Does getting invited to a holiday party put you into a cold sweat after all the hard work you have done to lose weight?
It doesn’t have to be that way!
The big focus of any party or gathering is getting to spend time with friends or families but there is no reason why you can’t enjoy the food. Take the time to scan the offerings and decide what you truly want to enjoy. Maybe it’s Grandma’s apple pie or a piece of your friend’s fudge. Whatever it may be, remember the “Three Bite Rule.”
Why 3 bites?
The first bite is going to be as enjoyable as you think it is going to be.
The second bite is still wonderful but not as wonderful as the first bite.
By the third bite, you have enjoyed the food as much as you are going to.
It is time to set it aside and hit the dance floor or visit with a friend.
Don’t be afraid of this time of year! Get out and enjoy yourself and please share with the community how you enjoy the holidays.
As I teach a group of ladies the benefits of eating unprocessed foods and how it reduces the aches and pains, headaches, fatigue, stabilizes their blood sugar and improves their moods and anxiety, we talk a lot about the benefits of plant foods. Eventually someone in the group decides that they would like to eat a more vegetarian diet and the question comes up, “Where will I get my protein from?”
Just one excellent source of plant protein can be found in beans. Beans are packed with tons of fiber, as well as plenty of iron and protein. They are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. They are low in calories.
Plus, studies have found them to lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
There are several different types and varieties of beans. Creamy cannellinis, meaty garbanzos, sweet adzuki, tender pintos, and so many more—beans are one of the most powerful, nutrient-dense plant foods around.
What To Do With Beans
“If I eat less and work out more, I’ll lose weight.”
I used to believe that too. And then I realized that it was not working for me. I looked around the gym that I was at more often than I was home and realized that that was not working for a lot of people. And then, I learned the truth.Contrary to popular belief, calories in does NOT equal calories out.
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you just can’t exercise that donut away.
Many of us recognize that sugar in our diets comes from sweets – candy, cookies, cakes, and ice cream. What we do not realize is that it also comes from things made with wheat flour. These are things many of us consume every day without thinking twice about it. Things like bread, pasta, croissants, and muffins. Many of us use sugar to jumpstart our day by consuming a muffin, toast, or croissant and pairing it with a sugar-filled coffee drink.
So many of us joke about our sugar addiction but it is not a laughing matter. Sugar addiction is a very real thing and detrimental to our physical and emotional health. It is reported that it is the most common addiction in present day history. More common than marijuana and coffee. According to the American Health Association, the average adult consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar per day and, even more shocking, the average child consumes 32 teaspoons of sugar per day. That converts to more than 135 pounds of sugar per year per person!
What Makes Sugar Addictive:
- Even though we want to stop consuming it, we have a compulsive need to do so.
- Sugar, like other addictive drugs, requires more and more of the same substance to cause the same feelings.
- It affects neurotransmitters in the brain in the same way that street drugs such as cocaine.
- If the substance is removed, the person has withdrawal symptoms. In the case of sugar, those symptoms may be headache, nausea, insomnia, moodiness, nervousness, anxiety, as well as other symptoms.
When my son, Joshua, was 8 years old we discovered that he was lactose intolerant. As it turns out, he had been lactose intolerant probably since birth but we didn’t recognize the signs. He had chronic ear infections as an infant and toddler that led to prescription on top of prescription of antibiotics that destroyed his gut flora which led to more food intolerances. (More on that later.) He had trouble sleeping through the night as a toddler and wouldn’t settle down until he had a glass of milk. He alternated between being constipated and having diarrhea. When he was in elementary school, he would come home from school and drink two and sometimes even three glasses of milk. Joshua and I later learned that our bodies frequently crave the things that are not necessarily healthy for us to consume. It was severe nightly stomach cramps that finally made us realize that there was something truly wrong. After a year and a half of visits to a pediatric gastroenterologist that we discovered through the guidance of a health coach that Joshua, and I, were lactose intolerant.
It was many years later that I learned that over 2/3rd of the general population is lactose intolerant and many of those people are unaware of it. Dairy products may make them lethargic and sleep, bloated, give them gas, cause aches and pains, give them headaches or migraines and cause other symptoms. Lactose intolerance can also cause moodiness and difficulty concentrating.
Joshua also discovered, through trial and error, that school lunches are not an option to someone who has a gluten or dairy allergy or sensitivity.
“Cleansing” and “detoxing” are hot right now. Unfortunately, many people that are going that route are looking for a quick fix to lose a few pounds and are not exploring a detox as a way to change the way they eat and their health. When done properly, cleansing or detoxing acts as an elimination diet and is the gold standard to learn what foods do not work for your individual body. However, our bodies are detoxing every day. It is the kidney, liver, colon, lungs and even skin’s job to remove toxins from our bodies. When our systems are working optimally, waste is eliminated from our bodies and not stored as fat or causing us problems such as fatigue, headaches, foggy brain, achy joints, autoimmune disease or mood disorders. Try implementing one of these ideas at a time and building up to doing all of them to get lasting changes.
Start every day with a glass of water with a ½ lemon squeezed into it. Even though lemon is acidic, the body digests it into an alkaline ash. Our bodies function more effectively in an alkaline state and this is a great way to start hydrating right away and get the digestive juices flowing.
Get Plenty of Rest
Turn off the t.v. (or any other screens) at least one hour before bed and do not read anything that might cause you stress. This is your time to unwind and prepare for sleep. Go for a walk. Practice some light yoga. Meditate. Give your worries over to a journal. Take a warm bath with Epsom salts. Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate and when you soak in an Epsom salt bath you absorb magnesium through your skin. Magnesium is a common deficiency. It leads to restless leg syndrome, muscle pain, fatigue, headaches, heart palpitations and constipation.
Practice going to bed at such a time that you can get a solid 7-8 hours of sleep. Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body and true healing doesn’t start until you’ve been asleep for about 5 hours, so it’s important to prioritize it.
Eat Whole Foods
Eat whole, real foods provided by nature. Food manufacturers create foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt and low in nutrients. Then our bodies have to work to remove those toxins but we are not giving our bodies the tools it needs to do that. Stick to foods high in nutrients. Especially important are the green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables which provide the liver with the nutrients it needs to do it’s job.
Breathe! Such a simple thing yet one that a good friend reminds me to do on a regular basis. Why? Focusing on breathing resets our stress hormones. When our stress hormones are activated everything slows down – our digestive system stops working effectively, our elimination system slows down and is not efficient, and our bodies are given a signal to store food as energy which equals an increase in our fat cells, i.e. weight. By doing this simple breathing exercise, we reset our cortisol and get our bodies working again Breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 8, and release for 7. Repeat 4-6 times at least twice a day.
Move Your Body
Notice I didn’t say “exercise.” Going to the gym and working up a sweat with a bunch of other people is not everyone’s idea of a good time and if you don’t love it, you won’t do it. Find ways to make use of your body every day. Use a basket at the grocery store instead of a cart. Take the stairs instead of an elevator Get off the bus a stop earlier than you need to. Play with your kids. Pay attention to opportunities to add movement into your days.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Thirst is often mistaken for hunger and people typically under consume water. There are many reasons to consume plenty of clean, pure, unadulterated water but for the sake of this topic, water is required to allow the toxins to leave our cells and be excreted in our urine and stool. If you are not taking in enough water, our body does not detoxify well. The results are headaches, muscle fatigue, constipation and other problems.
These are some very easy tips that are sustainable and help our bodies to detox every day – not just when we decide we need a strict diet.
Which tip are you going to implement first?
Do you need guidance and support to get started on detoxing daily? Sign up for my 28-Day Jumpstart to Weightloss starting September 4th under “Services.”
The average child consumes 32 teaspoons of sugar per day. That is the equivalent of 2/3 of a cup of sugar. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 3-8 teaspoon of sugar for a child per day. Just for comparison, the average adult consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar per day and the American Heart Association recommends no more than 9 teaspoons for men and 6 teaspoons for women.
Sugar is an addictive substance.