Archive for Skinny Jeans

Are You an Expert at Gaining Weight?

I know, I know it’s absolutely something you do not want to be an expert in – right? But unfortunately you may feel like you are. Whatever you do – you try this you try that – lose some weight gain it back and on and on… Sound familiar?

Here are my 3 tips to help make you more of a health expert and not a weight gain one – sound good?  OK – here it goes.

Your 3 Tips to Help Make You Your Own Health & Vitality Expert:

1.  Go Inside & Ask.  Do I want to be light or full? Do I want my clothes to fit or do I want that bowl of ice cream after dinner? Do I want a relaxing evening at home or choose to prove to my spouse that I’m right about something and end up arguing? Do I really need to watch You Tube videos until midnight or would listening to a meditation audio while I drift off to sleep at 11:00 p.m. be better for me?

You see, you are making choices constantly and making one that helps you attain a state of overall wellbeing is, of course, the best. However, the best choice may not always be the favorite choice. So try to go inside and take the time to process your thoughts and feelings first before making a possible impulsive or unhealthy choice.

2.  How Much Is Enough: You may wonder why controlling your portion size is so important. Well it’s not just about the amount you’re consuming but also it’s about creating some discipline.  You see, when you begin to take good care of yourself, you start making eating the right food and the right amount a priority. Having discipline is a good thing and it can be synonymous with doing a loving thing for yourself. Discipline DOES NOT always mean limitation.

When you overeat you are usually compensating for an unusual or uncomfortable emotional state you are experiencing. Whether happy or sad on some level it can be difficult to accept how you are actually feeling in the present moment. Giving yourself a plan of action in the beginning of your day is helpful in keeping you inline and in-tune with how much food your body really needs. In my Skinny Jeans Weight Loss Program ™ I recommend weighing your food initially to help you discover the ideal amount of food for best weight loss results. Over the years I have heard many of clients admitting how surprised they were to find just how much in excess they were actually consuming. Their portion sizes were larger than their bodies actually needed to function optimally. Everyone has a portion size that’s best for them. These can vary depending on your exercise/activity level but generally women require approximately 1500-2000 calories/day and men approximately 1800-2400 calories/day.

3.  Dieting Shouldn’t Be Your Job: I’ve mentioned this several times in past blogs where I have warned you not only to avoid becoming obsessed with dieting but also to learn to reframe the entire concept of dieting. A  Diet actually means what you consume on a daily basis. If you are constantly dieting you are not learning how to eat for long term wellness. Taking your excess weight off in a healthy yet efficient way requires a system that supports fat burning and muscle maintenance and results in that sought after reduction on your bathroom scale.

Once you get to that “magic number” you must focus on doing everything you can to maintain that number or at least within a 3 lb. range.

For example, if you’ve lost 30 lbs. and your weight is now 150 –  try keeping your weight between 150-153. Once it starts going higher than the 3 lbs. you will need to go back to your original weight system/plan to get the extra weight off. The longer you wait to take this important step the more likely it is that you’ll gain even more weight and perhaps – wait for it -gain ALL the weight back – and I know you don’t want that to happen. You’ve worked hard to lose the weight so find the best way to maintain it. Pay attention to your weight fluctuations over time. Stop the uphill climb  before it gets out of hand. The more you follow this advice the less you will need to constantly be on a diet and the more freedom you’ll feel in this area of your life.

You are now becoming your own health expert - Congratulations

What’s in Your Fridge?

I just noticed Dr. Oz had a special article in this month’s O Magazine about this very topic. I wanted to create my own version of what a healthy fridge should consist of using my own fridge as an example. In this article I’ll help you determine what to keep, clean up or clear out of your fridge. What are the best and then the not-so-good ingredients lurking in your Frigidaire?

So here’s how to keep your fridge COOL and not scary. Let’s review what you should keep. Consider the following as your healthy refrigerator basics:

1) Nuts & Seeds: They are a must in every healthy fridge and diet. Store them in the cool fridge to maintain optimum freshness and preserve the delicate natural fats inherent in these nutritious morsels. This list includes almonds, chia seeds, hemp seeds and pine nuts.

2) Vegetables: Load you fridge with the freshest veggies available. Keep the crisper brimming with crunchy delights from the garden. In my fridge I have a pull out drawer filled with Romaine lettuce (the 3 bunch bag), lemons, limes, onions (1/2 portion), green onions and cucumbers. In my larger pullout I have all the rest – kale, chard, eggplant, carrots, cauliflower, red cabbage, turnips, etc.

3) Fruit: As I’ve shared before I have another fridge in my garage where the overflow goes – it’s filled with grapefruit, oranges and apples and extra cauliflower, or sometimes I purchase a huge bag of baby spinach and put it right in there as well.

4) Probiotics: Although not a food item most probiotics require refrigeration to preserve their potency. More companies are starting to manufacture non-refrigerated versions giving you more flexibility for traveling.

5) Dairy: Best to keep butter and cheese in special sections in your fridge especially your cheeses. Butter like eggs has a much longer shelf life than cheese. When you need a quick protein food choose low fat cheeses. Don’t be afraid to use butter – just use it sparingly.

6) Eggs: It’s a must to keep eggs cool in order to maintain quality. Eggs have an excellent shelf life and are always good to have handy for a quick protein meal or for a special recipe.

7) Coconut Milk and Coconut Butter: Here also you want to keep coconut products cool in order to maintain freshness. Coconut has gained a well-deserved reputation as being a healthy dairy alternative.

Here’s what to dump:

1) Leftovers: If they are more than 3 days old, best to discard. The longer you save prepared/cooked foods the more degradation and loss of nutrient value. So avoid cooking too much at one time. This does take practice but it’s best to eat your food as fresh as possible.

2) Salad Dressing: Most dressings in the marketplace are heavily sweetened or have less than pure ingredients in them. Best to stick to olive oil and either apple cider vinegar or balsamic as a suitable and healthier salad dressing option. There are also several vinegar and oil gourmet shops starting to crop up everywhere. They offer some great varieties like Blackberry or Persian Lime Vinegars. Or how about Hazelnut Oil anyone?

3) Mayo: Unless its non-hydrogenated best to avoid. Hydrogenation is a processing method that damages fragile oils deeming them toxic when consumed. Best to either make your own version of mayonnaise or try using plain yogurt instead. It may taste a little more sour but it’s better for you.

4) Sauces: Avoid most prepared sauces. They are usually loaded with artificial ingredients and add unnecessary calories to your meals. Think of using fresh herbs like dill, mint, basil or rosemary instead. Or use warming spices like curry, cumin or cayenne. Or cooling spices like oregano or Herbs du Provence, for example.

5) Ketchup: This condiment is nothing more than sugar and artificial ingredients. You can’t really even claim any redeeming vegetable/fruit contribution of the tomato because it’s just tomato flavoring nothing more. Try instead using chili powder or sriracha sauce instead but beware these two have more punch than ketchup.

Chill out and keep your Fridge Healthy.

 

What’s Holding You Back?

Is there something you’ve been wanting to do but you’re still sitting on the fence?  Are you feeling it’s either not the right time or impossible to accomplish? There are so many excuses..I mean reasons for procrastination. A big one I’ve been hearing lately is “I need to talk it over with my husband”. Ladies – if you really wanted to do something you believe is in your best interest like changing your diet, getting healthy and losing weight – you shouldn’t need to run it by your spouse. You should know that it’s important enough for you to do. And what is more important than your health and peace of mind? Don’t fall prey to this avoidance type thinking and take a stand for yourself.

When clients work with me they are often surprised how much I care for their overall success. I take a stand for them – even if they are unable to do so for themselves. That’s my job to help you believe even when you find it hard to. I’ve worked in my practice for over 20 years helping individuals say yes to their dreams and yes to themselves. I work on this very thing in my own life and often hire coaches of many types, usually business or professional coaches in particular, to help me be the best I can be in my work and then offer you the best I can on a daily basis. Always consider your goals and dreams worthwhile by making them and yourself a priority.

Here are Five Ways to Say YES to yourself NOW:

1.  Give up your “Someday Thinking”.  If you think too far into the future and think your magic day will arrive someday know that you are most likely fooling yourself. Most people, including you, often think they have more time than we actually do. You and most of us are so conditioned to put things off for another day. Life is too short. Have you ever heard this saying: “Procrastination causes sorrow – so I’ll stop tomorrow”. I just heard it today and it’s what in fact inspired to write on this topic. You see when it comes to creating a healthy body and life know that someday may never come.

The clothes in the back of your closet – the ones you want to fit into someday, or the stability ball that also sits in your closet collecting dust or the recumbent bike which becomes a clothes hanger – these are all representations of the “Someday Syndrome“ (as I call it) winning out. You can change your future by taking one small step today – by not only thinking about it but actually doing something about it.  For example: I put on my new gym clothes today – a gift my husband gave me last week for my Birthday. Just having them on inspired me to pull out my yoga mat and do a few poses for 20 minutes. It just takes a little to get started.

2. What’s Making YOU Afraid? If you aren’t taking action you must ask yourself what’s making you afraid to take action. Do you think you’ll fail, or you’ll be laughed at, or that you’ll overspend time, energy and money and not get the results you want? When you think of losing weight do you think mostly of all the lbs you want to lose or do you also think about the possibility of learning how to manage your emotions so you don’t give in to your emotional eating habit? Do you even consider getting to the root of your automatic habits? This takes time and gives you an opportunity to become more grounded and compassionate towards yourself. Changing unhealthy habits isn’t an overnight fix but a process. For some it’s 6 months for others it takes 6 years for even others it’s a lifetime. I encourage you to embrace this concept and give yourself the love and time you need.

3. Be Practical. I’m a big fan of making dreams come true but I’m also a big proponent of taking realistic and practical steps to get you where you want to go. I’m all about getting results and I pretty sure that’s what you want, too. Staying in a dream state unable to achieve your weight and wellness goals is not the best place to be. Sometimes I need to reinforce “the one day at a time” principle and sometimes it even converts to “one meal at a time”.  Don’t over plan, under achieve and end up falling off the wagon. Appreciate each victory. If you didn’t have desert and everyone else at your table did – acknowledge yourself for that. If you brought your lunch to work 3x/week last week – give yourself a pat on the back.  You ARE making significant inroads towards achieving a healthier life.

4. Go with Your Gut. You know eating right, de-stressing and taking your supplements is the right thing to do and yet you just don’t do it. You might want to ask yourself – do you have a history of not committing? If so consider when was the last time you actually committed to something. Did you commit to saving money for a trip you wanted to take? Did you commit to looking for a place to live that was just right for you? Did you commit to a relationship? Whatever it was – you did commit. Sometimes it’s not commitment at all but rather a matter of timing – are you in place in your life where you can focus on healthy eating and really taking good care of yourself? Sure I want you to be doing this all the time but yet it may not be realistic for you right now. Maybe you have kids at home still needing a lot of your time and energy, maybe it’s elderly parents or a project you’ve just started. Whatever it is be honest with yourself – is it or is it not the best time for you?  I believe that even when other things in your life are taking precedence it may very well be the best time to consider a weight loss or nutrition program.

So evaluate –do a Pro and Con list  if it helps you get clear.  But remember - if not now then when?

5. Make a Decision. Make it and then stick with it. Making a decision is the best and often the only way to move forward in your life. Stop putting the brakes on in your life and start taking action. Know that you will always learn a lot more by doing something than by doing nothing. Watch escape route tactics that distract you rather than propel you. Are you watching too much TV, comparing yourself to others, picking arguments, going to the mall too often – these are all ways to avoid taking the time to decide what’s important to you. Instead of watching your favorite sitcom this evening decide to give yourself some quiet time to get centered and think of what health goals you want to accomplish in the next 3 months. Do you want to get the sugar and starchy carbs out of your diet? Do you want to let go of the last 10 or 30 lbs from your life? Do you want to change your sleep habits and go to bed earlier?  Ask yourself these questions? By saying Yes to these questions you are saying a resounding YES to YOU!

Would you like to feel lighter, freer and happier?
Then say YES to yourself.

Is it Time to Have a Skinny Jeans Lifestyle?

Ok – it’s time right? Well isn’t it? It’s March and I’m sure you are still thinking that you want to be healthy and lean this year. It’s not too late – in fact it’s never too late. So do you want that for yourself?

Let me give you a few tips on how to make that possible – how does that sound?

1.    Give up being perfect.  I know it’s a hard one to do. We’ve been so conditioned to always do it right. But you know doing it right isn’t always the best way to learn. Especially when it comes to weight loss and weight maintenance. I really don’t know anyone who has not had a period in their lives when their eating was a source of trouble for them. Hard to believe really – but most people struggle either with their weight, eating the right things, eating enough of the right things, eating at the right time, eating enough and not too little, or not too much.  As you can see the very nature of our food terrain is uneven and again to attempt to be perfect at healthy eating could set you up for failure where you stop trying altogether. Do the best you can one meal at a time.  This leads me to my next tip…

2.    The 80/20 Rule. If you can follow a healthy eating plan 80% of the time you will have 80% results and that’s pretty good – wouldn’t you say? Let’s face it 80% or even 50% is better than 0%. Setting yourself up for “being good” 100% of the time can only be sustained for a short period. So give yourself a break and aim for 80%. This way you will feel virtuous and strong in your commitment most of the time and you’ll begin to lay the foundation for a healthier life – now and in the future.

3.   Forget about the grainsI know, I know – how can you live without grains?  Well give up most of the grains –keep quinoa, millet and maybe some rice once in a while but that’s about it. It takes practice to steer clear of the bread basket, the cookies and even the foods that are marketed as healthy like protein bars or granola. But you will do much better without most grains. What about fiber – you ask? How will my bowels function and isn’t fiber also important for lowering cholesterol? Yes, fiber is critical and know there’s plenty of fiber in fresh fruits and vegetables.  Even protein contains some amount of fiber as well.

4.  Say Goodbye to Fruit Juice. What a dietary standard – how can you give this up, too? Well remember I mentioned fiber? You don’t get much of or any of that in fruit juice. Besides that – it is very high in fructose (or fruit sugar) which is challenging for your liver to process and utilize. Think of it this way you wouldn’t sit down and eat 8 oranges in one sitting – would you?  Well that’s exactly what you’re having when you swig down a glass of orange juice in the morning. And don’t be fooled by having that “heart healthy” bowl of fruit entrée as your entire breakfast – that will just set you up for blood sugar issues later in the morning. My rule of thumb is always have protein in every meal – including your breakfast –Always!

5.  Eat by the Clock. Make your meals not only a healthy habit but also a regular one. Plan to eat your meals pretty much at the same time every day. This sets up your body to get used to a regular blood sugar, digestion and energy cycle. Your body as well as your mind likes consistency and the structure a regular meal time brings. If you’re in the habit of missing meals, having long periods between meals or snacking regularly because you ran out of fuel – you’re on a slippery slope to having blood sugars as well as stress hormones issues down the road. Once these hormonal swings begin they will start effecting everything else in your body in no time. Give yourself the comfort of knowing you will be fed and nurtured on a regular basis. Your body will thank you.

Wanting to overhaul the not-so-healthy habits for healthy ones is always a smart idea not only at the start of a new year but, of course, always.

Simple Tips to get you started…

 

Welcome to Your Skinny Jeans World!

Habits to Ditch

It’s the New Year and it’s time to clean up your act –right? Well there are some habits you may not have thought were unhealthy or needed to be ditched. I reveal some of those shortly.

Back to the new year, It’s invigorating to think we have a whole year to create what we want. It’s our very own canvas waiting to be revealed to ourselves and maybe even the world. If you’re wondering what your year will look like heed the words of Abraham Lincoln: “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

I’m sure by now you’ve reviewed 2013 and devised a plan for 2014. Despite all the usual things like lose weight (my favorite cause I help so many with this one!), make more money, save more money, have better relationships, find your soul mate, etc.

Wanting to overhaul the not-so-healthy habits for healthy ones is always a smart idea not only at the start of a new year but, of course, always.

Here are 5 Healthy Habits to Incorporate This Year:

1.  Marathons. If you are running more than 30 miles a week you are creating more of a problem than a health benefit. Researchers have found that the tissue damage that repetitive endurance training causes raises the risk of heart damage and large artery stiffening let alone wear and tear on joints. Better to do a casual run or walk around the block than running a marathon this year. Doesn’t that sound more pleasurable and do-able?

2.   Snooze Button Essentials.  Opting for more rest rather than getting up earlier to catch the worm is the best. A Japanese study found that those who wake up before dawn have a higher risk of having medical problems. As you know I’ve been saying this for years - getting enough Vitamin S (Sleep) is so vital for weight loss, hormone balance and happier moods. If you can swing it try waking up naturally rather than with the disrupted, and sometimes startling sounds of an alarm. If that sounds impossible perhaps getting to bed earlier would help you get the best natural sleep cycle.

3.   Forget Having Dessert For Breakfast. Let’s face it most “breakfast” foods in the marketplace are just desserts – cereal, muffins, pancakes, yogurt parfaits, and even many smoothies.
You must get your day started with protein and some non-starchy carbohydrates like 2 eggs with tomatoes, or a combination of cottage cheese, plain yogurt and almonds. These types of choices have sufficient protein to balance blood sugar and reduce further cravings for refined carbohydrates throughout the day. Stop thinking sugar or refined grains will give you what you need to get your brain and body in gear in the morning – it will in fact have the opposite effect – brain fog, low energy anyone?

4.  Stop the Pour. Although an occasional glass of your favorite wine may be just the thing you’re looking for at the end of a long day – don’t plan to make it a nightly ritual. Studies show frequent indulgence of alcohol will have an effect on your brain function, hormonal balance and sleep patterns. Sound familiar? Sort of like what I just mentioned regarding sleep. Know that everything affects everything. Best to drink a nice soothing cup of tea to calm you down at the end of those challenging and full days.

5.  Become a Fat Head. I’m not referring to a big ego but rather the need to consume healthy dietary fat.  Don’t be afraid of having it in your diet. Good fat is essential for brain function – your brain is primarily water and fat. So being called a “Fat Head” is actually a compliment.  Have the avocado, coconut oil or butter, regular butter, nuts and seeds. Fats are pre-cursors to the production of all your hormones. Fats line every cell in your body. Avoid the bad fats – the ones that are combined with refined carbohydrates and sugars – these are the bad guys. Plan to have good fat in every meal.

Are You Scared You’ll Eat all the Halloween Candy?

Well it’s that time of the year when everywhere you look you see candy, treats and sugary temptations all about.  If you are in the Zone – meaning on track with your healthy habits – this may not even faze you.  But if you aren’t look out!  This seemingly innocent holiday is loaded with abandon and regret.  Sure it tastes good for a minute or two and then you are riddled with guilt and remorse wishing you could have more self control.  Well don’t worry it only lasts a few weeks right?  However, you could let this type of snacking take over and it could last well into Thanksgiving and beyond.  You’ll end up crying in front of your mirror when the actual holidays come around and you are unable to fit into the new dress you just bought a few months back.

Ok – I will not go on about this potential disaster any longer but rather give you some strategies of how to overcome the temptations.

Here are your 5 strategies on how to handle Halloween and even have a healthy one…

5 Halloween Strategies:

Strategy #1  Don’t go down the candy aisle.  I witnessed today while shopping that during Halloween there is no designated candy aisle – there is literally candy everywhere you turn. So take a breathe and focus on why you went shopping in the first place to buy chicken, eggs and some fresh vegetables – lots of them. Write out a list if that helps and don’t buy off the list.  If you don’t feel that strong – give the list to your husband, neighbor or teenager (yes, some will) and ask them to go shopping for you. Enroll others help. Or munch on an apple before you go into the store – that will curb your sweet tooth. Also drink some water as that will reduce hunger. You’ll end up making wrong choices if you shop when you’re hungry.

Strategy #2  Give something else.  You might be someone who loves to hand out candy to neighborhood kids so this strategy won’t work. My husband and I lived in rural Malibu for many years and actually seldom had children come by on Halloween for their yearly trick or treat. We kind of got used to not having candy around because we didn’t need it on that Hallowed Eve.

I grew up in a neighborhood full of children and Halloween was a major event. I remember coming home several times during the evening to unload my stash and go out again. My mother enjoyed seeing all the apples I brought home. (Yes, in those days apples were given often) and knew she’d be in the kitchen the next day making dozens of apple pies. There were 10 of us in my household – so, yes dozens of pies. The tip here is that you don’t always have to give candy, try something else instead – be creative.

Strategy #3  Go out on Halloween.  Go to a party, go out to dinner – distract yourself from the candy craziness. You don’t have to be at home waiting for youngsters to appear at your door in order to enjoy Halloween. Remember it’s really about not having the temptation around you. My husband and I went out last Halloween. While dining at one of our favorite restaurants we noticed everyone was having a good time.  Customers, as well as staff, had some funny costumes on and the fun energy was contagious. We were able to enjoy a healthy meal as well as the festivities around us. 

Strategy #4  Homemade Baking anyone?  Why does everyone like baking or baked goods? They represent more love and less processing right? If you choose to bake your treat this Halloween make sure you use quality ingredients.  I must admit I seldom bake – I have a sweet tooth so it’s best that I don’t have much of this kind of stuff around. One of the reasons I do what I do is to not only help a lot of people,  but my dedication to my work also helps keep me in line and causes me to be focused on my healthy habits.

You could also try some new products on the market like Crunchies. They are a quick and healthy alternative to baked and heavily processed treats. Crunchies are simply dehydrated fruits and veggies which are colorful, taste yummy and good for your kids, too.  For more information go to: www.CrunchiesFood.com

Strategy  #5   Being a Responsible Kid.  You can play and have fun like a kid but it doesn’t mean you have to eat like one. Kids today are still encouraged by advertisers and peers to eat a lot of sugar and salty foods as well beverages loaded with caffeine. Join me on the mission to change that cultural trend. Munching responsibly, even during Halloween, is good for you and it also sets a wonderful example for the children (and everyone else) in your life. However, if you feel disciplined and strong enough go ahead have a little of the forbidden treat – just a little – that’s it. Learn to munch responsibly.

Have a Spooky Fun Time!

Need a Candy Fix?

Do you fall prey to all the Halloween sugar around?  Is this good for you or your kids or your inner child?  Well, I’m sure you know what I’m going to say.  No, it’s not good for anyone. If you are thinking that – “I’ll just a have few – that won’t hurt…” and then find your hand reaching endlessly into your child’s Trick or Treat Bag – well this is precisely why it’s not good.  Sugar is addictive, has zero nutrition and in fact robs your body of key nutrients such as Vitamin C.

Here are 3 Tips to Keep Your Candy Cravings at Bay:

Tip #1 Protein Power - The easy fix for an addictive sugar habit is always have enough protein in your diet.  The protein will usually satisfy your body’s need for nutrition, along with healthy carbohydrates – like vegetables and good oils.  Once you’ve eaten a balanced meal your cravings usually diminish.  Just so you know – it takes 3 days to get the physiological craving from your body and a little longer (30 days) to rid yourself of the emotional craving or the habit.  Can you make it for 30 days?  Try it.

I grew up with a sweet tooth myself.  My mother would always make me sit and eat my dinner – I was a picky eater – before any desert would touch my lips I had to sit and wait.  Sometimes I’d sit for an hour (I guess I was stubborn, too). Not having kids myself I can only imagine my mother and all the mother’s reading this article relating to how absolutely frustrating it can be to have your child eat well or not eat well.  I’ve since learned how to eat in a balanced fashion of course – but that sugar monster has to be tamed at all costs.

Tip #2 - Out of Sight. Give it away. Yes, you can give it away or throw it away. If you have a strong leaning towards sugar don’t have it around.  In your moments of weakness, tiredness or emotional upset you will most likely grab for it right away. Best to forego the candy isle when shopping. This goes for all sugar type foods and not just the candy – sweets in general. Also, alcohol can be just a replacement for the candy as it is just sugar as well. All these excess calories and carbohydrates, if not used for energy expenditure will be converted to fat and stored as fat on your body. I always say from your eyes to your thighs – so watch out. And don’t be fooled by sweeteners which are actually worse for you than “food” made from real sugar or sugar cane.  Fructose, even though derived from fruit, is nothing like actually eating  fruit. Studies show that fructose is highly toxic to your liver.

Replace these snack items with nuts, seeds and fruit. These contribute to your wellbeing rather than deplete it. You will not be craving these foods as they are natural foods coming directly from mother nature. OK – so some fruits are picked off the vine or tree too early – nonetheless they are still better than heavily processed sweet snacks. Don’t get me wrong the salty snacks are just as much of a problem.  And they are often filled with sugar as well. Remember to read your labels.

Tip #3 Perfecting Your Meal Time Habit. If you miss meals you’re more vulnerable to those sticky and gooey food items. Don’t end up starving and grabbing anything in sight!

Rule #1 don’t miss meals. It stresses your body as well as your blood sugar. Or as I said you’ll end up reaching for the candy fix. Start your day off with a well balanced meal – not cheerios and 2% milk – these are again highly processed foods. Most foods we consider breakfast items – cereals, bagels, nut breads, pancakes set the stage for the rest of the day. You load up on these starches and find the rest of the day you want more of the same.

To give you a hint – the foods you have for lunch or dinner could be a good breakfast as well.  I tell clients this – most of them rebel and can’t imagine having fish for breakfast.  For the brave at heart try it – you’ve got some salmon left over from dinner add it to your omelet.  Try it.  Always choose proteins and carbohydrates – vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans or grains to your meals.  Remember your meals should be all about balance.

And if you must try some of the Halloween candy. Only have a few – just a few and know that Local Dentists are on Call daily!   And if you have a Nutrition Emergency I will be, too!

Happy Halloween!

Ready for Skinny School?

Now’s the time to get serious again – isn’t it?  After all you’ve just spent the last 2 months having a good time and throwing anything that remotely resembled restriction or discipline out the window.  You realize this can’t go on – you must make some changes and get back to healthy again.  Well here are 5 clues about how to do just that.

Here are 5 Tips of Getting Back to Skinny School:

Tip # 1   Don’t hold your breath.  By that I mean don’t take too long to decide to turn things around. It’s easier to make changes now before your doctor tells you have no other choice. Initiate small doable steps now.

 

Tip # 2  Don’t forget your crayons.  Journaling is always a great way to help you track your food, exercise, self care and sleep habits.  If you don’t measure you can’t really make changes last.  Pick an attractive book and start writing (or even drawing) beginning with where you are now and where you want to go.

Tip #3  Get your school supplies.  Those supplies consist of a fridge full or healthy proteins, lots of fresh vegetables and refreshing fruit in your fruit bowl. Add some unsalted nuts and seeds to that and you’re good to go. Throw out, donate or give your neighbors all the snack foods still hidden in your pantry immediately. Let go of all and any temptation.

Tip # 4  Buy some New Clothes.  That’s right – buy a few new items, it’ll make you feel good and that’s an ideal place to start.  Don’t spend too much especially if you’re planning to lose a few lbs.  This exercise is designed to increase your self worth from the start.  Treat yourself first and then take care of yourself next.

Tip # 5    Rest Up.  Make sure you make getting enough sleep a priority – always. It’s a must if you want to be productive and effective with your weight management and healthy living goals. Get at least 8 hours.

Have Fun at School!

Don’t Gain it Back

We have all seen many celebrities have problems with their weight – needing to stay in the greatest of shape and then just not being able to sustain it. Right before our eyes, on public display, they bare their souls about their struggles.  Many of us can identify and try as we might, this challenge becomes more and more daunting and difficult to conquer.

Here are five tips on how you can get it and keep it off.  Being able to wear your wardrobe easily – year after year. Let’s get you back into your Skinny Jeans and keep you there. Talk about true freedom!

Tip #1: Stay connected to the qualified professional who helped you lose the weight in the first place. It’s so important to have a strategy and surround yourself with the people who helped you become successful before. Let me be honest – it’s hard to sustain your good eating, exercise, and self care habits on your own. It just is!

We are constantly exposed to triggers in our environment that easily take us off track and distract us from taking care of ourselves. It’s important to have someone who can help you stay empowered, inspired, and successful for the long run.

Tip #2: Take things OFF your plate. This is especially true for you women reading or hearing this today. We women tend to overdo things and we feel virtuous and seemingly “guilt-free” by saying YES to everything and everyone. I encourage you to stop this habit as soon as possible. I have found the most successful people in my programs are those focused more on their wants and needs first, before focusing on what everyone else wants and needs – either in their personal or professional lives.

What happens is that when you are taking care of yourself, a miracle happens. Everyone else seems to be doing just fine and maybe even getting healthier as well. As you start to take better care of yourself, those close to you actually become inspired and start doing the same. Now there’s no guarantee this will happen; however, surprisingly, I see this happen a lot. So stop doing for everyone else, fixing everyone else’s problems, and start focusing on you. You owe it to yourself. Unless you are dealing with young children or elderly parents, everyone else can take care of themselves more than you think they can. Believe me, I see this happen everyday.

Tip #3: Make sure you reward yourself with things other than food or alcohol.  There are so many other, non-caloric, ways to give yourself a gift of appreciation for a job well done, or for something you’ve accomplished, a massage, a new scarf, a new belt, new piece of jewelry, going for a walk on the beach, a concert, a belly dancing class-why not?

I just started ballroom dancing myself, again (I tried it a couple of years ago). Even though I’d always taken dance classes most of my life, ballet, modern, jazz, and most recently hip-hop, which I loved (and didn’t think I would).  I thought I’d add some “new steps” to my repertoire. You know, learning a new activity is not only good for your waistline, but also for your mind and your confidence. So go ahead, give yourself a healthy reward. It’ll be satisfying in so many more ways than eating a bag of M&M’s.

Tip #4: Eat real, whole, and fresh foods as much as possible. They are loaded with the stuff you need and won’t leave you starving or feeling deprived because they are providing the nutrients you need to stay slim and healthy. I have never been a big fan of packaged, processed, or altered foods. There is not much to these bagged, boxed, and artificial foods, which I sometimes refer to as just “good tasting cardboard”, with the “good tasting” component being questionable of course.

The closer a food is to its natural state or as I always say, “closer to mother nature,” the better it is for you. You can’t derive much fuel for your mind and body from empty calories. Even if a whole food appears to have more calories like a sirloin steak, in comparison to a box of crackers you will always be further ahead with the real food versus the packaged one.

Consider staying away from packaged “diet foods” as eating these types of foods actually prevents you from learning how to cook healthy foods.  Often these pre-packaged foods are loaded with sodium and other additives. So think healthy, not necessarily quick fix.

Tip #5: Move. You need to move. There’s no getting around this. Find something that doesn’t feel like work but is loads of fun. As I just did with the ballroom dancing. Yes, that’s right – exercise can be fun (just like eating well can also be fun). Make a point of doing something everyday, even if just for 10 minutes.

You need to make this a habit. It’s good for your brain to help with stress reduction by taking a simple break in your day. Have things around that trigger you to move like the weights or pictures of you doing yoga. That is what I have on my Vision Board, which I get to look at every day. I also have a recumbent bike, free weights, ball and bands at home, and a beautiful neighborhood to take walks in if I choose to. Don’t just plan to go to the gym someday, take the first step and then stick with it. And also mix it up a bit. Don’t always do the same thing everyday. Try something new, so you can work different muscle groups and keep it interesting.

These are the tips that will keep you from heading down the same path that some famous people have gone down. Do these and you will always be in great shape-mind, body, and spirit!

Are You Afraid of Dieting?

You might be afraid of dieting – even the word scares most of us.  Why?  Because we feel we will fail.  You may not know this but 90% – 95% of Women’s Self Esteem is based on their body image.  Surprising?   Based on my nearly 20 years in practice I have seen, felt and heard the pain surrounding how we women feel about our bodies.  It can be heartbreaking and yet so real.  It affects everything in our lives.  We care too much or we don’t care enough.  I am not a big advocate for dieting, in general, because most diets are designed to fail and they do not take into account hormonal imbalance, improper sleep habits, stress and emotional eating patterns and physiological effects.  But most importantly they don’t take into account the crucial thing – one crucial thing - our thoughts.

Most of us want the Perfect Body.  So we decide to go on a diet and exercise. We essentially DO a Diet for a few weeks and then give up.  Do you want to know the Real Secret to Weight Loss?  You actually need to Become The Person who has a Perfect Body even before you have it otherwise your efforts will only be temporary…

You must change your thoughts in order to have what you want.  It’s really not the diet that counts, it’s who you have to be to follow the diet.  Millions look for the right diet and then focus on what they have to do rather than who they have to be.  Total new concept for most of us I know. A diet will not help you if you don’t change your thoughts.  That’s where the real work begins. It’s an inside job.

As I have been sharing with many of you lately “Your real work starts only after you lose your desired weight.”  Usually we can lose weight – the real miracle, however, is in keeping it off.  But even before the weight comes off you have to be ready to change on the inside.  When thinking of changing your eating, improving your health and deciding to “diet” you may want to ask some questions.

 6 Revealing Questions You can Ask Yourself before Embarking on a “Diet”:

1) Are you more committed to staying the same or to changing?  This is a tough one because you say you want to change – but do you really?  Are you willing to do what it takes – to stick to it no matter what?  Or will you be led astray the first time you are tempted with the chocolate cake or chips and salsa?  Sometimes it’s not the actual food but the addictive patterns that seem to develop after you take that first bite.

2) Does the pain of having more weight feel normal to you? I find sometimes we are very committed to our story – even though you say you don’t want to have the weight you presently have and feeling uncomfortable with the extra 10 + lbs.  After all what would you have to complain about or beat yourself up about?  I know this is perhaps harsh – these are the deeper questions you need to ask yourself. When you lose weight, as is often the case, you start seeing your life differently and the things that appeared “fine” may not be so fine and they require some changes to be made.  Yet when one thing changes, expect other parts of your life to change – and not too worry it could be for the better and hopefully it is for the better.

3) Are you ready to make a change in your life?  Change can be frightening.  We get so comfortable in our discomfort that we can’t imagine anything different and better.  We tolerate things when we needn’t tolerate them.  It’s a big decision to actually start eating healthy and not relying on whatever happens to be in the fridge, grocery store or drive-through. We go to dinner and feel we must have everything on our plate and oh we must have that divine bread in that heavenly basket which is calling our name.  Why would we want to give this up?  It’s entertainment, social and rewarding.  I can’t live without eating whatever I want you might say to yourself.  But what is the price?  When you stand in front of the mirror feeling hopeless when absolutely NOTHING fits you – are you ready to make a change then?

4) Are you letting distractions sabotage your efforts?  Everything else takes priority – after all who am I you might ask?  Tommy’s baseball game is more important than my silly diet – right?  This work project needs to get done – after all it’s my job and it’s more important than getting to the store and stocking my kitchen with healthy foods. Oh, I’m having guests over this week and they’ll want to go out to dinner every night – I’ll just eat what they eat and not make a fuss.  These are only a few examples of how sabotaging your efforts can de-rail you on an ongoing basis.  There will always be something that comes up – always.

5) Are you wanting to lose weight for you or for someone else?  Does someone in your life let you know they aren’t happy about your present body shape?  They may not come out and say it (although some blatantly do) but you may hear some subtle and even hurtful clues and comments.  The proverbial question (which never should be asked of a man – it’s just so unfair to ask them) “Do I look fat in this?”  Is this really your perception or the observer’s?  It is a no win set up question.  But if someone in your life is making you feel less than because you may have put on a few lbs, make sure that it’s something you want to do and not just people please.  That, again, is a no win situation. People pleasing will never get you what you want in life.

6) Are you unrealistic about your weight loss goals?  I sometimes have clients come in wanting to lose weight quickly or want to be at a healthy weight they were at when they were 19 and now they are 50.   If this is the case, you are just setting yourself up for disappointment.  Setting realistic and healthy goals is a must.  You should never be losing more than 1-3 lbs per week.  If you are it is mostly muscle mass which is very unhealthy.  Yes, certainly the first week you will lose more, and most of that is water weight, but after that stick to a slow and steady weight loss pace. And expect a plateau – that is a natural phenomenon and will easily be remedied by tweaking a few things either in your diet or in your exercise regimen.

7)  Are You 3 Feet From Gold?  This is really about quitting – quitting just before you arrive. Don’t quit – you may be just at the point when you are about to make progress, whether it’s a plateau or you’ve lost all the weight you wanted to.  Again, after the weight comes off the real work begins.  Make sure you have a good maintenance strategy in place.  This is the most vulnerable time after you’ve lost the weight.  You may think you are safe and invincible and start eating “the weight gaining foods” – lots of starches, sugars, etc.  Your portions sizes may start to increase.  Or you may start eating late at night.  These habits are so tricky – they seem to re-enter your life when you least expect them to. So prepare yourself and find a professional support system.

Most important – remember always Honor Your Body and Yourself and treat yourself like Gold.

Are You are 3 feet from your own Gold?  

Don’t Quit