Happy November 1st.

Why, because this is usually the beginning of when people begin to lose their focus.  Feeling the pressure of the pending holiday rush of food, gifts, and crazed schedules, people often forget to put themselves in that list of important things to do today.

Don't leave yourself out.  You're ability to get through this holiday season has a lot to do with your willingness to commit to not leaving yourself off of the proverbial list. 

Let me make this plain and simple. No matter how much you get done in a day, paying for it by being miserable the whole time your doing it or completely trashing your system with horrible food choices and no physical activity doesn't serve anyone -- especially you.  You don't get a medal for getting your list done, but neglecting yourself.  And you and I both know, with a little planning you can get your list of "to-do's" done, as well as take good care of yourself.


Staying in line with those thoughts, one of the biggest complaints I hear about being able to keep on track with nutrition is that it "takes too long to cook a meal that tastes good and is good for you".  Well that's not completely true. Below are two more recipes for quick meals that take 20 minutes or less to make and are good for you.  Throw some veggies and a starchy carb in and you're set to go.  Leaving you plenty of time to still get that growing list of things -- done.  Stay on track.  You've worked way too hard to lose your momentum now.


But of course for those of you that are committed to feeling crappy, having low energy, and taking years off your life, you're welcome to continue to poison yourself with fast food. 


It's your choice. Make one that moves you forward and not backward.



Recipe #1 -- Lemon Chicken (Lemon_Chicken1.doc)



Recipe #2 -- Tilapia with Caponata (Tilapia_with_Caponata1.doc)


These recipes are courtesy of A Recipe for Life by the Doctor's Dietitian -- Susan Dopart, M.S., R.D.


Thanks Susan
Well, I don't know how we got to the end of October so quickly, but here we are yet again. And if you've been to any shopping malls or large department stores, you know they are already playing Christmas music.  OUCH!  I mean c'mon, we haven't even gotten through Thanksgiving and they are already pushing us to Christmas.

What it does serve as, is a reminder that the holidays are coming.  That means small bowls of candy throughout the office, cookies and cakes being brought in to share (I can think of better gifts to share) with others, and the usual holidays gatherings like Christmas parties, Thanksgiving dinners with family and friends, and of course Christmas dinner. To put it simply, lots of extra calories in the form of candies, cookies, cakes, and other tempting delectable treats that will derail your efforts to stay on track.
                                                                                                                                                                                    
Are you ready?  I mean ready with habits and coping strategies in place to be sure you're not one of the people that gains the typical 7-15lbs over the holiday?

If you're like most of the people I've talked to, you probably haven't even really thought about it.  During this time of year it is critical that you have a plan and coping strategies to keep your habits under control; and you on track through the holidays.

I want you to succeed!

And part of that responsibility is that I provide you with info that is outstanding and ready to use right out of the box.  This is one of those instances.

I was recently emailed this article that really got my thinking cap working overtime. 

Don't let the title fool you.  There is some seriously good information, tips and strategies to help you get your habits in shape before the holidays.

Trust me, take a look over the quick tips here and then click on the link below. I want to give a Big Thanks to Precision Nutrition for posting this article.
___________________________________________________________________________________________

Tips for losing fat from naturally skinny people

How can you learn to think and act like a naturally skinny person in order to reap the benefits for fat loss? Here are some tips.

  • Understand that you have a lot of control over your eating behaviour, regardless of your physiology.
  • Food is just food. It should not be used as a reward or an emotional outlet.
  • Reprioritize food and put it in its proper place — as something that tastes good and sustains us, but should not dominate our thinking.
  • Pay attention to your physical cues. Start eating when you’re physically hungry and stop when you’re physically full.
  • Change your expectations of fullness. Stop before you feel stuffed, or even “full”.
  • Understand that cravings come and go. Ignore the cravings, distract yourself, and don’t keep problem foods in the house.
  • Keep moving, as much as possible.
  • It’s OK to say no to food in social situations. The more you assert yourself, the more people will get used to it.
  • In order for behaviour to change, your identity has to change. Skinny guys have to think of themselves as bigger and more muscular; heavier folks have to think of themselves as working towards being lean athletes.
  • Portion sizing is important. Your idea of the correct portion may be wrong.
  • Change requires practice. The more you practice eating smaller (or larger) meals, the more your body will get used to it.
  • Make your behaviours match your goals. If you’re constantly acting in ways that self-sabotage, you either need to change the behaviours or your goals. In any case, be realistic and honest about what you are doing.


Get the Full Story Here:  Ready For Some Cutting Edge, Useful Info
I can't say it enough.  If you're serious about making changes in your body there are 2 specific things you've got to do:

1.) Plan and if possible, prepare your meals ahead of time to make sure you stay on track with your nutrition, and

2.) You've got to get your daily exercise. And if you can't do it daily, start with 1 day a week and build to a minimum of 3 days per week.
                                                                                                                                                                                       
That being said, I can't tell you how often I hear people complain about how hard it is to stay on track with food.  Now of course when questioned they readily admit that they are not sticking to any real food plan, they just kind of wing it all day.  And of course at the end of a few weeks they wonder why they don't see any changes in their body composition.

I know it's a worn out cliche, but if you don't plan for your success how do you think it will happen?

The 2 largest complaints I hear from people when it comes to sticking to a food plan, is that the food is tasteless and uninspiring, and they don't have time.  Well, here are two recipes below that are big on flavor and easy to prepare. They taste good and are darn good for you. Even better is that they don't take any longer to prepare than any other home cooked meal. 

As you know, this month is all about keeping it simple.  Here are two simple recipes to help you stay on track.

Salmon or Sole in Parchment on a bed of Greens & Julienne Root Vegetables
(Salmon_or_Sole_in_Parchment_on_a_bed_of_Greens.doc)

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Problem is most people eat a cold cereal or worse.  Well here's an option that tastes great, takes almost no time to make and is packed with nutrients.

Leafy Green Protein Shake (Leafy_Green_Protein_Shake.doc)

These are courtesy of Elizabeth Brown, MS, RD "The Kitchen Vixen"
eat2liv@earthlink.net

Thanks Elizabeth for keeping the daily grind full of nutrients and flavor.
I'm feeling a little bit down today.  I don't know exactly why, but I guess I'm really seeing the other side when it comes to the advances in technology.  I mean don't get me wrong, I appreciate the multitude of features on my cell phone, the vast TV channel selections, the advances in medicine, and our ability to create more green technology.

The problem that has me down is, it unfortunately seems as though people think that fitness and body transformation should happen at the same speed as technological advances. And what really sucks about that is. . . . . . The Body Doesn't Work Like That ! I like to call it Spray Tan Fitness (more on that next week). It seems people believe you can just show up at the gym, talk most of the time they're there and expect to get results. Kind of like getting a spray tan (which is not a bad thing, since it keeps you away from ultraviolet rays, it just doesn't work when it comes to fitness).

Sure you can drop a few pounds quickly by cutting out certain food groups for a short period of time. But it's not a lifestyle you can maintain and so the weight comes back. Sure you can get certain surgeries done to get you to lose weight, but from what I read you risk your life by having the surgery. Sure you can even take certain pills to assist you. But low and behold, when you come off of them you have to do the work of proper nutrition consistently and daily exercise.

I want you to understand, if there was a quick fix to weight loss, or avoiding pain, an easy way, I'd have found the book or product, found out where they sold it and for how much, and sent you an email each day to tell you about it.  Sadly the truth is, it will take some level of work and effort on your part to change your body.  There are no quick fixes, no magic pills, no creams, no potions.

However, on a brighter note, the ways to lose weight, keep it off, get out of pain and stay that way, are all pretty simple. You commit to doing the simple tasks on a daily basis and you will get results, 9 times out of 10.

So in keeping with the theme this month, here are 3 More Easy Ways to Change Your Body. They are straight and to the point. And guess what?  If you apply them, they work like magic.

Check out the video below and let me know what you think.

First off I hope you're doing your part each day to fight SB Syndrome.  Check out my posts on Friday's this month to see how you can help yourself or someone you know fight SB Syndrome.

I know, I know.  People must think that sometimes I just make up the rants and info I share with you.  But I don't!  I actually do research on each and every bit of information I share with you.  How else will you be able to rely on me if I don't give you credible, useful info that you can live by, or share with your friends. 

                                                                                                              
1.)  That being said I've got to tell you this next bit of info even blew me away.  Who knew sitting for long periods of time could be so dangerous to your health? I mean honestly, I advocate exercise and modified nutrition to assist you in getting out of pain and to improve your quality of life; Who knew that sitting could actually do so much damage. Here's a quick synopsis of the article and the link below if you want to read it for yourself.

I wanted to be sure to provide you with the links so you can get the full story.

But the long and short of it is this:

"Over a 14-year period, women who spent six or more hours per day sitting had a 37% increased risk of dying compared with women who sat for 3 hours or less.  The excess risk was independent of other health factors, including the amount of exercise they got.  When overall activity was taken into account, the women who sat the longest and exercised the least were almost twice as likely to die as those who sat the least and exercised the most."


Exercise and Sports Science Review
 
American Journal of Epidemiology

Put quite simply, you have to get up and move every few hours!  Sitting for long periods of time is actually decreasing your life expectancy -- whether you exercise or not.  Take a moment, get up and walk around if you've been sitting for three hours or more.  In a sense, the length of your life depends on it.


2.)  And if that wasn't enough, there has been even more research done on the importance of nutrition.  Specifically, dieting by itself does not significantly create lasting weight loss. OK, I promise not to say "I told you so." Yet another study was done that demonstrated the 3 most important factors in losing weight and keeping it off:

 

       *  Diet coupled with exercise produces the best results for losing weight and keeping it off

       *  Having a formal or informal support group is key to losing weight

       *  Planning meals ahead of time on a consistent basis is essential to lasting weight loss


Diet is Not Enough


To make it quite plain and to the point, you've got to get up and move every 3 hours to maintain a long and healthy life and if you're serious about transforming your body, change your nutrition to healthy choices and add regular exercise to your daily and/or weekly schedule.


It's all about creating the habits that will create the life you want.  You now have the information, what kind of habits will you create?


Over the past couple of months we've gone through some pretty deep stuff; getting in The Zone, finding your Big Rocks, etc. This month let's keep it simple and to the point. 

Today I want to share with you some basic and to the point ideas to help you create a successful weight loss and keep it off program.  It's largely about the planning.  Funny thing is, so is gaining quality muscle -- it's all in the planning and consistency.

Check out the video below to get your 3 Critical, Ready to Apply Strategies to Transform Your Body.

 
A relative asked me over the weekend what is the formula for lasting weight loss.  BINGO, I thought, this would be a good blog post.

So here it is in four easy steps, the formula to lasting weight loss:

1.)  Commit to taking excellent care of yourself both mentally and physically. Whether it's getting up a bit earlier to do a bit of yoga and meditation for 20-30 minutes before preparing to work or ending your day with this type of routine, each day needs to take into account the physical and mental aspect of the body that we rely on to carry out our daily tasks.

2.)  Set realistic short and long term goals.  From my experience most people set their initial goals much too high for the time period they've given themselves. And of course more often they not they don't meet their goal, get frustrated and abandon the whole process altogether. Initially, set easily accomplished goals, that still make you accountable, but allow you to build momentum to the long term goal. That way you ensure your success from the start.

3.)  Commit to a nutrition schedule (way of eating, diet if you will) that meets your lifestyle, tastes and budget constraints.  No matter what the promises someone else may make about their way of losing weight, if you can't commit to it or don't like the food, you won't get results. The nutrition schedule should suggest and encourage a variety of protein sources, large low-glycemic carbohydrate use and limited uses of high glycemic carbohydrates, and regular consumption of healthy fats (i.e. poly and monounsaturated).

4.)  Commit to a regular resistance exercise program that periodically changes to keep you both motivated and challenged.  A reputable trainer or reference book should be able to provide you with a workout you can do on your own, that every 6-12 weeks, based on the individual, changes to challenge your skills and fitness level.  Based on your goals and lifestyle about 30-60 minutes, 4-5 days per week should allow you to challenge your body enough to get measurable changes.

There you go.  It's really that simple.  That challenge is to be consistent.  But I believe you can do it.

As always, let me know what you think.
Jul
09
2010
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I think it's safe to say that most of us believe that a veggie burger is a wholesome alternative to a meat patty, yes? 


DID YOU KNOW INFO #1
Well, a new report from the Cornucopia Institute states that some of the most popular veggie patties are contaminated with hexane, a neurotoxic chemical solvent that’s classified as a hazardous air pollutant by the EPA.  It appears that hexane is used to separate soy protein from the rest of the bean (the resulting ingredient goes under names including “soy protein isolate” and “texturized soy protein”).  “If a product that isn’t certified organic contains soy protein, it’s 99 percent likely that hexane was used to process it,” says Charlotte Valleys, a farm and food policy analyst for the Cornucopia Institute. “And that includes not just veggie burgers, but energy bars, meat substitutes—anything containing soy protein.” Click the link below to find out if you're "healthy" choices are listed www.cornucopia.org/soysurvey. 

One easy solution is to stick with products that are labeled "made with organic ingredients" or “USDA Organic” label. But according to the article this doesn't even guarantee that hexane is not present at a toxic level.

DID YOU KNOW INFO #2
As if all your friends needed more encouragement and information touting the benefits of exercise, Dr. Fred Gage and his colleagues at the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute in San Diego have demonstrated that exercise can actually make you smarter! 

As we age stem cells in the brain become less responsive and sluggish, going into a sort of cellular sleep. Researchers at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago have demonstrated that exercise encourages and facilitates the production of adult stem cells in the brain through a process known as "neurogenesis".  And at least thus far in mice, exercise has demonstrated it is of extreme importance to this process because of the brain chemicals the body produces in response to exercise.  So NOW not only is exercise good for your body, it can make you smarter as well. 

Think I'll go do some lunges, squats and bicep curls and raise my IQ a few points today.

DID YOU KNOW INFO #3
For those of you still wondering what the best way is to lose weight and keep it off, other than reading my blog posts each week, the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) states there are 4 major points:

Monitor Weight and Food Intake -- which basically means keep a record of your weight weekly and a keep a daily food journal.

Adopt an Effective Eating Frequency and Pattern -- as all my regular readers know, 3 regular meals and 2 snacks per day is key.

Control Portions -- as I shared in "the skinny on carbs" be aware of how you divide your plate so that you are aware of your portion sizes.

Fill Up on Less -- means eat your veggies and fruits.

And of course they do mention physical activity (also called exercise) at least 1hour a day.

Hope this info helps keep you informed, healthy and on the right track. As always, let me know what you think.
I figured with all of the hoopla I made about putting high quality fuel in your system, the least I could do is give you an example of a great post workout drink.

Here you go:

2 Cups of your favorite fruit (strawberry halves are my favorite)
1/2 Cup of water
3 Tbsp Honey
1/2 Tsp of Vanilla Extract
Pinch or dash of salt
2 Cups of Ice
1.5 Tbsp of Protein Powder (your choice of Egg, Whey or Rice. But be sure the amount you use equals 16-20 grams of protein)

Makes 2 servings containing:

8-10 grams of Protein
38 grams of Carbs

Combine the ingredients (except protein powder) in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add more water or ice based on personal preference. Lastly add protein powder and blend a few seconds to make sure it's well mixed.

So now you have a smoothie without all the artificial sweeteners and chemicals.  ENJOY!

As always, let me know what you think. 
Jun
25
2010
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As usual, I was taking in a little TV between client's while at the gym and I saw this advertisement come across: a sports drink rolls onto the screen and next to the bottle some print appears "contains 40 calories", followed by different sports drink rolling onto the screen and it shows print stating this sports drink "contains 25 calories", followed finally by the final sports drink, which we are told contains "zero calories".  Of course the implication is that you should pick a sports drink that has zero calories because calories are bad --- right?

Uh, did I miss something?  Aren’t calories something we consume every time we eat? Don’t we need calories to survive? How is consuming zero calories a good thing?


I have watched this marketing strategy of nutrition go from soup diets, to excluding complete food groups, to low fat, to non-fat, to low-carb, to the rage now, organic, natural and zero calories.

 

As I promised you in an earlier blog post, I will do my best to give you information that helps you succeed.  Sometimes that means I have to call it like I see it.  These marketing strategies may do wonders to sell products, but they do not assist you in reaching your goals.

 

As I mention in my “20 of the Most Frequently Asked Fitness Questions” (and yes, that was a plug for my audio), the main ingredient in sports drinks is sodium and sugar.  The truth of the matter is, most of us don’t sweat out enough sugar and sodium from our system during a workout to warrant the use of sports drinks.  Unless you are engaged in a high intensity sport or activity for a prolonged period of time (think triathlon or football practice in the hot sun for hours), most of us would do just fine drinking plain water.  I realize that’s not what some of you want to hear because so many of us define ourselves by the brands we purchase or consume.  But as I said I am here to give you accurate information to assure your success, not sell more units of brand X.

 

Let’s take this to the next step.  Have you ever read the label of a sports drink bottle? Besides, artificial sweeteners like High Fructose Corn Syrup (dangerous- read my article on artificial sweeteners), there are many other chemicals that make up a sports drink that I don’t think I can even pronounce correctly. Please explain to me how drinking dangerous artificial sweeteners and other chemicals is supposed to be good for your body and help you reach your goals.

 

The long and short of it is this:

 

1.)    Make good choices when fueling your body. Pick the highest quality you can. Avoid putting chemicals and artificial sweeteners in your body whenever you can.

 

2.)    Brand X won’t do more to help you reach your goals no matter what the advertisement claims. Remember marketing is meant to sell units, not necessarily help you reach your goals.

 

3.)    Choose water. Add lime, lemon, orange slices for flavor.  Most of us do not sweat out enough sodium and sugar to warrant the use of sports drinks.

 

This whole concept of zero calories is just another marketing ploy.  The easy way around this sabotage is to plan your meals in advance, kick butt during your workouts, and get your rest so you can function at your best both mentally and physically.

 

There are no short cuts.  Health, Fitness and Wellness are a lifestyle, not a sound bite.

 

This is just my opinion from 15+ years of experience.  As usual, let me know if this information was helpful.