Holiday Survival Tips

If there’s one thing I want to help people with on their health journey ( well I have more than one thing )  it’s navigating through these next couple months of amazing food and deliciousness that will be tempting us.  It’s my plan to continue to offer you sane and sensible advice in these upcoming weeks.

I think people under estimate their abilities to keep pushing on to their goals even in the midst of festivities. It’s entirely possible to do. You don’t have to jump on the “diet band wagon” in January. I’ll tell you, nothing, nothing at all has felt more freeing to me the past few years than not thinking I have to “get on a diet”. When you live a lifestyle, it’s an ongoing thing, all the time.

This afternoon I flipped the TV on in time to see the Dr Oz show coming on ( which I’ve never seen) I was going to move on but they were talking about surviving the holidays and strategies to not gain weight.

Well… ok…they had my attention and I wanted to see what suggestions might be offered up.

A lot of it was similar stuff I already preach to you, my 1.5 readers. And again, good point brought up, people don’t gain weight just from Thanksgiving/ the day after or Christmas Eve/Christmas. Really, you won’t pack on pounds from some extra sweet potato casserole or the pie.

No… it’s all those days in between that people feel entitled to eat because it’s the “holiday season”. It’s all those not so important days of excess that over those couple months lead to weight gain.

They offered up a suggestion of having a “high calorie” day where you allowed yourself treats, followed by a “low calorie” day where you ate normally with a focus on eating well. Personally, I don’t think even every other day should be a feeding frenzy, but hey, that’s just me.

I thought it was an interesting idea… but when he said “keep your high calorie days around 2,000 calories and your low calorie days no more than 1200” I kinda balked at that… I mean… 1200 calories… you are gonna be more than ready to go off the wagon on your high calorie day ’cause you’re gonna be starving.

My thoughts? Just be sensible. Remember every day doesn’t need to be filled with cookies, treats, drinks etc.
Learn to be super selective in what goes in your mouth. Eat only what you truly love.
Continue to eat good, healthy foods.
Eat small amounts of things you love and don’t stuff yourself…. the food won’t be taken away from you if you don’t get it all at once…

Make exercise a priority… it does more than manage weight or help with weight loss. It will clear your head, reduce stress, and help you keep your focus on what matters. Not only that, you will feel like a Superhero when you’re done 😉

Being smart and careful will see you through the season without needing to increase your pant size in January =)

Is Good Nutrition The Fountain Of Youth?

vitamins and minerals

You don’t have to look far and wide today to know there is a big push on looking younger and all kinds of ways people are trying to accomplish that.

Botox and plastic surgery, magic creams and treatments the list is long…..

Aging is just a fact of natural life. I get that. At classic “middle aged” status I do get it.  Wear and tear on your body is pretty normal and to be expected. All I want to do is age gracefully and take the best care of myself that I can.

I do not want to do things that make me start to not look like myself, or plastic and stretched or whatever you want to call it.

I will say this though. I don’t know why people overlook what I think is, the most important thing to looking healthy and keeping a younger appearance.

Are you ready?

Food. You know that old adage “you are what you eat”? holds a lot of truth.

A diet that is high in sugars, processed, refined or fast foods and alcohol will take a toll on you leaving you not only puffy and sluggish but it can overall affect your appearance.

A diet that is high in fruits, veggies, and lean protein will not only keep you lean but change your outer appearance too. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and tons of good nutrients our bodies need these foods. It makes logical and natural sense to eat them…. they were created for us to eat!

I guess the most relevant illustration I can share with you is a couple months ago I was in a department store at the make up counter talking to a young girl about doing my makeup for my sons wedding.  When I shared my age with her she said ” I don’t believe you” I laughed and told her I wasn’t lying.

Her next words? ” Can I please ask what you use on your skin?”

My response? I eat lots of healthy foods and drink a lot of water.

Some of my fav snacks….

She went on to tell me she didn’t eat that great and maybe she needed to try that… I encouraged her to give it a try. It’s certainly not an overnight treatment program, but more like a lifelong treatment program that with consistency and time, you will get results.

Not only that with improved healthy eating it will change your body composition ( lose fat), give you energy, and internally you’ll get better lab results.

Gosh this sounds like an ad for one of those “health” products 😉

Ok so here’s my pick for top 5 foods for looking fresh….

Blueberries…. antioxidants banish free radicals keeping skin cells healthier

Salmon…. a 4 oz filet has a few days worth of omega-3’s. They’re found only in the oily part of the fish but actually help clear pores

Avocados … my fav….. are a good source of Vitamin E so they help block UV rays and prevent dry skin. Halve an avocado and it mash on toast or fill with fresh salsa. I’ll pretty much eat it any way possible 😉

Carrots… your mom was on to something. Say yes to them for smoother skin. This veggies Vitamin A helps fight off wrinkles.

Spinach…. another daily fav on mine…. it’s packed with Vitamin C which helps produce skin firming collagen. Not only that you can eat vast amounts of this super food for virtually no calories =) It is now what I use for “lettuce” in salads and it’s a regular in my morning sautéed veggie mix =)

of course, there many more great foods to enhance your health…. strawberries, black berries,  sweet potatoes, broccoli, all dark leafy greens, squash…the list goes on… and again… you can eat lots of these things for minimal calories…. win/win 😉

Try incorporating more of these great foods into your daily diet… you’ve got nothing to lose.

What about you ? Have you seen a visible health improvement in how you eat ?


The Scale Experiment

It’s no secret I’m not a huge fan of “the scale”.  In fact, I’ve already written a blog on it (which you can read later called, “That Stupid Scale)

No, I won’t be repeating myself here. And no, I don’t have issues with the scale ’cause I don’t think it offers up numbers I want.

I don’t like how it can be a random object that can be controlling of so many lives.

Let’s establish this truth. It’s a tool. A TOOL.

When I was actively trying to lose weight, I used that tool, maybe once a week to check my pounds lost progress. If you are actively trying to lose weight, I’d encourage you to use it only once a week as well, note your numbers and move on with life.

What I knew and understood, and you need to understand too, that tool isn’t a measuring line to your overall health. It can’t measure how good you feel after your workouts, how many inches you may have lost, the confidence and empowerment building in you as you take on new things, your improving lab work or all the good food choices you’ve learned to make and a long list of other things.

For me it meant knowing those numbers didn’t define how fast I could run, how many miles I can cycle, how many pounds I can lift over my head, how long I can hold a plank, or how many push ups I can do.

Because so many seem to be a “slave” to this tool, I thought I’d do a little experiment. My experiment involved me weighing myself from morning and through out day at various times, up till bedtime.

I hope you appreciate my guinea pig status in doing this. I haven’t weighed myself this much in the past couple years, and I don’t exaggerate that.

I think I’m on a scale maybe twice a year.

The point of my experiment ? To show how our weight can fluctuate through out an entire day and look at what “changes” actually occur.

Seriously, how many times have you hopped on all excited, and instantly get deflated by what you see ? Or on the flip side, if the numbers are what you want, the day just went all major sunshine on you.

A tool controlling your happiness …no… just no.

So what follows is my experiment and what I noted through out an entire day of charting my numbers.

6:30 a.m. morning weigh in. This weight is accurate based on a visit with sports doc last month.

8:45 a.m. After workout weigh in. Down 2 pounds.

No, I didn’t get all happy and proclaim I had “lost 2 lbs!” More like, I knew I needed to consume 32 ozs of water to replace the fluid I had sweated out ( 16oz for each pound lost) THEN continue drinking to stay hydrated.

9:45 a.m. After an hour and plenty of water my weight is now back to what I started morning off at. This tells  me I’ve replenished what I lost through sweating.

12:45 p.m. After lunch. Add a half a pound.

3 p.m. After spending over an hour in the sun mowing grass, I checked in with the scale. I was almost down to my weight from my morning workout. 1 1/2 pounds “lost”. Time to replenish fluids again from sweat.

5 p.m. Still down a half pound from my first morning weigh in.

7 p.m.  After dinner, I’m up 2 lbs, but only 1 lb over from my morning weigh in.

10:00 p.m. Before shower weigh in. Back to my morning start weight.

Do you see the “ups and downs” in my day ? I lost no fat. My losses in my day were fluid. It’s important to replace fluid lost through heavy sweat and exercise.

Do you see how if I were looking at the scale for validation for “losing weight” how my moods could have been on a wide swing ? I want you to see how our weight can literally bounce all over the place in a single day so weighing in for the purpose of weight loss is best captured on a weekly basis. Take that number and don’t be worried if your numbers bounce in a couple pounds in either direction through out your day.

Measure your fitness and health success by more than just numbers on the scale =)