-Complete

Tips for a Strong Season

Posted on December 07
With the holiday season in full swing, I'm sharing the top go-to healthy habits to help you feel both physically and mentally strong. Even if these habits are part of your routine, reminders are essential, especially when stress and lack of time can begin to get the best of you.

Implementing these into your life will have you feeling stronger and more energized for the seasonal festivities while also keeping your physical and mental health in check. If this list seems overwhelming, find one or two that resonate with you, and start there. Remember, the small but consistent things make up the recipe for a healthy life.

Tips for a Strong Season
  • Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Staying hydrated is essential during the cold holiday season. Working through your lunch to make the after-work party is just one of the many reasons you're more susceptible to being dehydrated. Make a conscious effort to fill up a water bottle. Add slices of orange or grapefruit with fresh rosemary for a flavor-infused treat. Before diving into your cup of coffee or a cocktail, start with a cup of water.
  • Eat more plants. By eating more plants, like vegetables, fruit, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds, you're feeding your body with natural, immune-boosting foods. A few simple ideas include: make a big batch of vegetable soup to eat during the week, keep a fruit bowl on your counter and desk, stash nuts in your office desk, and experiment with more plant-based desserts.
  • Make Time to Lift Iron. Notice I didn't say just exercise. While there's no arguing the importance of regular exercise, it can be easy to forget how powerful weight lifting can be. I'm not saying you need to go and compete at the next heavy lifting championship (unless that's your thing). Still, I am suggesting including weight-bearing activities in your exercise routine. Aim to do at least 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week. Not only is weight lifting good for physical strength and bone health, but muscle mass burns more energy. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic burn!
  • Practice Yoga and Meditation. There is no arguing that while the holidays are a time for joy and cheer, they can also be very stressful. Carving out time to practice yoga or meditation can be beneficial to both your mind and body during the holiday season.
  •  

Yoga is an effective way to destress because it helps you disconnect from the outside world while reconnecting with your mind and body. Yoga can help manage muscle aches and pains associated with stress and long periods of sitting. The general "rule" is:  the busier you are, the more you need to meditate when it comes to meditation.

If the idea of sitting in stillness for an extended period makes you want to run, know that meditation doesn't need to be a time-consuming process. Start by letting go of any ideas on what meditation is or is not, and, instead, take 5 - 10 minutes to practice a few deep inhales and exhales. This is believed to help release worries about what you "should do" and allow you to connect with your inner wisdom on the next right step.
     
  • Find joy and gratitude in everyday moments. Research shows that expressing gratitude can decrease depression and anxiety while setting an overall positive tone for the day. Have fun, smile more, laugh often, and don't let the stress of the day steal the magic of the season!
  •  
What to Avoid if You Want to Feel Strong This Season
While it's important to share what you can do to feel strong this season, it's also important to give insight on what to avoid. Being aware of unhealthy habits sabotaging your mental and physical success is just as important as creating new ones.

According to Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and the author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do, here are five things mentally strong people don't do:
  1. They don't have pity parties. Self-pity causes you to dwell on your problems and stay focused on what's not working in your life.
  2. They don't run from change. There is no denying that change is scary and challenging, but being resistant to change only prevents you from growing and evolving.
  3. They don't try to please everyone. Mentally strong people know that they cannot make everyone happy. They only lose sight of their values, goals, and purpose by attempting to do so.
  4. They don't let failure keep them from trying again. Mentally strong people understand that mistakes happen, and things don't always work out in their favor, but this doesn't stop them from trying again.
  5. They don't avoid alone time out of fear. Alone time is vital for both mental health and personal growth and development, but it can also be challenging to do. Between the fast-paced society, we live in and things always calling for our attention, quality alone time can be challenging to prioritize. However, mentally strong people don't fear alone time. Instead, they embrace it as part of the journey to self-improvement.
Featured Recipe
Strawberry Yogurt Bark


Ingredients

  • 2½ cups diced fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 2 cups Greek vanilla yogurt or flavor of your choice
  • ½ cup melted coconut butter
  •  


Instructions

  • Line a 9½ x 13 in. rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add 2 cups of the strawberries, yogurt, and coconut butter to a large bowl and stir to combine. Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread into an even layer.
  • Sprinkle the remaining strawberries on top. Freeze for 8 hours minimum.
  • To serve, break apart a piece of the bark and enjoy!
  •  


 

Cauliflower Mash..... because it only takes an extra 500 calories per day to gain 1# of fat per week...

Posted on November 24
Ingredients
 
1 large head cauliflower cut into florets
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sour cream
6 cloves garlic divided
Salt and black pepper to taste
 
Instructions
 
Place cauliflower in a steamer over a large pot of boiling water. Steam for 15 minutes until tender. Alternatively, boil cauliflower in salted water for 10 minutes or until fork tender. Remove and drain. Cover with a lid and set aside.
In the same pot, heat the butter over medium high heat. Sauté garlic until fragrant (about 1 minute).
Blend cauliflower and garlic in a food processor on high setting until smooth. You may need to do this in batches of two or three, depending on the size of your processor.
Transfer blended cauliflower into the pot with the garlic. Stir in the sour cream and season with salt and pepper.
mash

Burn Baby Burn!

Posted on November 11
Do you want to burn fat versus store fat?
 
Whether for weight loss, mental clarity or long sporting events, burning fat for fuel is the key.
 
Follow these recommendations to accelerate fat burning.....
 
1. Exercise fasted in the morning
2. Drink coffee or tea in the morning (no sugar please)
3. Use your brain! (do a puzzle or get to work)
4. Hot therapy (sauna or steam room)
5.Cold therapy (cold plunge, cold shower or cryotherapy)
tub
 
 

Plenty of Plants & Protein

Posted on November 09
Protein is essential for ensuring we have the raw materials we need to remove toxins out of the body.
 
The other piece of the equation is that of plants. Plants give us fiber (to bind toxins), vitamins and minerals, and phytochemicals to help protect us from stress. Just remember the framework of healthy removal and transformation of substances in the body as being “plants + protein” then we can think about them with every meal we create.
 
-vegetable omelette with avocado and salsa
-large multi-veg salad with chicken
-apple with almond butter
-salmon, asparagus and mushrooms
wholesomeyum-the-perfect-keto-omelette-recipe-with-avocado-veggies-15-500x375

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