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Mole Hills, Not Mountains

This is the continuation in the series looking at the emotional side of the logistics of losing weight.

For some people anticipation is worse than realization.  The anticipation of starting a diet might as well be like climbing Mt Everest.  And in here lies the problem.   First of all, don’t think of it as a diet.  The word “diet” implies a beginning and an end.  You’re not heading for a destination; you are on a lifelong journey.  Secondly, if it feels like you are climbing a mountain, then you need to start back at the mole hills.

Get The Right Focus

Any change starts with a decision.  If the change is just for a destination, like looking nice in a bathing suit or for a wedding or for a reunion, then chances are one of two things will happen.  You will either not meet your goal or you will be like the 80% who regain their weight.  But what if your decision is not to reach a definitive destination but rather to feel better in your clothing, have more energy throughout the day and to take of yourself.  Imagine that, doing it just because you are worth it.  Shifting the focus from losing weight to eating healthier changes the perspective.  Making lifestyle changes to lose weight implies giving up and taking away, while eating healthier implies adding more and taking care.

Start And Stay With The Mole Hills

mole hillsThe second mistake that people make is taking on too much at once.  In my training as a health coach the emphasis was always on making changes based on the areas where a client feels most ready and confident to begin, and to start with small, action-oriented changes.  These are the mole hills that will take you down the path to taking care of yourself, while incidentally losing weight.

Examples of Mole Hills

What are some mole hills you could easily summit along your journey of taking care of yourself?

  • Find a buddy who will support you.  Spouse, friend, daughter or son, anyone who will take the journey with you and keep you energized and focused.
  • Start grocery shopping with a list and don’t shop when you are hungry.
  • Bring color to every plate through fruits and veggies.  Try to get at least 3 different colors on your plate.
  • Use a smaller plate, even a salad plate if you are not someone who likes fruits and veggies.
  • Drink at least 2 liters of non-caloric, non-diet fluids a day.
  • Shift to whole grain crackers, pasta, brown rice, and cereals.  If that’s too much to do all at once then go half and half.
  • Cut back on eating out.  This means being aware of how many meals you purchase over the week and reducing that number.  Instead, make a date night with a fun menu at home where you can control the salt and fat.
  • Wear a pedometer.  They do make people move more.
  • Keep your treats to the end of the day.
  • Watch TV less, read more.  Choose your shows and then turn the TV off.
  • Reflect back at the end of the day and recall what went well with each day.
  • Go to bed at a set time each night and get 7-8 hours of sleep.

Any of these steps will help you to take care of yourself.  You will notice a difference in how you feel.  You will notice a difference in your energy level.  You will gain more confidence as you realize that you are worth it and that it doesn’t have to be this huge production or insurmountable mountain.  Even these changes will help boost your immune system with its daily fight against cancer cells, reduce the workload on your heart, and help your mind think more clearly, more positively.  Now that’s a mindset that will take you on lifelong journey, not just a destination.

 

 

 

How To Fit Losing Weight Into Your Life

The next few blogs will focus on the most common emotional mistakes people make in their efforts to loss weight.  Today will focus on how to successfully lose weight for life.

FoundationYou’ve had some success with Weight Watchers or a low-fat or low carb diet, but now you’ve stalled.  The novelty of losing weight has worn off and now work and home life has caused you to lose focus in your efforts to lose weight.  This is a common mistake, it’s because you tried to fit your life into your diet instead of making your diet part of your life.

Mae West once said, “knowing what you want is the first step to getting it”.  The top two reasons people want to lose weight is for health and appearances.  Those are powerful reasons but keeping them front and center means addressing the issues that caused the weight gain in the first place.

What Works In Losing Weight

If you look at the National Weight Loss Registry that tracks participants who have lost at least 30 pounds for over a year, you’ll find that most maintain a low-calorie, low-fat diet and get an hour of physical activity – usually walking – a day.  Some have kept their weight off for over 65 years and have lost as much as 300 pounds!  Other findings are that participants tend to weigh themselves weekly, limit TV to no more than ten hours a week and eat breakfast daily.

How To Fit Weight Loss Into Your Life

There’s no getting around it.  Examining the patterns that lead to your weight gain is essential for lasting weight loss.  Yes, you’ll mourn some of those habits, but your weight will come right back on if you don’t address them.  The following are the three most common causes I’ve seen for weight derailment:

  1. Not putting enough value in a good night’s sleep.  People try to stretch the day by staying up late to finish watching a ball game, a late night show or playing internet games.  Before you know it, it’s been three or four hours since dinner and those high-fat, high calorie munchies in the kitchen are soon in your hand.  So not only to you go to bed full, but you wake up tired and not hungry for breakfast.  Lack of sleep is associated with a decrease in the hunger-blocking hormone Leptin, and an increase in the hunger-producing hormone Ghrelin.  Insufficient sleep causes weight gain.  Furthermore, waking up tired is not exactly conducive to wanting to work up a sweat.  At least during the work week make it a priority to get to bed at a decent hour, before you would be naturally hungry and get at least 7-8 hours of sleep.
  2. Develop a hobby instead of watching TV.  There is nothing more mind-numbing than watching TV.  And with all the food advertisements, it heightens the desire for snacking.  When you mind is busy, it’s off food.  Besides, having a hobby is a great way to cope with stress and boredom – the two most common reasons for non-hungry eating.
  3. Not believing in yourself.  Losing weight is not a sprint, it’s a lifelong marathon.  Anyone can lose weight quickly through a fad diet, but keeping it off means believing that you are strong, that you have willpower and that you are worth making the changes to the nonfood parts of your life that will help keep the unhealthy habits out of your life.  There will always be temptations, but they also diminish in intensity.  Have faith that you are strong enough to get through those moments and focus on what you are gaining.

Change Your Life And You Will Have Lasting Weight Loss Success

Losing weight begins with a strong foundation of getting to the root cause of your weight gain and going from there.  It’s not a diet, it’s a new way of living your life for the rest of your life.  It’s learning how to adjust your life in order to fit lasting weight loss, not fitting your life into a temporary diet.

 

Common Mistake, Packing The Wrong Snacks

The next couple of blogs will focus on common nutritional mistakes I see initially in my clients.

 

There’s 23% more snacking going on this year than last.  I bet even Santa is packing a few extra treats to get him through the night!  According to Mintel’s research, Snacking Motivations and Attitudes US 2015, half of adults snack two to three times a day.  And while older generations grew up rarely snacking, millennials (age 21-38) report snacking four or more times a day and mostly snack for emotional or functional reasons, to cope with stress or improve energy.  For older people snacking is associated with special occasions like games and gatherings.  Sadly, nearly a quarter snack due to boredom.  And probably the most significant finding is that 62% of people snack to satisfy a craving.

Is It A Snack Or A Meal?

The first thing to consider before judging snacking habits is to understand the intent.  Millennials apparently often use their snacking in place of a meal.  The other reasons – special occasions, boredom and cravings are a different animal.  Each requires a different strategy.

myplate_blueIf someone is using snacks to make a meal their combined snacks should make up a healthy plate – with veggie, protein, fruit/whole grain carb and dairy.  See below for some ideas.

Many of my clients in the beginning are surprised that the chips, nuts, cheese, ice cream and baked goods from snacking are providing sometimes a third of their total daily calories – and not giving their body the nutrients it needs.  Most people are unaware of the serving size on the label and are eating directly out of the container.  And yes, nuts are high in those heart healthy unsaturated fats but 1/4 cup contains 200 calories.  One ounce of most cheeses have over 9 gms of mostly saturated fat – amounting to over 100 calories.  Some ice creams have over 7 gms of fat in a half cup serving.  And ice cream, chips and baked goods are double villains, not only high in fat, but delivering a good portion of carbs – up to 22 gms in just one serving.

If It’s A Snack, Then Make It Deliver The Right Nutrients

Snacking should be a time to get some veggies and fruit.  Not only are they low in fat and calories (providing the dip is low-fat), but they will help move number on your scale downward.  The OmniHeart Trial determined that a diet focused on vegetables and fruits reduced systolic blood pressure, as well as heart disease-causing LDL and triglycerides.  These foods can also reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer.  The OmniHeart study recommends 11 daily servings of veggies and fruits based on a 2000 calorie diet.

I recommend my clients aim to get a veggie or small carb and protein as their snack.  Putting more emphasis on non-starchy veggies will reduce the calories, provide good fiber and water.  Add a good dip like hummus, whipped cottage cheese with chive and spices or herbed plain fat-free Greek yogurt will give you the protein to stave off hunger.  Here are some good snack ideas:

  • Wasa crackers topped with low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup of plain fat-free Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup of fruit
  • 1/2 peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread
  • Cut up veggies with hummus, whipped cottage cheese dip or Greek yogurt dip
  • Low fat cottage cheese with fruit
  • Hard-boiled egg with fruit
  • 2 tbsp of nuts with 1 tbsp of raisins
  • 3 cups of air popped popcorn with spray oil and light salt

But You Say You Want A Little “Some’in, Some’in” To Snack On

Well, I get it.  We all need a little something chocolately or crunchie or creamie.  But how about if things actually still fit my goal of having adequate protein and slow burning carbs?  Some of my desserts contain more than the usual amount of protein and are high in fiber.  Both these things are important because they prevent a sudden rise in blood sugar which is the precursor to most cravings.  Want something chocolaty?  My Divine Chocolate cake is made with oat flour, cocoa powder and chia seeds making it high in fiber and higher in protein than most chocolate cakes.   Want something creamy and crunchie?  My Quinoa custard is made with Greek yogurt, quinoa, raisins and eggs also making it high in protein and fiber.  My Mango frozen yogurt is made with fruit and Greek yogurt, making it high in protein.  Every dessert I make I try to enhance my adding ingredients to boost fiber, protein or both.

Breaking Old Snack Habits

I was a chip-aholic before I knew better.  And I confess there still are times where the craving hits me.  But on those rare occasions I keep it small by buying a small serving.

In general, what has worked for me and for many of my clients who successfully lose weight and keep it off, is to eat a breakfast with adequate protein to help control hunger, keep unhealthy snacks out of the house and out of eyesight at work, drink plenty of water, seltzer or tea,  and pay attention to hunger levels, never allowing ravenous hunger to develop.  Snacks have many purposes but packing healthy ones will keep you from packing on the pounds.

 

 

 

 

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.

Lessons From Nature: Nurture

IMG_2989Some of life’s most important lessons can be learned from observing nature.  I look around in my back yard and feel that my plants are talking to me.  It just takes being present in the moment and a keen eye to “hear” the lessons from nature.

Look closely at the picture to the right.  This is kale growing in my garden that I’ve been putting in my daily smoothie.  At first glance you might not even notice what I see, but if you really look you will notice how the kale on the right side of the row is much shorter and less dense than the kale on the left side.  The exact same amount of seed was planted, watered and fertilized in the row but the reason the kale on the left is more prolific is simply because it got picked more often.

You would think that picking more frequently would make it bare, but in this case, it stimulates growth as long as you don’t pick the terminal bud found at the top center of the kale plant.  By giving just the right amount of attention to kale, it actually becomes more prolific.  Can’t we say that about ourselves too.  When we nurture ourselves and others, don’t we become more prolific and grow more into our potential?

Lessons From Nature: Nurture Yourself

In short, nurturing yourself means taking care of you.  I believe self-nurturing consists of eating the right foods in healthy amounts, getting enough sleep, exercising daily and maintaining life balance.   Life balance for me means fulfilling my sense of purpose, doing for others and having personal recharge time.  I find if I pay less attention to one area and more to another I feel less nurtured, I get more self focused and I become needier.  When I’m nurturing myself in all ways, I’m able to connect better with people, think more creatively and have more energy.

Lessons From Nature: Nurture Others

Nurturing others in your life is done by helping to create a supportive environment to facilitate their growth.  My kale grew well because it was planted in compost-enriched soil, watered, bathed in good sunlight and carefully picked.  I actually had a 12 foot row of kale and found that each day I went out to pick kale for my smoothie I had enough by the time I got half way down the row which is why the kale on the end was sparser.  I never realized that ignoring the kale on the end was going to stop it’s growth.  I did a great job evenly picking the leaves from the beginning of the row, but did not give enough attention to the ones on the end.

Nurturing others means giving them attention in just the right way and right amount so that they can grow abundantly.  Nurturing others means acknowledging someone’s hard work, encouraging someone when they are feeling doubtful, and giving constructive feedback even when it may be difficult.  Nurturing others means helping them be their best selves.

Nurturing Nature So Nature Can Nurture Back

Nurturing has a circular path.  When the kale is well nurtured, it nurtures us back with great nutrition.  When we nurture ourselves, the people around us respond more positively which helps us to feel nurtured.  When we nurture other people in our lives, those relationships become stronger and more meaningful.  I think I will start picking my kale from the left side from now on.

Barbara helps clients with weight management, diabetes and general health improvement. 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.

Eat This Instead

Trying to eat healthy can be a very confusing endeavor.  The packaging of many food products try to make the food item sound and look healthy, but when you get to the nutrition label and ingredients you can see how it’s easy to be fooled.  A cracker label might say it has whole grains in it but when you get to the back you see that the first ingredient is enriched wheat flour which means the wheat berry grain has been decimated and most of the good fiber and protein has been taken out.  Or you might think you are doing yourself a favor drinking 100% Florida orange juice as part of your breakfast but you are really getting quite a bit of sugar to start off your day.  And for many people this is at a time of day when they are the most insulin resistant- meaning their body can not handle that sugar as well.

Lets look at five common breakfast items and compare labels to demonstrate why you might choose one over the other.

Eat This Instead

Low Sodium V8 instead over fruit juice.

 V8 vs orange juiceWhen you compare Tropicana juice to V8 you’ll see that Tropicana has 26 grams of carbohydrates with most coming from sugar.  The same 8 oz serving of V8 has only 10 grams of carbohydrates and even has a little fiber.  Choose the low sodium version because it has far less sodium.  The USDA recommends those with hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease or even over age 51 to limit sodium intake to 1500 mg daily.  If you love juice to start your day then switching to V8 is the better choice.

 

Try Oatmeal Bread over White Bread

white bread vs oatmeal labelNot everyone is ready to part with “white bread”.  A tanned version of white, Oatmeal bread is made with whole grains (check the list of ingredients to make sure the first word listed is “whole” or “100% whole”).  You will get more fiber and even a bit more protein by eating the oatmeal bread instead of white bread.  One slice of oatmeal bread has 3 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein compared to less than 1 gram of fiber and 3 grams of protein in the white bread.

 

Try whipped butter instead of stick butter. 

less saturated fat in whipped butter

So you are a butter lover.  You like to top that crunchy, crispy lightly browned toast with butter!   Yummm.  You can still enjoy the flavor of butter with much less of the artery clogging saturated fat by switching to whipped butter.  Whipped butter is stick butter whipped with air making it lighter without compromising on taste.  One tablespoon of whipped butter has 3.5 grams of saturated fat while the same amount of stick butter has 7 grams of saturated fat.  The USDA recommends no more than 20 grams of saturated fat based on a 2000 calorie diet.  One tablespoon of butter and an ounce of cream cheese on toast of a bagel will deliver nearly 2/3 of your daily limit of saturated fat, and that’s not including the cream you might be adding to your coffee.

Top your bagel or toast with peanut butter instead of cream cheese.

 

Peanut butter has much healthier fats than cream cheeseOne ounce of cream cheese has 6 grams of saturated fat and only 2 grams of protein while two tbsp of peanut butter has only 2 grams of saturated fat and 8 gms of peanut butter.  Although it has more total fat than cream cheese, most of it is the heart-healthy unsaturated fat.  Peanut butter also has 3 grams of fiber.  Have that along with your oatmeal toast and you will be getting a much greater amount of protein and fiber with less bad fat than you would with white toast, topped with cream cheese.  This is a much healthier and more filling way to start your day.  Avoid peanut butters that contain palm oil or hydrogenated oils since they are bad for your heart.  Teddy makes a great peanut butter and contains just dry roasted peanuts and salt.

Eat fat-free plain Greek yogurt instead of sweetened yogurt.

Greek yogurt vs yoplaitGreek yogurt delivers much more protein than other yogurts – about 15-17 grams in 5 oz versus 6 grams in regular yogurt.  Buy plain Greek yogurt and add your own fruit instead of buying the ones with fruit because sugar is being added as well.  Choose non-fat or low fat over full fat to reduce the saturated fat.

If you want a little crunch you could mix a half cup of whole grain cereal like Uncle Sam’s in with the yogurt, along with some fresh or frozen berries.  Berries are high in cancer-fighting antioxidants and will give the sweetness your mouth is looking for.  This kind of breakfast would give you about 20 grams of protein and some great fiber.  And it’s quick to assemble if you are in a hurry.

 

Find Your Pace To Healthy Eating

Eating healthy is about making gradual substitutions that don’t compromise your taste.  Often times the hardest part of making food changes is just knowing what choices are out there and why they are better for you.  Making sure you are getting a good amount of protein, some fiber from whole grains and minimizing the unhealthy fats will make you feel fuller and improve your health.  And you might find that the choices you make are not a compromise, but actually tastier!!

 

 

 

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.

 

Getting Fish Into Your Budget

Eating fish gives your body an internal massage.  Fatty fish like salmon, trout, sardines and blue fish are really high in omega 3’s which reduce inflammation and artery clogging triglycerides.  In particular, it’s the omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA that have all kinds of health benefits.  According to WebMD eating 2-3 servings of fatty fish a week can:

  • reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering triglycerides
  • reduce inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis and asthma
  • reduce the risk of dementia
  • reduce symptoms of ADHD
  • reduce symptoms of depression

With these kinds of benefits, can’t you hear your blood vessels purring?  And from my anecdotal experience I have brought my triglycerides down to 51 without medication, well below the guidelines of 100 and have been able to cut my asthma inhaler dose in half.  Between the fish I eat on a regular basis and my daily smoothie that is loaded with flax seed, containing another omega 3, ALA, I feel the best I have felt in years.

The Cost Of Fish

I discussed five different ways of preparing fish in the last post.  Three of the recipes were different ways of preparing salmon by cooking it once and recreating different meals in order to save time and not get bored with leftovers.  The total budget for the five meals in the last post came to $102 for a family of four.  That comes out to $5.10 per meal.  That might be more expensive than hot dogs and chips but the comparison ends there.  Eating fish will make you feel better, reduce health complications, possibly reduce the need for as many cholesterol lowering meds, asthma meds, blood pressure meds, arthritis meds and even antidepressants.  Now go enjoy that hot dog.  Your mouth and stomach might be humming right now, but the rest of your body will not be purring.

How To Get Fish Into Your Food Budget

The salmon was $8.99 a pound and the cod was $7.99 a pound – more expensive than most meals unless you can get in on a really good sale. But you can still make it work if you look at the overall picture.  You can offset the cost of fish meals by making other meals during the week much less expensive.  On the weeks you choose to eat salmon make some vegetarian or meatless meals.  My lentil soup recipe costs less than ten dollars and serves eight.

frittata

Frittata – tata!

My Frittata also costs less than ten dollars, makes eight servings, and can be served for breakfast or dinner. It’s delicious in a wrap with some spinach and grated cheese and salsa.

Both these meals, at $1.25 a serving, make enough for two meals for a family of four and can offset the expense of the fish meals.

And there are cheaper sources of fatty fish like sardines that are just as high in omega 3’s.

You Can Do The Fish Meal Shuffle On A Budget

My meal shuffle is all about preparing really healthy meals with less time and money.  The pork and beans meal shuffle came to $3.75 per meal and the chicken and barley meal shuffle came to $4.16 per meal.  Buying meat and fish on sale certainly will reduce the cost.  And cooking things like grains, beans and even soups in abundance and freezing, are all time-saving tips that can keep you from going out to eat.  In a study done by JAMA internal medicine, the average calorie count of a sit down meal at a restaurant was 1,128 calories.   My meals are less than 500 calories and will have your body purring.  Now that’s a loud ME-OOOOOW!!!