Category Archives: Changing Lifestyles

Getting The Best Protein For Breakfast?

My last blog I talked about the logistics of eating – in particular, the nutritive and emotional value of food.  The next few blogs I want to focus on each of these areas in more detail, starting with common nutritional mistakes I first see in my clients. 

Many people start their day with a bowl of cereal.  The cereal aisle at the store has undergone so much change over the past ten years with a shift from sugary cereals to organic, whole grain and sometimes protein-enriched choices.  But, just because a cereal is organic or has added protein, is it better for us?  Are there better, simpler choices to eat first thing in the morning. Here are some things to consider.

Role of Protein In Your Body

Protein is the workhorse of your body. Protein has a role in just about every function for survival: cell structure and function, waste clean up and intracellular response.  Dietary protein allows these physiological actions to occur in order to support our immune health, hormone production and cell to cell communication.

There are 20 amino acids in the proteins of the body.  These amino acids are like a Lincoln Log House.  You need each piece to build a complete house.  Take out a few pieces and it will fall down.  If our body does not get all of them it can’t survive.  Eleven of them can be manufactured, but there are nine of them our bodies  can not make, they must be consumed.  Our bodies do not store protein like it does sugar and fat.  If we do not consume enough protein our bodies will breakdown muscle tissue in order to get the amino acids it needs.  An indication of this is muscle wasting and increased fatigue.

How Much Protein Do You Need?

The Institute of Medicine has set the Recommended Daily Allowance of protein at .36 gms per pound of weight.  Someone weighing 200 pounds will need to consume about 72 gms of protein daily.  An estimated 45% of U.S. adults don’t get enough protein or have impaired protein utilization and experience muscle wasting as a result.  One study indicated that consuming more than 30 gms of protein at one time did not yield a higher absorption.  Thirty gms of protein is about four ounces of meat, fish or poultry.

Most of the people I work with get ample protein at dinner but not enough at breakfast unless they are eating eggs.  Most cereals, unless they have protein enhancements (usually from soy byproducts) don’t have enough protein unless the serving size is doubled.  But do you really want the doctored-up soy isolated-enhanced cereal?

Soy Isolates and Concentrates As A Protein Source

soy isolates

Special K protein enhances protein by using soy isolates

Soy isolates are formed by taking out most of the carbohydrates and fats from defatted soy flour, making it 90% protein.  Soy concentrates are made from removing some of the water-soluble carbohydrates from defatted soy flour, making it 70% protein.

Soy protein is being added to cereals, protein bars and just about anything stating the product has “added protein”.  There’s controversy over the benefits of eating all this extra soy.  Some studies link the added consumption of soy isolates to improved glycemic control in postmenopausal women with diabetes, as well as some beneficial results in cardiovascular health in monkeys and reduced tumor incidents rats.  And there was even one study even indicated increased soy protein consumption reduced thyroid cancer risk.

But there is still some controversy over increased soy consumption and breast cancer.  There are some supportive studies, but also some that show increased hyperplastic epithelial breasts cell and estradiol production in post menopausal women who consumed additional soy protein isolates.  Furthermore, the USDA is now studying furan, a possible human carcinogen, that’s found in soy protein isolates.

The practical side of me says, why take a risk with man-made, manipulated proteins when there are plenty of non-controversial choices out there?  I’m not against soy, but maybe just stick with the real thing: edamame, soy milk, tofu, miso and tempeh, not the manufactured isolated soy proteins that could be the real culprit just through the process of manufacturing them.

Other Benefits of Eating Adequate and the Right Kind of Protein

Protein takes longer to break down than carbohydrates so consuming enough helps with satiety which helps you feel fuller longer between meals.  One study also shows that eating 30 gms of protein per meal improved body weight management and risk factors contributing to heart disease.  Keep in mind that there is still some controversy of eating too much protein at one time and that doing so can lead to osteoporosis, increased risk of cancer, impaired kidney function and heart disease if the protein is coming largely from beef and other high saturated fat protein sources.

What’s The Best Protein For Breakfast?

The best sources of protein should be low in saturated fat, be whole and non-manipulated, and be quick and easy to put together.  Here are some of the things I recommend for breakfast:

  • smoothie.  It delivers 30 gms of protein through the Greek yogurt, the flax seed and milk.
  • Two pieces of sprouted whole wheat toast with 3/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese.  It delivers about 30 gms of protein since the sprouted wheat contains more protein.
  • frittata wedge in a whole grain wrap with spinach.  I often times make this frittata recipe for dinner and then save the rest for a quick breakfast.  The saturated fat is reduced by substituting egg whites for some of the eggs.  I also boost the protein by adding Greek yogurt.  Look under ingredients for words, “whole” or “100% whole” to find out if it is whole grain.  I like La Tortilla’s wraps and also Valley Bread Whole Wheat Lavash wraps.
  • A cup of plain, fat-free Greek yogurt topped with a half cup of fruit and 2 tbsp of chopped walnuts.  This Greek yogurt will deliver 23 gms of protein and you get some nice fiber and heart healthy omega 3’s with the fruit and nuts.  Try to move away from the flavored and fruited Greek yogurts since they have much more sugar and far less protein.
  • Leftovers from the night before!  Why not eat some left over salmon or chicken?  Put it in a wrap with some greens and you have a perfect breakfast.  Why not think out of the box.

I believe in eating “whole” foods that have not been processed, recreated or enhanced with added protein or fiber or some other doctoring.  If there are enhancements to be made, I want to do them myself in my kitchen.  I have not always eaten this way but as I have learned more about nutrition I believe the less handling and “re-creating” of what goes into my mouth, the better I feel, the more energy I have.

Logistics Of Losing Weight

Bar Harbor Penobscot Trail

A good health coach will help you find the “cairns” to lasting weight loss

Everyone has a different pattern and flow of filling their stomachs.  There are many aspects that go into the act of eating, and understanding these individualized aspects are essential for unraveling the dynamics of losing weight.  I call it the “logistics of losing weight”.

By definition logistics is the management of flow of things between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet requirements of customers and corporations.  I take the liberty of substituting certain words of this term to get to my logistics of losing weight.

My definition of “logistics of losing weight” is the management of flow of things between an individual’s original weight to future goal weight in order to meet requirements of their physical and emotional well-being.  The more the client understands the flow of things, like eating patterns and variables impacting food choices, the more success the client will have at losing weight and keeping it off.

Factors In the Logistics of Losing Weight

There are many factors that impact the “logistics of losing weight” but they can be lumped into two categories:  the nutritive and emotional value of eating.  Losing weight is not just about eating less.  It’s a tug-of-war between fueling the body and satisfying the mouth in order to successfully keep the weight off.  And through it all, it means wanting it badly enough to forego immediate temptation in order to have long-term payback.

Nutritive Value of Eating

Nutritive value is the umbrella term for knowing how to plan, shop and prepare a healthy meal.  It means understanding the relationship between carbs, protein and fat and why they are each important.  It means knowing how to make substitutions that will still please your mouth, yet not compromise the end goal of weight loss.  It’s about finding the right foods that will keep you full.  It’s about knowing why eating whole, real food with simple ingredients is better than eating calorie free foods with lots of chemicals.  It’s about the journey in learning all these things over time, not overnight.

Emotional Value of Eating

Emotions play a big role in food choices.  Eating is a way people connect with one another and it often comes with expectations.  Addressing the emotional components of eating is essential for lasting weight loss.  This means being open to new recipes, putting time into planning and preparing meals and finding coping strategies to deal with temptation.   It also means exploring feelings of hunger and understanding what is real hunger, and what is mouth hunger and what is behind each type of hunger at different times.  It’s about continuously observing actions and patterns in order to gain “will-power” so you will get through temptation.  It also means becoming self-aware without judgement because this process is a journey and no one gets it right immediately.

A Good Health Coach

There is nothing like a good health coach to help you lose weight.  An impartial, supportive and knowledgeable coach will get you to your goal.  A good health coach will address both the nutritional and emotional components of eating by navigating you through your logistics of losing weight and keeping it off.

Barbara does personal health coaching in person or through Skype and can be reached at barbarahgroth@gmail.com.  Like her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AHealthyWeighTodayLLC/

 

Life Lessons From Nature

I always find autumn to be a time of reflection.  I am tempted to go outside whenever possible knowing that soon the extreme cold will limit my exploration.  My eyes seem to gain acuity realizing they will be starved for months to come.

Over the past month on my hikes, quirky things have jumped out at me, which seem to be nature talking to me – little life lessons from nature.  I think they are worth sharing because these images spotlight and mimic some common struggles we humans experience.  You might get a different message from these pictures, but just contemplating them leads to a sense of peace and calmness.  And sometimes calmness is a nice place to be.  Calmness gives us energy for other areas in our lives.

Life Lessons From Nature:  Know When To Let Go

dandelion rootSometimes we hold on to opinions so deeply we lose sight of what the opinion was founded on.  The attachment to that opinion becomes the cause of the fight.  And like nature, where moisture, soil, sun and nutrients can change, conditions in our own lives change and warrants us always to try to observe with new eyes for more better understanding.

Life Lessons From Nature:  Make The Best Of Your Gifts

tomato plant on the curbWe are all dealt our cards in life, our genetics that determine our personality, our health and our looks.  It’s so easy to compare and judge someone else’s cards in life and forget to make the best of what gifts we have.

Accept your hand of cards, play them to the best of your ability and bear fruit!

Life Lessons From Nature:  Get Out Of The Rut

Get Out Of The RutIt’s so easy to fall into a routine and become stuck in our thinking.  I remember how hectic it was trying to balance raising three children along with work, managing the household chores and finding personal time.  My form of adaptation was to always get up early and keep to the routine.  I found over time that keeping to the routine was my own personal kind of rut.  Over time I learned to be more creative with my use of time and break out of some of the conventional thinking I was raised with.  I broke up household chores into small increments done daily between waiting for something to boil, preheat or bake.  I was more mindful about the notion of cleanliness and with what frequency.  I learned to look ahead and anticipate needs of my kids, work and home in order to avoid feelings of last-minute stress and keep a steady pace.  Getting out of the rut affords the opportunity to be creative with how one thinks and acts on life.  It’s energizing and empowering.

Life Lessons From Nature:  Believe In Yourself

believe in yourselfThere are times in life when it feels you may be going against the current.  The people in your life may disagree with your life choices but you need to follow your gut and be true to yourself.

Standing alone can be scary and cause uncertainty but those feelings come and go with conviction.  If you are following your heart and you believe in yourself, anything is possible.

Life Lessons From Nature:  Adapt To Life’s Challenges

yield

If your current environment is keeping you from thriving, then decide to either change it or change your perspective on it.

Blaming the environment instead of making changes will stunt your growth and keep you from finding lasting happiness.

Life Lessons From Nature:  Everyday Is An Opportunity

Sunrise from Cadillac Mt, Acadia

We all make mistakes and have regrets, but tomorrow is a new day.  Wake up each day with renewed fervor.   Make amends whenever possible, but otherwise, let go of the past because it is stealing your present.  And today is the beginning of the rest of your life.  All things are possible for you.

Eat This Instead, Part 3

Learning to eat healthier starts with understanding what you are putting in your mouth.  I used to think that all vegetables were the same – that there was no difference in an ear of corn versus a bunch of broccoli in terms of nourishing my body.  They are both veggies so what’s the big deal?  There is certainly nothing wrong with eating a couple of ears of corn with your meal, but combine that with some watermelon, bread with your BLT and maybe a spoonful of potato salad and all of a sudden you have a TON of carbs on your plate and a nap will soon follow.

That carb load will cause a glucose spike stimulating the pancreas to produce more insulin. Eating this way over time stresses the pancreas – especially in someone with a family history of type 2 diabetes ( a more inheritable form of diabetes) or of a certain race:  Pacific Islander, American Indian, African American or Asian American.  These races have what we call the “thrifty gene” meaning their bodies adapted to periods of famine in the past by slowing down their metabolism in order to survive.  When these races are exposed to a heavy carb diet, this thrifty gene works against them by putting a strain on the pancreas, eventually leading to type 2 diabetes.  Furthermore, this extra insulin leads to weight gain since insulin causes our bodies to store fat.

And diabetes is closely related to heart disease.  People with diabetes not only have a problem with their insulin but they also have a problem with fat metabolism.  It is just as important to reduce the amount of saturated fat in the diet since the liver can not handle too much saturated fat.

When you look more closely at some common food choices at dinner you will understand how to reduce the amount of carbs, increase the fiber and reduce some of the unhealthy fat that can lead to diabetes and heart disease.

Eat This Instead:  Brown Rice Instead of White Rice

brown vs white rice1/4 cup dry brown or white rice, which is 1/2 cup cooked, delivers about the same amount of carbohydrates – 35 grams.  But look at the difference in fiber.  Brown rice has 4 grams of fiber while the white rice has none.  Getting enough fiber is part of feeling full.  It also reduces the amount of time that cancer causing substances stay in the GI tract.  It also has many of the B vitamins, the powerful antioxidant selenium, and manganese and helps to lower the bad LDL cholesterol.  .

 

Eat This Instead:  More Broccoli, Less Corn and Peas

peas, corn vs broccoliThe picture to the right:  peas, then corn, then broccoli, are nutrition values for about the same gram weight.  However there is a big difference in total grams of carbohydrates between them.  Corn and peas have 21 gms and 12 gms respectfully, in a 2/3 cup serving, while broccoli has only 4 gms of carbohydrates in 3/4 cup.  The extra carbs in peas are mitigated by the ample fiber – 4 gms in one serving.  That extra fiber helps to slow down the spike in blood sugar.  In the end, it comes down to portion sizes and how many other carbs are on your plate.  Other carb sources are milk (lactose in milk is a sugar) and sweetened drinks, fruit, breads and grains, beans, starchy veggies like potatoes and winter squashes, and obviously desserts.

How Many Carbs Should You Eat?

The percent daily value (PDV) for carbs for someone eating about 2000 calories a day is 300 mg.  This amount of carbs should be divided over the course of the day, so about 100 mg a meal.  A 20 oz coke has 65 gms, a medium banana has about 30 gms, a piece of bread has about 20 gms.  A cookie can have about 20-30 gms depending on the size.  You can see how carbs add up.  And if someone has any prediabetes or diabetes then the amount of carbs consumed should be reduced even further in order to take the work load off the pancreas.  Talk to a dietitian if you need further recommendations if you do have diabetes.

Eat This Instead:  More Ground Turkey, Less Ground Beef

ground turkey vs ground beef

ground turkey vs 85% ground beef

In a 4 oz serving of turkey, there is only 1 gm of fat.  In 4 oz of ground 85% lean beef there are 17 gms of fat with 7 of those being the heart unhealthy saturated fats.  Because there is more fat – delivering 9 calories per gram – there are twice as many calories in this beef than turkey!  On top of it notice that the ground turkey even has more protein and protein is the third component to the feeling of fullness.  Most Americans do not get enough of it at all their meals but it is a critical component to maintaining muscle mass and metabolism.  It just needs to be lean and should come mostly from fish, poultry, eggs, and plant protein.

 

Eat This Instead:  Hummus Instead Of Cheese

hummus vs cheeseCheese has much more fat than hummus – 9 gms vs 1.5 gms per serving.  One ounce of cheddar cheese also delivers 6 gms of heart clogging saturated fat and 110 calories.  And how many people just eat 1 oz?  Two tablespoons of hummus only delivers 40 calories and zero saturated fat.

Eat This Instead:  Edy’s Slow Churned Ice Cream Instead of Hoods

Edy's Slow Churned Ice Cream

Edy’s slow churned ice cream on the left.

Edy’s Slow Churned has much less fat, therefore fewer calories than regular ice cream.  In 1/2 cup of Edy’s there is 100 calories, with 3 gms of fat.  The same serving of Hood’s delivers 140 calories with 7 gms of fat – with twice as much coming from saturated fat.  Saturated fat is what sticks to the walls of our arteries, narrowing them and making them more rigid, therefore decreasing the amount of blood flow.

 

 

How Much Saturated Fat?

The American Heart Association advises that we keep saturated fat to no more than 5-6 % of our total daily calories, that amounts to 11-13 gms for a 2000 calorie diet.  A cup of Hood’s ice cream would deliver 9 gms, almost the daily limit.  Add a little butter on that corn and the limit has been reached.  Can you imagine what those arteries would look like in someone who is regularly eating beef and cheese on top of ice cream?  All the Lipitor in the world is not going to unclog those pipes.

How These Changes Can Add Up

Let’s compare two meals making the recommended changes versus not.  Let’s compare someone who has a hamburger, with white rice, corn, snacks on cheese and has Hood’s ice cream for dessert vs someone who has the exact same portions but substitutes it with ground turkey breast, brown rice, hummus, broccoli and 1/2 cup of Edy’s ice cream.  The first person would be eating more than 230 more calories, 27 more grams of total fat and 14 gms of it coming from saturated fat (more than the AHA recommendations), 15 more grams of carbs, 5 fewer gms of fiber while getting the exact same amount of protein.  Even if you made your burger with half turkey breast and half 85 % lean ground beef and skipped the cheese you would cut down your saturated fat by over 9 gms.

Making these substitutions don’t have to happen all at once.  Personally, I would start where the change is easiest then branch out from there.  Reduce the portions of foods with unhealthy fats and gradually add more foods with healthy higher fiber carbs from whole grains and vegetables.  Look at your desserts and find ones with fewer saturated fats and be mindful of portion sizes.  And some days of the week, skip the desserts and just have some sliced apples sprinkled with cinnamon.  That might be radical, but so is having diabetes and heart disease.

Barbara can be contacted at barbarahgroth@gmail.com.  Enter you email address on the home page to get Barbara’s health blog delivered to your inbox or “Like” on https://www.facebook.com/AHealthyWeighTodayLLC to get blogs on your facebook page.

 

 

 

whole world in your hands

How To Start Eating Healthy

I hear the comment often, “I don’t know how to eat healthy”.  Packed between those words after exploration are fears of being overwhelmed with the idea of EATING HEALTHY as if that means suddenly having to transform into a Jedi Knight with the Force giving strength and determination to conquer the late night munchies, the afternoon nibbles, the morning Stars and Dunks.  Making changes in how you eat does not have to require this monumental overhaul.  There are steps you can take to make it easy but first there are some preliminary things to consider to help you have success at eating healthier.

Eat Healthy For The Right Reason

Knowing why you want to eat healthy is the first question.  Is it your desire to eat healthier to lose weight or for better health?  Are you doing it to look better or to be healthier?  If the desire is more about appearance, then the barometer for success is only the scale, not the improved blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, energy level and improved relationships as you gain confidence from your effort.  Furthermore, losing weight only for appearance tends to lead to expectations for rapid weight loss, usually from a fad diet.  And losing weight this way can lead to complications and regaining of weight once the diet is stopped.

Not that appearance can’t be part of the reason for eating healthier, but isn’t it more compelling to eat healthy in order to feel better and be healthier?  Having lab numbers, waist size, blood pressure and energy level become the barometer for success, not just the scale, sound a lot more convincing?

Expectations

Make sure you have realistic expectations.  I don’t know of anyone who has said to themselves that today he/she was going to start eating three balanced meals with lots of veggies, lean protein, no refined carbs, no sweets and start exercising for 60 minutes every day.  Maybe I should qualify that, I’ve known a few who have attempted it, but they did not sustain it for long and it only added to their stress.  Eating healthier is not the same as going on a diet.  “Prescription” diets like the Blood Type, Cabbage Soup, and Master Cleanse are designed to lose weight quickly.  Even the Adkins diet and the Paleo diet will help you lose weight but can you eat that way for the rest of your life?  Once people quit eating the structured meal plan, weight is most often regained.  Furthermore many fad diets are lacking in key nutrients for health.

Knowing you are in this for the long haul will help you to have success.  Learning how to live a healthier lifestyle should be a gradual series of small changes.

Make Your Environment Safe

Where you live and work can be toxic.  The prefrontal cortex controls our inhibitory decision-making.  Parts of the prefrontal cortex are stimulated when people exhibit control over food urges.  Research in this area has shown that some people have better self-regulation because of more stimulation in this part of the brain.  If you find that you are someone who can be easily tempted by unhealthy foods, then make your environment safe.  Clear tempting foods out of your house.  Take different routes home from work.  Get your coworkers on board with keeping healthier foods around so that you can reduce temptation.  It’s better to go out and splurge on a single serving than it is to buy a larger amount (hate those 2 for 1 chip sales!) and bring it home.

Know Your Causes For Unhealthy Eating Or Overeating

Are you not making good food choices or overeating because you are stressed, bored, eating out of habit or need to decompress, or just eating mindlessly?  If any of these reasons sound familiar then you need to start here first.  Food fuels our body, but it can also alleve stress, anxiety, boredom and become an unhealthy habit.  Addressing the stress in one’s life, through time management, conversation, delegation, planning, exercise and even counselling may need to happen first.

Food Cravings

Food cravings can happen from big swings in blood sugars.  Look at your style and pattern of eating.  Are you eating too many refined carbs at lunch from white rice with the Chinese meal, white flour from the pizza or white flour and sugar from cakes, cookies and chips and notice you get hungry and have food cravings in the mid-afternoon?  That sugar spike from all those “white” refined carbs will hit you like a ton of bricks a couple of hours later making you reach for any candy lying around or that leftover donut or slice of pizza to make that feeling go away.  Looking at your hunger level and how it fluctuates during the day will convince you to try eating differently or reinforce what you are already doing well.  It may also convince you to reach for a cup of tea or go for a walk instead.

How To Start Eating Healthy

Where to begin all depends on what you are currently doing.

  • If you eat most of your meals out:   Begin by making better choices at those restaurants or switch to restaurants that will give you healthier choices.  Getting a turkey sandwich with lots of veggies and little mayo on a whole grain roll at Subway would be a much better choice than going to Burger King and getting a Whopper value meal.  The next step might be to decrease the frequency of eating fast food and stopping instead at the grocery store to buy a rotisserie chicken and hitting the salad bar (put the dressing on the side and skip the cheese and mayonnaise-packed salads)
  • For the breakfast skipper:  Begin two days a week and try eating something small like:
    • a hard-boiled egg with a piece of fruit
    • a peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread
    • a low fat Greek yogurt topped with walnuts
    • a half cup of low fat cottage cheese with diced fruit
    • a package of old fashioned oatmeal  topped with walnuts                                                                                   

Notice that each of these meals includes some protein, fiber and some fat.  These are key nutrients for fullness.   Dietary fat should come from the heart-healthy fats like nuts, canola and olive oil, avocado and fish, rather than from animal fats like red meat, whole fat dairy and palm oil.  Take notice of how you feel on those days you eat breakfast.  Do you have more energy?   Do you eat less the second half of the day?  Do you think better at work?  Do you have fewer cravings?  Listen to how your body talks to you.

  • For the person who does not like to plan meals:  Plan just two healthy meals for the week with enough for leftovers for two other meals.  Write down the list of ingredients and take with you when you go shopping.  Include on the list some quick things you can take for lunch like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, whole grain crackers and pre-cut fresh veggies.  The next step might be to make foods on the weekend or days off that you can eat during the work week.  Use this cooking strategy to save you time and stress.
  • For the person who does not like to cook:  Try grilling chicken or fish for several meals and eat with lots of fresh produce around will keep it simple.  Soups and crock-pots also reduce food preparation time and can contain a whole balanced meal.  check out some of the soup recipes like my chili or chicken soup on this website for ideas.
  • For the person who does not have time to prepare meals:  If you can’t get help from family members then buy prepared veggies or frozen veggies.  Buy a rotisserie chicken or meats that are already cut up.  Buy canned beans or grains that are already cooked.  When you do cook grains, make extra and freeze.  Brown rice and other grains like bulgar and barley freeze well.  Pre-prep some of your meals on your day off.  Use a crock pot so you can get up a bit early in the morning or prepare the night before so the meal can cook while you are at work.
  • For the night snacker:  Start by eating breakfast.  Research shows that when people eat a breakfast with focus on healthy protein they remain fuller during the day and eat less at night.  Then make sure you are eating a dinner with a good amount of protein, some healthy fat, lots of non-starchy veggies and a fiber-rich starch.  Here are some ideas;
    • 4-5 oz of chicken, 1 cup of brown rice, 2 cups of broccoli or salad, and healthy fat from canola oil or olive oil on the veggies or maybe some nuts stirred into the rice or sunflower seeds topped on the salad.
    • 4-5 oz of salmon grilled or baked in the oven (salmon and other oily fish contain a lot of the heart healthy fat which will also help with fullness), 1 medium baked sweet potato, 12 asparagus and one piece of fruit
    • 3 egg omelette with 1 cup of spinach, onions and mushrooms, 2 pieces of whole grain toast(the first word under ingredients should be “whole” or 100% whole) and topped with 1 tsp each of whipped butter, and a side salad.  Try using salad spritzer dressings instead of pouring a high fat dressing on the salad.

Night snacking goes hand and hand with watching TV.  Try turning off the TV, play a game, read, go for a walk.  Even try brushing your teeth after dinner.  If you really must have a little “something something” start first with a cup of tea, seltzer water or just water and see if that hits the spot.  If you still need something then keep it to a serving by putting the food on a plate.  Do not eat out of the box!

  • For the person who does not like veggies:  Hide your veggies.
    • put them in a blender and add to soups
    • make mashed potatoes with half steamed cauliflower
    • double up on what you do like
    • puree them into tomato sauces
    • mix spaghetti squash with your pasta
    • make zucchini pasta
    • try new ways of eating them like roasting potatoes with onions and peppers in the oven
    • try seasoning them or dipping them in yogurt dips
    • try making dips out of them like salsa or a kale, berry and olive oil dip made in a blender
    • try them in a  smoothie

Forming New Healthy Eating Habits

Gradually incorporate some of these ideas into your routine.  If the changes seem unnatural then you are making changes too fast.  In general, it takes about three weeks for a new habit to feel natural.  Start with the above suggestions that you feel more confident about.  If you are telling yourself that you “should” do something, then you’re probably not ready to take that next step.  Focus on what you don’t mind doing and branch out from there.  Over several weeks and months you will begin to notice that some things are easier to do and don’t require as much thought.  This means you are ready to tackle more.  And as you take on new habits, continue to notice how your body feels.  Not only will you start to have more energy, but if you are overweight, you will lose weight as well, naturally.  No pills, no cleanses, no diets.  Just learning how to nourish and fuel your body like a Jedi.  Before you know it, these changes will become less forced and you will have the Force with you as you become that Jedi Knight on the way to conquering the world!

 

 

Free Help, Are You Ready?

I’m ready, are you ready?  This is your gift to yourself or to someone you care about.  I am ready to “pay it forward” and help 10 people individually who are interested in losing weight, especially if they have prediabetes or a family history of Type 2 diabetes.  I am a registered nurse, certified as a diabetes educator and also a health coach with extensive knowledge of prediabetes and diabetes and helping people make lasting lifestyle changes.  I know it is not easy but sometimes eliminating the burden of price while offering support in developing new habits is all it takes to get over the inertia of making lifestyle changes.

It’s Free

I have a passion for preventing diabetes.  Prediabetes is such a huge opportunity.  Address prediabetes and that person avoids developing permanent cardiovascular damage.  See, diabetes is really heart disease with a sugar problem.  Research shows that a 7% weight loss in conjunction with 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week dramatically reduces the chance of prediabetes becoming diabetes.  I will give you the tools to learn how to eat to avoid the insulin spike.  I will support you and work with you on finding an exercise routine that will work for you.  I will help you get to that 7% weight loss.

How I Will Help

I will Skype with you or meet in person for 6 hourly sessions and review your food log on myfitnesspal for free.  I will also give you useful handouts to help you understand how to fuel and move your body.  Why am I doing this?  Because I can and because I have a passion for preventing diabetes.  I think I’m good at what I do and I also have learned that people don’t know what they don’t know about health and about taking care of their bodies.  Small changes can make a huge difference.  I have the time right now, and I love what I do.  That’s it, that’s all.

What’s The Catch?

I was recommended to add this because some people might not take this offer seriously because they don’t think there never really anything free.  So, if you want, I ask that you refer me to 3 of your friends or family.  You don’t have to, but at the end of our sessions, if you are happy with what you learned, I would love the opportunity to help others.

How To Contact Me

The best way to reach me is to email me at barbarahgroth@gmail.com.  We can connect and see if this opportunity would work for you.  There is nothing to lose and only everything to gain. This opportunity will end October 31, 2015.  Now is the time to reach out for yourself or for someone you love.  I’d love to help and now is the time.  Pass it on so I can pay it forward.

 

The Best Exercise For Weight Loss

The Nutrition Action Health Letter just released the best exercises for weight loss.  This article was based on the book Exercise Testing and Prescription by exercise physiologist specialist, David Nieman.  His list of calories burned, based on a 150 pound person, also lists the effectiveness of each activity in building cardiovascular as well as muscular strength.  And of course, the heavier the person, the more calories burned.

The American Heart Association recommends getting 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week or 75 minutes of high intensity.  What this article also shows is that even the activities needed be done around the house – like mowing and gardening – can burn calories and help with weight loss.

Top Contenders in Exercise

Some of the best activities were also some of the most fun to do!  Canoeing or rowing (that means kayaking) burns a whopping 815 calories in an hour and scores a 5/5 for cardiovascular health and a 4/5 for muscular health.  Get out on the water, enjoy the peacefulness, all while toning your upper body and burning a ton of calories.

Even dancing with your partner will burn 305 calories in an hour and I’m sure if that includes a little tango those numbers would go up!

For us northerners who had to put up with a very snowy, cold winter at least we can say it provided a great opportunity to burn some calories with an hour of shoveling burning up 580 calories and scoring a 4/4 in both cardiovascular and muscular benefits.  And if you enjoy the outdoors regardless of temperature, cross country skiing burns 610 calories in an hour and scores a 5/5 in cardio health and 4/5 in muscular health.  And I promise that about 10 minutes into cross country skiing you will not notice single digit temperatures!

Exercise Pace Does Matter

I’ve heard people argue that walking slow versus a faster pace, burns off the same number of calories.  Well, based on Nieman’s findings, an hour of walking at a slow pace burns off 170 calories and a faster pace burns off 270 calories.  And of course the faster pace yields a higher cardiovascular score at a 3/5 versus a 2/5 for a slower pace.  Both score a 2/5 for muscular health.  So if you can get your arms swinging and put some lively, fast beat music on your electronic device then perhaps you won’t mind picking up your pace.

Find What Works For You

There is a variety of choices when it comes to exercise.  Even the cold weather always winter activities or a shift to indoor activities in a community center.  For those who have difficulty with weight-baring activity, swimming and chair dancing provide great alternatives.

And keep in mind, that exercise isn’t just about weight loss, it’s really about slowing down the aging process of our organs, reducing the cardiovascular inflammation due to diet and stress, and having a great night’s sleep.  Now what pill can top that?  Just do it.