Tag Archives: clean eating

Don’t let the Holidays derail you

Do you have a weakness for the holiday cookies,  that special casserole, or that rich eggnog? The holiday season is filled with tasty obstacles that can throw your weight-loss goals for a loop.

The American Heart Association has these five tips to help you get through this holiday season without gaining weight:

  1. Be realistic. It’s no fun to be stressed out and trying to lose weight during the
    holidays. Shoot to maintain your current weight.
  2. Shop smart. Celebrate the season with festive & healthy items ~ unsalted nuts, whole grain crackers, fresh fruit & vegetable platters, low fat dips, and fat free eggnog.
  3. Keep hunger in check. Have a light snack before going to a party so you won’t be famished and overdo it.
  4. Enjoy yourself. Eat your favorite foods, but in small portions. Go easy on high-calorie
    beverages and be choosy at the buffet table—you don’t have to sample everything.
  5. Make time for exercise. It’s a great way to burn calories and lower stress. Get up a half hour early so you can fit it in. Walk a lap around the mall before gift shopping. Reconnect with family by making a holiday hike or other activity a new tradition.

Implement these tips to help with parties and other special occasions throughout the year too. If you do overindulge, don’t dwell on it ~ get back to your exercise and eating plan the next day.

Meal Planning made easy!


Planning meals for the week can save time & money. It can also save calories, seeing as most last-minute dinners usually involve take-out, delivery, or fast food. Meal planning can sound intimidating, but taking it one step at a time – and one meal at a time – can make it easier to fit into your normal routine.

How to start meal planning:

  • Spend 15-30 minutes on Sunday making a list.  Go through your cabinets and see what you have on hand already.
  • Start with the nights you already know your plans. Dinner with friends on Tuesday? Cross it off. Late meeting on Thursday? Crock pot meal.
  • Fill in the gaps. Start with favorite healthy recipes you know will be easy to throw together. Mix it up with a variety of chicken, vegetarian, or fish dishes.
  • Stay flexible and keep it simple. Plans may change, but a few eggs and vegetables (even frozen) can be whipped up into a quick dinner omelet.

Set Yourself up for Success

To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps—like adding a salad to your diet once a day—rather than one big drastic change. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices.

Tips – 
Prepare more of your own meals. Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food.

  • Make the right changes. When cutting back on unhealthy foods in your diet, it’s important to replace them with healthy alternatives. Replacing animal fats with vegetables fats (such as switching butter for olive oil) will make a positive difference to your health. Switching animal fats for refined carbohydrates, though (such as switching your breakfast bacon for a donut), won’t lower your risk for heart disease or improve your mood.
  • Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. Focus on avoiding packaged and processed
    foods and opting for more fresh ingredients.
  • Read the labels. It’s important to be aware of what’s in your food as manufacturers often hide large amounts of sugar and salt in packaged food, even food claiming to be healthy.
  • Focus on how you feel after eating. This will help foster healthy new habits and tastes. The more healthy food you eat, the better you’ll feel after a meal. The more junk food you eat, the more likely you are to feel uncomfortable, nauseous, or drained of energy.
  • Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many people go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.

Why should I have a healthy diet?

We all know that eating right can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid certain health problems, but your diet can also have a profound effect on your mood and sense of well being.

Studies have linked eating a typical Western diet—filled with red and processed meats, packaged meals, takeout food, and sugary snacks—with higher rates of depression, stress, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Eating an unhealthy diet may even play a role in the development of mental health disorders.

Eating more fruits and vegetables, cooking meals at home, and reducing your fat and sugar intake, on the other hand, may help to improve mood and lower your risk for mental health problems. If you have already been diagnosed with a mental health problem, eating well can even help to manage your symptoms and regain control of your Life.

While some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important. That means switching to a
healthy diet doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition.

You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet and make a difference to the way you think and feel.

Slow Cooker Banana Nut Oatmeal


Steel cut oats cook overnight with bananas, walnuts and spices to create a healthy, make-ahead breakfast that will be waiting for you in the morning.

Serves: 4
Ingredients
1 cup steel cut oats
1 ripe banana – mashed
¼ cup chopped walnuts
2 cups skim milk (or almond milk)
2 cups water
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
banana slices, walnuts or brown sugar – optional garnish

Directions
Place all ingredients in slow cooker and stir until well combined.
Cook overnight on Low for 8 hours.
In the morning, stir oatmeal with a fork to loosen the steel cut oats and make sure everything is fully incorporated.
Serve warm with banana slices, chopped walnuts or a pinch of brown sugar if you wish.

Notes – For easier clean-up and to avoid the slight “crusty” residue inside the slow cooker, place all ingredients in a glass bowl that fits into the slow cooker then add enough water to
fill the lower half of the slow cooker. over and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Sugar & Salt ~ what it does to your body

As well as creating weight problems, too much sugar causes energy spikes and has been linked to diabetes, depression, and even an increase in suicidal behaviors in young people. Reducing the amount of candy and desserts you eat is only part of the solution as sugar is also hidden in foods such as bread, cereals, canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, low-fat meals, fast food, and ketchup. It all adds up to a lot of empty calories since your body gets all it needs from sugar naturally occurring in food.

Sodium is another ingredient that is frequently added to food to improve taste, even though your body needs less than one gram of sodium a day (about half a teaspoon of table salt). Eating too much salt can cause high blood pressure and lead to an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, memory loss, and erectile dysfunction. It may also worsen symptoms of bipolar disorder.

TIPS –
• Slowly reduce the sugar and salt in your diet a little at a time to give your taste buds time to adjust and wean yourself off the craving.

• Avoid processed or packaged foods like canned soups, frozen dinners, or low-fat meals that often contain hidden sugar and sodium that quickly surpasses the recommended limit. Prepare more meals at home and use fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned vegetables.

• Be careful when eating out. Most restaurant and fast food meals are loaded with sodium. Some offer lower-sodium choices or you can ask for your meal to be made without salt. Most gravy, dressings and sauces are also packed with salt and sugar, so ask for it to be served on the side.

• Eat healthier snacks. Buy unsalted nuts and add a little of your own salt until your taste buds are accustomed to eating them salt-free. Cut down on sweet snacks such as candy, chocolate, and cakes. Instead, eat naturally sweet food such as fruit, peppers, or natural peanut butter to satisfy your sweet tooth.

• Check labels and choose reduced-sodium and low-sugar products.

• Use herbs and spices such as garlic, curry powder, cayenne or black pepper to improve the flavor of meals instead of salt.

• Avoid sugary drinks. Try drinking sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice instead.

What’s the secret to weight loss?

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There is NO big secret to losing weight!  It won’t happen overnight.  There are no magic pills.  There are no detoxes that will make you lose weight.

The secret is eating healthy foods, exercising at least 30 minutes a day,  drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day, journaling your foods and being consistent!  That’s it!

Seems like all you hear in the media is how to lose weight fast!  So many different options to chose from, so many different quick schemes.  The truth is while you  may see a few pounds lost within the first couple of days, it is mainly water weight.  And once you stop consuming your “quick weight loss product” you are more likely to gain the weight you lost plus some!

  • Shoot to eat every 2 1/2 – 3 hours
  • Shoot to eat less processed foods & more natural foods
  • Shoot to have complex carbs, lean proteins & healthy fats at each meal.
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day ~ shooting for cardio & strength training exercises
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
  • Write down every bite of food and every drink EACH and EVERY day!

Are you hydrated?

The hazy, hot and humid days of summer are upon us & making sure you are drinking enough to keep your body hydrated & functioning properly is extremely important.  Here are some tips on ensuring that you are getting enough water in:

* Drink at least eight, eight-ounce servings of water each day. More time outside means more fluid that needs to be replenished

* Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water. By the time you’re thirsty, you have already lost a couple or more cups of water from your body.

* Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Carry a bottle of water with you as you commute to work, or whenever you leave the house and may not be back for a while.

* Don’t substitute caffeinated coffees, teas and sodas for water. Caffeine acts as a diuretic, so does alcoholic beverages, causing you to lose water through increased urination.

* Keep a bottle of water on your desk if finding time to drink water is a problem. Or, visit the office water cooler and take water break rather than a coffee break.

* Once you start exercising, don’t stop drinking. Keep a bottle of water with you and drink throughout the duration of your workout.

* Don’t underestimate the amount of fluids lost from perspiration. You need to drink two cups of water for each pound lost following a workout.

* Start and end your day with a serving of water. Your body loses water while you sleep. Drink a serving of water while waiting for the morning coffee to brew.

* Common colds and flu’s can lead to dehydration. Keep a large bottle of water next to your bed so you can sip it throughout the day without having to get up.

Remember that when it’s warm outside, cold water—not carbonated soft drinks or sport drinks—is the best fluid for keeping hydrated. Cool water is absorbed much more quickly than warm fluids and may have a positive effect on cooling off your overheated

Consistency

You want to see results; you want to feel like all of your hard work is
paying off and resulting in changes; you want to feel healthy. BUT if
you are not consistent, how do you think you will accomplish this? Do
you think you will lose weight by not exercising? Or by not tracking
your foot intake? Do you think you will lose body fat and gain muscle
tone by not picking up those weights?

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It doesn’t mean you have to “bust it out” every day but you do need to
maintain a consistent level of activity each day. You do need to
maintain your food intake — staying within your calorie range, the
right macronutrients that work for your body.

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You need to find that balance for YOU – if you don’t have that balance
you are not going to be consistent with your healthy lifestyle, your
goals, your dedication. Set small goals so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Take small steps to accomplish your goals!

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If you experience a slip up or suffering from lack of consistency,  seek the help from me or any other support you might have in your life.

You are worth it to do this! You deserve to enjoy the ride & be happy!!

Make it Count

Transitioning into healthier eating lifestyle

 

There are more & more fad diets on the market these days & so many people desperate to find the right “one” that works for them.  But in reality what they are doing is actually harming themselves.  Here is a great 8 week transition into a healthier eating lifestyle, rather than viewing it as a diet!  

Source: Beachbody Continue reading