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Nutrtition

How to Stay Healthy on Vacation

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How to Stay Healthy on Vacation

Vacation is a time to enjoy, relax and explore while escaping the stresses of everyday life.  But any time we're removed from our routine, it can be difficult to stay on the healthy track.

After all, one of the most popular ways to experience a new place or culture is through the food.  Not to mention, that there may not be access to the regular gyms or fitness studios to which we've grown accustomed.  But don't fret.  You CAN enjoy your vacation, experience the culture and the food and the time away from the gym, while still avoiding to stray too far from your routine.  Check out these simple tips below.

  • Stay Active- the best mode of transportation you have is your feet! Get in lots of steps and low intensity cardio by walking around to explore.  Also check out my "anytime, anywhere" workout which requires no equipment and can easily be done in your hotel room. 
  • Eat Well- I never want you to deprive yourself, and certainly not on vacation, which should be the most enjoyable tie!  That being said, moderation is key!  Think of your calories like an allowance. Save some calories (the way you would money) for the special treats.
  • Prepare- Included in my packing list, in addition to clothing and toiletries, is always a few non-perishable, healthy snacks that can travel with me.  On my recent trip to Machu Picchu I brought RX bars, rice cakes, and Justin's almond butter packets.  For example, I carried a bar with me in my purse so if I was hungry and couldn't find a healthy snack nearby, I had an easy, healthy option on-hand.   

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Fall Back into a Healthy Routine

I wanted to crowdsource some questions that you guys had in order to create my September newsletter.  I always love hearing from you and it's so helpful to hear what you guys want to know.  Thank you to everyone who contributed!

One of the great (and timely) questions I received was "how do I get back into a routine for fall?" I don't think it's just me when I say that it's REALLY hard to keep up a consistent routine in the summer.  Summer is so great because we go on vacation, do share-houses for a weekend, sip...maybe gulp...rose, you name it.  But all of these things make it really challenging to stick to a routine.

So you fell of the healthy bandwagon a little?  No big deal!  
A) that's normal
B) congrats, that means you enjoyed your summer!  

So how do you get back into your routine now that, alas, summer days are driftin' away?  Here are some tips to get you feeling like your pre-summer self in no time!

  • Set Goals- The first step in getting into a routine is to set goals.  What do you want this routine to help you accomplish?  Having this defined will help keep you motivated and also help you track your progress.
  • Detox- No, not a crazy juice cleanse or some liquid diet!  Just give your diet a rest from the booze or sugar or anything you feel may have been in overload this summer.  I like to start a round of whole30 in the fall or do a dry month.  You can also do the Made Simple meal plan full of recipes! 
  • Try a Fitness Challenge- Want to hit the reset on your fitness?  Try a challenge.  It's a great resource to keep you motivated and committed.  PopSugar, Kayla Itsines, Nike Training Club, and more have great programs, varying in time, that you can challenge yourself with.  Many boutique studios also have offers for X amount of classes per month.
  • Find a friend- Find someone with similar goals and work together!  You don't have to get back into the healthy swing of things alone.  Ask around and see if someone wants to join you in eating clean or signing up for a workout class.

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Diet Struggles of a Group Dinner

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Diet Struggles of a Group Dinner

The struggle is real!  It can be extremely difficult to maintain your normal eating habits when you're out with friends.  As a society we've been trained to want to fit in.  Especially for girls and women, we do not want to draw "negative" attention to ourselves by being different than anyone else.  Additionally, the restaurant of choice is usually something like Mexican or sushi and the expectation is that you guys will share apps, entrees etc.  Sharing is caring after all.

But what happens when you're sharing with people that don't share your same desire to eat healthy or your specific dietary restrictions?  Story of my life!  I love eating healthy and due to allergies I have to avoid gluten and dairy but I can't impose this on the whole group!  They don't have allergies and if they don't feel bloated after a giant taco with refried beans than more power to ya!

So what do I do to still enjoy my meal, stick to my eating habits, and not be "that person" at the table?

  1. Be confident in your eating habits and the reasons you have implemented them in your every day life.  I can't even tell you how much easier my life is now that I stopped putting up this facade and embraced the fact that I love healthy food and I'm not afraid to say it!  
  2. Be vocal.  Throw out options of things you like and would want to share.  Maybe not all of them are chosen but certainly you'll get a few things you want and that can make up the majority of your meal
  3. Order veggies!  Get a veggie side dish that you can fill up on while taking small samples of the more indulgent options
  4. Taste everything or indulge in one thing.  This might sound confusing at first but it's really simple.  If you want to enjoy some of the unhealthier options there are two routes I suggest you take.  You can taste everything (literally one taste, one bite).  A small bite won't break the bank and you'll get to experience everything.  If a taste just won't cut it or portion control is tough for you, choose one thing and indulge in that.  To give you an example, let's say you're out for Mexican food with friends.  Everyone is having margaritas, chips and guac, fajitas, etc.  You have two options.  Option A (the taste everything plan): Have few sips of a margarita, only a couple of chips with guac and a bite of a fajita (with the tortilla) while eating mostly just the chicken and veggies.  Option B (the indulge in one thing only plan): Pick your favorite, what you feel is the most worth it, and you really want in that moment.  Pass on the drink and chips and indulge in a full fajita, tortilla and all.

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New Offer! Meal Plans Made Simple

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New Offer! Meal Plans Made Simple

My goal is always to listen and understand what my clients need, what they're craving if you will. What I've seen and heard the most demand for is a low-cost, easy, way to eat a clean and well balanced diet.  

People don't always have the time or funds to dedicate to long-term programs and that's ok!  No one should miss out on a clean and healthy lifestyle simply because they live in an expensive city and can't afford regular sessions with a nutritionist.  No way!

So I've come up with weekly meal plans made simple!  

This no-muss, no-fuss meal plan takes any questions or confusions out of eating well.  You can stop thinking so hard and enjoy your food!  I'll lay out exactly what to eat and when - ensuring you are eating a well-balanced diet at all times.  Each meal plan will include recipes as well as guidelines for dining out, or on-the-go.  

*All meal plans are designed to be gluten free and dairy free.  For those with nut allergies, nut butters or nuts are only used as toppings so this meal plan also be adjusted to be entirely nut free as well*

Purchase your one-week, clean eating meal plan - $30

Quantity:
Add To Cart

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4 Tips to Lose Weight Without Ever Changing Your Diet or Exercise

No this isn’t a gimmick.  I’m not selling some rapid weight loss pill…news flash, those don’t exist! 

But before you get discouraged, I DO have some simple practices that will help you lose weight, without ever changing your eating or exercise habits.

 

Turn off Technology- Try and implement a “no screen-time before bed” rule in your house.  30 minutes (ok fine, 15 if you just HAVE to see who gets the Bachelor’s final rose) before bed, turn off the technology in your bedroom.  Put your phone away, turn off the TV, even cover the clock with a towel or t-shirt.  There is a ton of scientific data showing that technology, and LED brightness promotes wakefulness. 

How will this help you lose weight?  Well, lack of sleep can lead to increased hunger and cravings.  A little extra shut-eye goes a long weigh (get it?).

 

Change your Attitude- Lose weight just by thinking differently?  Ok, maybe there’s a little more to it than that, but so much of our diet, attitude, and in effect, results, are all mental.  Eating clean is not always easy.  Instead of harping on all the things you CAN’T eat, focus on what you CAN. 

Lose that feeling of deprivation and you will gain a whole new appreciation for eating clean.

 

Add Water- Up your H20 intake.  Try and drink at least half of your body weight in fl. oz. throughout the day.  We often confused hunger cravings, with thirst due to dehydration.  Before reaching for a snack have a glass of water first.

 If you have trouble drinking so much water, try flavoring it with fresh fruit, or drinking unsweetened tea (iced or hot).

 

Focus on Small Goals- If you’re gauging success, only by the number on a scale, you’re going to get discouraged very quickly.  Our body weight fluctuate sso easily.  An extra glass of water or an awesome workout that increases lean muscle mass, can add numbers on the scale.  Nothing will sabotage your efforts more quickly than unrealistic expectations.

 Give yourself credit for the baby steps (that might even seem giant at the time).  Set small goals, like ordering a salad, instead of a sandwich.  Or even smaller tweaks, like ordering a salad but ditching the cheese.  Jot these down as the day goes on and you’ll feel like a superstar when all these mini accomplishments add up!

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The 7-Habits of Highly Effective Plant Eaters

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The 7-Habits of Highly Effective Plant Eaters

I love hitting you guys with some nutrition knowledge and this month I wanted to bring you guys a plant-based perspective.  Talia Pollock is the creator of Party In My Plants (yep, best name ever), an online funhouse showing you how becoming happier and healthier doesn't have to totally suck. Through her witty blog posts, LOL cooking videos, and “real food in the real world” Instagram photos, Talia proves that it’s possible to take ginger shots, ditch dairy, massage kale and make mint chocolate chip banana ice cream without being a health nut hermit. She has made it her mission in life to help others take the HELL out of HELLthy eating.  Now can I get a HELL yeah?!


Hands down, one of the greatest things you can do to look and feel better is to eat more plants. But while it’s easy to run out and grab a salad, it takes some practice to get good at eating a balanced plant-based diet most of the time.

Below are some qualities that all successful plant-based eaters share. Follow these tips and you'll start feeling, looking and living your best life!

 

1. They stray from recipes.

Highly effective plant eaters don't follow recipes all the time. Why? Because when you eat mostly plants, you start to learn how you like your plants cooked (or uncooked if you like them raw).

Once you really learn how you like your fruits and veggies prepared —massaged kale, stuffed sweet potatoes, spiralized apples, boiled edamame, for example — and you learn how to whip up a delightful dressing or smoothie, making yourself a meal will be a breeze.

2. When they grocery shop, they spend most of their time in the produce aisle.

Since fresh produce has a shorter shelf life than canned beans and maca powder, a highly effective plant-eater makes short but frequent stops to pick up a bunch of kale, a single lemon, or a handful of avocados.

3. They're never too far from a blender.

Smoothies are a surefire staple in their diets. A green smoothie (or a green juice) to a highly effective plant eater is like a banana to a monkey.

4. They create meals by colors.

Plant-based eaters tend to paint their plates by color. The nutrients found in fruits and veggies can often be categorized by color, which makes it oh-so-easy to create a balanced meal just by looking at the colors on the plate.  You grow to instinctively know when their mostly green plate needs something orange or their very yellow plate needs some purple.

5. They're perfectly happy eating out of one big bowl.

Eating out of one big bowl (or “bowling” if you will) is plant-based-perfection. To create a plant-based bowl meal, think of adding the following:

  • Protein
  • Moisture
  • Texture
  • Fresh produce (veggies or fruits)
  • Fun flavor

For a breakfast bowl, a highly effective plant-eater might start with:

  • Quinoa (protein)
  • Almond milk (moisture)
  • Chopped walnuts (texture)
  • Blueberries and bananas (produce)
  • Cinnamon and agave (fun flavor)

For a dinner bowl, a highly effective plant-eater might start with:

  • A chopped up veggie burger (protein)
  • Tahini sauce (moisture)
  • Pumpkin seeds (texture)
  • Sweet potato
  • Kale and cherry tomatoes (produce)
  • Parsley, salt and pepper (fun flavor)

See how easy this is? Get this down and you'll be as effective as can be!

6. They get greens at every meal.

Just like a margarita feels off without a lime, or sushi feels off without seaweed, a meal for a highly effective plant-eater feels off without something green. Whether it’s a smoothie, a sandwich, or a side of steamed vegetables, they make sure there’s always a leafy green involved.

7. They plan ahead.

Whether it’s making sure their pantry is fully stocked on a regular basis, or it’s previewing a restaurant menu, or it’s packing snacks for their travels, highly effective plant-based eaters make sure they control their food circumstances, rather than letting circumstances control their food.

Feeling Inspired?

Want some super things you can do RIGHT NOW to immediately get your plant-party started? Grab her free ebook to find out!

[This article originally appeared on Mindbodygreen.com]

 

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Real Talk: Matcha

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Real Talk: Matcha

I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about matcha.  We’ve all noticed an influx of matcha on the menu- matcha is so hot right now!  So what is matcha and what are its benefits?

Matcha actually means powdered tea.  So why is matcha so much more powerful (and trendier) than traditional green tea?  When you drink green tea you steep the tea leaves in the hot water, infusing it with components of the green tea.  However, you then discard the soaked tealeaves. 

With matcha, since the tealeaves have been processed into powder, you are ingesting a more potent source of nutrients than steeped green tea.  According to Health.com, “in addition to providing small amounts of vitamins and minerals, matcha is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which have been tied to … better blood sugar regulation, blood pressure reduction, and anti-aging.  Another polyphenol in matcha called EGCG has been shown in research to boost metabolism.”

Another thing putting matcha on the trendy map: its caffeine levels.  Many dedicated java drinkers are ditching their AM fix in favor of matcha.  Matcha offers a natural pick-me up, with no crash later.  Because you’re consuming whole leaves, you can get 3x as much caffeine as you would in traditional green tea, which is equivalent to a cup of brewed coffee.

Like coffee, the flavor of pure matcha can be very potent!  Consider this your warning.  Don't swear off matcha forever, simply because you put too much in, and hate the taste.  Use it sparingly!  Also avoid masking the taste with matcha mixes.  These often contain sugar and powdered milk to sweeten the matcha.  No point in trying matcha if you’re only adding sugar!

To truly reap the benefits of mathca, I recommend starting with a teaspoon of pure matcha in ½ cup of hot water (or almond milk for a matcha latte!).  Beverages are not the limit- you can also add a teaspoon into your cooking or baking. 

There are tons of recipes now for matcha smoothies, matcha muffins, match chia seed pudding, etc.  I encourage you to experiment with this potent powder in your food and drinks!

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Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs

“Is butter a carb?” –Regina George

 For as long as I can recall, carbohydrates have been the enemy in the dieting world.  Like calories, all carbs are not created equal.  All carbs are not EVIL, in fact specific carbs, are a necessary part of healthy living.

The answer to which carbs are OK is both simple & complex.  This is my lame attempt at a pun, but seriously, carbohydrates can be broken down into two categories- simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.  These two categories are defined by their chemical makeup, and what your body does with them.

For the most part, simple carbohydrates are higher in sugars and lower in fiber, providing little value to your body.  This is generally the rule of thumb to determine if a carb is a “good carb,” or one that should be avoided. 

Here’s where it gets tricky, though.  Fruits and vegetables are technically simple carbohydrates- ugh what???  Before you swear off fruits & vegetables and start spreading rumors about having to eliminate vegetables to lose weight, let me explain. 

Fruits and vegetables ARE composed of basic sugars, but they vary drastically from other carbs in this category like cookies and cakes.  Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, which changes the way our body processes the carb.  The fiber slows down the digestion process and breaks down the sugars, making it more like a complex carb in digestion.

Complex carbs are made of longer chain sugars, which takes the body more time to break down and digest.  Complex carbs are most commonly whole grain carbohydrates like brown rice, quinoa, lentils, etc.  Again, just to avoid any rumors or confusion, remember that fruits and vegetables react more like complex carbs.

The bottom line: carbohydrates serve as you body’s primary source of energy.  It is not a matter of avoiding carbs but instead, choosing the right ones.  

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Food Over Exercise

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Food Over Exercise

Exercise is so, so, so important!  Please do not misconstrue what you’re about to read, as any sort of knock on exercise.  Exercising is incredibly beneficial to our health and well being, whether you want to lose or maintain weight.

That being said, exercise is not a get out of jail free card when it comes to food.   Ever notice that ironically, or strategically, there are often bakeries, fast food chains, etc. “conveniently” located next to gyms and fitness studios?  There is a serious fallacy that exists today about calories in vs. calories out.  You can spend endless hours in the gym, but poor nutrition will always thwart your weight loss efforts.

If you haven’t seen the documentary ‘Fed Up,’ I highly recommend it.   This film poignantly highlights that today, more and more Americans are exercising, and yet obesity rates still continue to rise.

So is eating less more important than exercising more?  I don't think it’s eating less so much as eating well.  Exercising can increase your metabolism and thus fuel your appetite.  That’s a good thing!  But how you satiate your hunger will make all the difference.  It is important to stick to whole, unprocessed foods. 

In order to not derail all of your hard work in the gym, it is important to eat clean in the kitchen.  No workout can compensate for a diet lacking in lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.

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The Skinny on Teatoxes

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The Skinny on Teatoxes

I’ve recently gotten a lot of questions regarding the “truth” about tea detoxes, aka “teatoxes.”  It’s all over Instagram and celebrity feeds, so I must admit, even I was intrigued.

Shape Magazine has a great expose on the “power” of such teas.  The main takeaway- “when it comes to detoxification, tea alone isn’t enough for the job.”

Tea can be extremely beneficial in its hydrating nature and digestive aid so I’m not knocking the power of tea.  However, tea, no matter what kind, can truly detoxify your body if you don’t detoxify your diet first!

All the tea in the world won’t undo the damage of processed and fried foods.  In order to truly detoxify your body, crowd out processed and packaged foods by increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.   

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Deconstructing Cravings

If I don’t have chocolate this second, I might die.  Sound familiar?  Cravings can come on strong and with a vengeance! 

Many people view cravings as weakness, but really they are important messages meant to assist us in maintaining balance.  Our bodies are SMART!  These cravings are no accident. 

Think about it?  We instinctively know when to go to sleep, and when to wake up.  Our body maintains a temperature of 98.6 degrees, our heart never missing a beat and our lungs always breathing. 

Instead of beating ourselves up for craving certain foods, we must learn to deconstruct it.  Understand what your body wants and why?

Below are some of the primary causes of those crazyyy cravings:

  1. Primary Food Imbalance- Sometimes we are fed not by food, but by the energy in our lives.  This “emotional food,” if you will, is what we refer to as Primary Food.  If our primary food is imbalanced, eating can be used as a substitute to fill any of these voids.  Being dissatisfied in a relationship, stressed at work, bored with your daily activity, etc. may all cause emotional eating and cravings.
  2. Hydration- We often confuse a lack of water, as mild hunger.  As soon as a craving hits, try drinking a full glass of water.  You may surprise yourself and find that the craving no longer persists.
  3. Nutrient Imbalance- Inadequate nutrients often produce strong cravings.  If your diet is lacking in any particular nutrient (i.e. protein, fiber, fat, etc.) this deficiency can cause unique cravings.  Diminished nutrients can cause cravings for non-nutritional forms of energy, such as caffeine and sugar
  4. Food Extremes- If your diet or meal consists of an abundance of foods/beverages on one side of the flavor spectrum, you often experience cravings for the exact opposite, soon after.  For example, if you eat a large portion of excessively salty foods, you will most likely soon crave sweets due to this flavor imbalance. 
  5. Hormonal- If it’s that time of the month, in addition to sometimes acting like a raging lunatic (GUILTY), cravings may be increasingly heightened particularly for sweet and/or salty foods
  6. Habit- This seems the most basic but is sometimes not the most obvious.  If we follow every dinner with a sweet treat (even small), our dinners begin to feel incomplete without dessert, causing habitual cravings. 
  7. Self Sabotage- This craving cause goes beyond food and originates within our psyche.  When things are going extremely well, sometimes a self-sabotage syndrome occurs. We crave foods that throw us off and thwart all of our hard nutritional work. 

 Now that you are aware of these primary causes, when a craving strikes, take a second and try to decode the real reason behind your dire “need” for chocolate. 

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This is Your Brain on Sugar

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This is Your Brain on Sugar

This is your brain on sugar.  Sound familiar?  This is your brain on drugs.  Turns out it might not be as far off as we think.  Recent studies show that sugar is actually more addictive than cocaine or heroin!  We all know “crack is whack.”  Well, news flash- so is sugar!

When I was young, my dad taught me that we had two separate stomachs, one for dinner and one for dessert.  No matter how full you are there is always room for dessert.  Thanks a lot dad…

The scary thing is, this ridiculous notion, happens to be somewhat true.  Of course we do not have two separate stomachs but one of the many dangers of sugar is that it fails to turn off our appetite hormones.  Fructose (found in sugars and naturally occurring sweeteners) does not trigger the release of leptin or insulin, key hormones that control appetite and satiation.  So, while my dad’s separate stomach theory didn’t exactly pan out, he was onto something when he said no matter how full you are, you can still be hungry.

For far too long, I took these “words of wisdom” literally.  No matter how full I was, I always had dessert.  When I thought I needed something sweet after my meal, what I really needed was sugar rehab!     

Detoxing from all sugar and sweeteners is no easy feat!  Not only do we crave it like crazy, but nowadays it seems to be hidden in EVERYTHING.  Take a look at any label.  It doesn't even have to be obvious like candy or cookies.  Guaranteed, there’s still probably some sugar.   I started finding sugar in the most unassuming of places- tomato sauce, chicken sausage, deli meats, the list goes on. 

Furthermore, labels list sugar in grams.  What a meaningless measurement for a society that measures sugar in teaspoons.  So let’s decode this gram measurement.  4g are equivalent to one teaspoon.  Now take a look back at these labels and you’ll realize that one serving size contains 5, 10, even 15 teaspoons of sugar?  Would you sit there and eat 15 sugar packets in one sitting.  I hope not, so why are we doing it in our food?

I encourage all of you to channel your elementary school days in D.A.R.E. class and turn the cold shoulder to sugar!

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The Difference Between Primary and Secondary Foods

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The Difference Between Primary and Secondary Foods

When we talk about foods we typically think of the actual food on our plate; what we consume to nourish and fuel our bodies. 

As a certified health coach, we take a holistic approach to health.  In addition to examining traditional aspects of nutrition and fitness, we also consider “outside factors” that equally influence our health and wellness.   

Primary Foods consist of these “outside factors” that satiate our hunger for life as opposed to hunger for food.  Examples of primary foods include healthy relationships, fulfilling careers, and regular physical activity.  Sometimes we are fed not by food, but by the energy in our lives.        

The Institute of Integrative Nutrition teaches, “When primary food is balanced and satiated, your life feeds you, making what you actually eat secondary” hence the distinction between primary and secondary foods.

Therefore balanced nutrition not only involves the physical food on your plate but also the emotional.  If you’re not healthy, or something is feeling “off,” consider both primary and secondary foods.

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Portionology

At the core of every diet is the recommendation of adding portion control into your daily routine.  I’m not a fan of “diets” but I do believe that proper portion control can have a positive impact on your ability to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  While portion control and awareness is the easiest way to lose weight, it is also one of the hardest practices to implement.  Here are 8 tips to better portion control:

  1. Know Your Triggers- There are certain things that set us off.  They may not be the same things for everyone but that’s why identifying your own triggers can help you plan ahead and avoid overeating.  For me, I’m the family “baker.”  Every holiday, I found myself surrounded by (and tasting) cookie dough, cake batter, pies, you name it.  Knowing that this is one of my triggers does not mean I have to stop baking.  Instead, I now keep a glass of water nearby.  Rather than reaching for spoonfuls, or fistfuls (if I’m being realistic), of cookie dough, I now taste only for quality control and then drink water
  2. Chew- When I say chew, I don’t mean just enough to swallow.  I mean, really chew enough to break down your food.  Chew, and then chew some more.  This aids in digestion, slows down your meal, and helps you realize sooner that you’re full.  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that people that chew more, consumed about 12% fewer calories and had lower levels of ghrelin, the so-called hunger hormone produced in the stomach
  3. Crowd Out- A common misconception is that portion control means tiny portions of everything.  Quite the contrary!  Add volume without the calories by eating more vegetables and leafy greens.  You will fill up on the “good stuff” and eat less sugary or fattening foods.
  4. Drink Water- Drink a glass of water before eating and continue to drink throughout the meal.  Try alternating bites with sips.  Not only can eating while dehydrated make it harder to digest food, but you may also feel hungrier.
  5. Plate Your Food- Sounds fancy, I know.  Before you start studying the Food Network, I’m only recommending that you serve food on your plate rather than eating family style.  This way, you’re less likely to keep picking at food left out on the table, long after you’re full.
  6. Know the Serving Size- A fellow friend and health coach recently introduced me to these portion controlled Tupperware containers.  This is a perfect way to learn the proper portions of various food groups.  If you don’t want to buy these, no problem.  Use smaller plates and ramekins (instead of cereal bowls), for fruit, desserts, etc.  You can also make your own single serving snack packs.  When you bring bulk food home, portion it out into small Ziploc bags, maintaining freshness and guaranteeing you eat the proper portion.
  7. Set the Scene- Sit down and avoid distractions when you’re eating.  This goes for meals and snacks!  Try not to eat while scrolling through your Instagram feed or working on your computer.  Focus on your food and you will enjoy it more and avoid consuming excess calories by eating mindlessly.
  8. Know When to Stop- Instead of eating until you’re full, eat until you’re satisfied.  There’s a difference!  If after 20 minutes (the tame it takes to digest your food) you’re still hungry, guess what?  You can always have more!  More often than not, you will have eaten the perfect amount and cut down on calories.

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Counting Calories

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Counting Calories

I recently saw a feature on the Today Show about Calorie Counting.  With the availability and accessibility of apps like My Fitness Pal and Lose It! calorie counting is becoming an increasingly popular way to lose weight.

I’m just going to come out and say it, I HATE calorie counting.  I know it works for some people, and that’s great.  If you’ve lost weight by calorie counting than keep up the good work!  Especially in the field of fitness and nutrition, it’s so important to acknowledge that what works for one person may not work for another person, and that’s ok!  

My issue with calorie counting, in addition to it feeling very tedious to me, is that it can easily give people the wrong impression about food and the calories they're consuming.  Simply put, all calories are NOT created equal.  Your body responds differently to different foods.

Equal calorie consumption of cookies or kale will not have equal results.  Just looking at quantity alone, you get way more bang for your buck with the kale.  One small chocolate chip cookie is 132 calories.  Not terrible, but 132 calories of kale is 4 cups.  That’s a lot of kale.  I don’t think I’ve ever eaten 4 full cups of kale in one sitting and I LOVE kale.

Additionally, refined carbohydrates, like those found in cookies, will cause your blood sugar level to spike, signaling your body that it needs to store fat cells.  Kale, however, is quite the contrary.  It is full of fiber and as such aids in digestion.  Kale is filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium.  Per calorie, kale even has more iron than meat and more calcium than milk.  Cookies?  Not so much.

Don't get me wrong; I’m not saying that if you’re craving a cookie, kale will suffice.  That’s a joke right?  But instead of painstakingly tracking every calorie, I recommend focusing on GOOD calories and portion size. 

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