On the rebound?

August 20th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , ,

I was poking around the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) website recently reviewing some study findings about the successful losers and well those who aren’t necessarily in that category.

One of the studies was about a topic most of us hate to hear about and that’s weight rebound after losing… ug. Researcher McGuire and company looked at weight, behaviour and psychological information of study subjects from the NWCR. Risk factors for weight regain included a more recent weight loss, larger losses, higher levels of depression, dietary disinhibition (a tendency to overeat in the presence of palatable food or when stressed) and binge eating.

I got to thinking about all of this more deeply, hmmmmm. Embarking on a weight loss regimen is a grand commitment and should never be taken lightly. In our personal hierarchy of needs we should not try to add insult to injury thinking that “when I’m slim my problems will melt away with the pounds”, in fact you can create more stress if you’re not ready. Challenges happen to all of us no matter our jean size.

What stands out for me on this is the importance of facing eating and stress issues, binge eating and depression from the outset. Those factors are surely the elephant in the room, not food or your weight. I reveal my own journey details in my e-book Skinny on Slim that you might just relate with.

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Twitter Tattler – Sweet Goodness Give Me Fruit!

August 18th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

I was doing my daily scanning of the Twittersphere recently and read a tweet from a woman’s magazine about sugar and fruit, good grief. My eyeballs get frosted when this sort of negative messaging about amazing food gets airtime. What gives?

The author discussed high and low sugar levels in various fruits and even dared to mention some having as much sugar as a candy bar. Ya I know that sugar is the new villain on the block these days, but the last thing we want is for people to cut down on fruit because of it when it possesses so much goodness.

We all know that added sugar is in a variety of packaged foods and drinks and having too much of the white stuff isn’t a good thing. That’s what we need to cut back on, NOT fruit.

Before setting out to write this segment I took a snack break and washed a bowl of cherries, ahhh. How I love cherries in season. The first sighting of them in the grocery store makes my heart skip a beat with glee. That article noted 4 fruits with higher sugar content – cherries, figs, mangos and grapes. First of all folks I never judge any one food using 1 parameter, such as calories or sugar unless that’s all it contains. Mother Nature’s candy IS fruit and each type does contain natural sugar but so much more goodness in its natural form it’s ridiculous.

Cherubic Cherries – Take cherries for example they’re a good source of vitamin C and fibre and have shown they can alleviate inflammation. I love how these are eaten, one juicy morsel at a time around the seed, one by one. They can’t be gobbled down mindlessly or you could crack a tooth if you’re not careful.

Fabulous Figs - Then there are figs. I have fond memories of my Dad nurturing a fig tree in our yard growing up. These provide a good source of fibre plus iron, calcium and potassium plus polyphenols. I love enjoying figs on an antipasto platter or for dessert.

Magnificent Mangos – These are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A which can promote healthy skin plus benefit immune function. I enjoy sweet succulent mango in one of the lunch salads I have most days.

No Griping About Grapes – Lastly the grape is an excellent source of vitamin C, K and manganese with polyphenols. They’er a perfect snack – so portable, so tasty perking up your taste buds naturally.

I would never in a million years steer clear of these four fabulous fruits or any other for that matter. And neither should you. I don’t see any nutritional benefit from candy bars which were compared to some of these foods from the gods. Fruit helps fill you, taste delectable and are inherently lower in calories than other foods. They serve as an excellent snack and are my first line of defence for my hunger strategy offence. Enjoy all fruit each and every day.

I add mixed berries to my morning oatmeal, enjoy a banana mid morning, plus a seasonal fruit during late afternoon’s “witches hour” that tides me over to dinner time. I add fruit to salad to punch up the flavour.

Choose Mother Nature’s candy – fruit throughout your day. I discuss a Fab Four Food Changes to make in my ebook, Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books. Check it out.

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Shrinking Spirits

August 15th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

Wine
May be divine
In the good ole summertime

Port
May give support
After dinner on your porch

Beer
May make you cheer
While sitting out by the pier

Alcohol
Awareness overhaul
Before it overcomes us all

Consideration
For moderation
Food for thought & contemplation

Take a sip
Between your lips
Just cut back a little bit

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Summertime Scoop – Feeling Sandwiched?

August 13th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

Feeling sandwiched at lunch? Want to branch out from ordering one daily? Here are some ideas to tantalize your taste buds, help you change it up and fill you up but not let you down by overdoing it! Each of these ideas includes food from at least 3 food groups with a extra dose of veggies that adds taste and crunch, plus helps fill you up to catapult you into your afternoon feeling energized!

These choices help steer you away from deep fried choices, mayo galore and salty/sugary sauces and dressing.

You may have a hankering for a snack in the afternoon, so reach for some fresh fruit as your first line of snacking defence. Check these out:

Go East, FAR East – Try Japanese chicken or beef teriyaki that gets made when you order it asking them to limit the soya sauce over plain rice. This custom lunch choice provides protein a few servings of veggies with grains. Great to enjoy over 2 workdays!

Don’t be a Geek & Try Greek – Try hummus and pita with a side Greek salad sprinkled with feta cheese.

Bella Italia – Choose a single pizza slice topped with veggies and single cheese with a mixed green salad on the side or minestrone soup containing beans and pasta in the broth.

Say Ole to Mexican – Check out the burrito. If the serving size is 12” cut it in half and save the other half for tomorrow or split it with a friend.

Belly Up to the Bar… The Salad Bar – On a bed of greens ensure a quarter of your plate is filled with protein choices, such as chic peas, kidney beans, lentils, nuts & seeds and hard-boiled egg. Not a lover of a bed of greens? Choose other veggies either fresh or vinaigrette choosing a rainbow of colours (tomato wedges, cucumber slices, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, coleslaw, 3 bean salad, Greek salad, carrot slaw). Add grain salads like quinoa or wheat berry to the other quarter of the plate. Use olive oil and balsamic to punch up the flavor. This combination fills you up and sustains you for the afternoon. If you don’t balance your plate out with enough protein and whole grains you’ll be hungry in an hour.

You Still Looking for a Man-wich wanting a sub? - Choose a 6” sub instead of the foot-long with veggies and cheese topped with a wide array of veggies.

While you’re at it, review Chapter 9 “Facing Routine Curveballs and Challenges”, and “Work Life” (eating) Balance for more ideas about lunch at work in my e-book, Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books.

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Who’s Retiring Anyways?

August 11th, 2014 2 Comments Tags: , , , ,

Someone I know is conspiring
That they might consider retiring
Has worked a long time
Many achievements have shined
Inspiring many behind him

He believes that anything’s possible
Stays the course, and is always unstoppable
Has made a huge mark
Is a remarkable spark
To all that are all around him

Has a way to make you get better
His approach is always unfettered
Helps you rise to new heights
Using all of your might
Never taking the credit because of him

Has learned to have his priorities straight
Which for me is absolutely great
Work/life balance is fine
Our life together is so divine
Special times just being with him

This person I know can’t retire!
Just shift gears of his inner bonfire
Not able to slow down
Always runs fully wound
Boundless energy with more ahead of him

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Mulling Over Menus…. Let’s Do a “Better Choices” Makeover

August 8th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

Eating outside of the home has become a more popular pastime for many. The latest research tells us we eat more when eating out. However, who doesn’t love to eat out, have a fab chef whip up my food while a hospitable waiter tops up my wine glass? No on, that’s who! I find in the summer dining out, especially at an open air restaurant is just what the summer season ordered. There’s nothing finer than sipping an icy chilled glass of pinot blanc at an outdoor cafe on a wonderful summer eve, wearing strappy sandals and a cool flowy dress….. ahhhhhh

Let’s do the Surf & Turf - Let’s face it folks, as eating out becomes more and more a part of our routine, we can no longer use the excuse “…oh my, this is an occasional treat…” now can we? If your summer wardrobe has shifted into MuMu wear because of the whining after all of the dining, we need to take stock, now. I’m not being a Debbie downer saying stay home and nosh on cottage cheese on your deck. I AM suggesting you take stock of my “awareness is bliss” strategies from my ebook Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books advice and do some number surfing and choice turfing to sub in better choices. Sound good?

I did some number surfing, as an example using popular menu items from The Keg. Here are some of my findings:

Starters
Garlic Cheese Bread – 1193 calories, 79 g fat
Calimari – 466 calories, 17 g fat
Spinach Salad – 428 calories

Main Course
Sirloin Oscar – 899 calories, 66 g fat
Garlic mashed potatoes – 379 calories, 23 g fat

Dessert
Brownie Sundae – 1105 calories, 51 g fat
Chocolate cake – 889 calories, 50 g fat

Dinner Do-Over – Making Better Choices – Easy As 1, 2, 3

So let’s rewind this tape folks. If you indeed go out to eat more regularly AND want to remain in summertime shape, making better choices isn’t all that hard. Listen up:
1) For starters, have a little snack before you go out to take the edge off of your appetite. When you do that you won’t eat like a buzz saw when you sit down.
2) Next, wear something you feel fabulous in and focus on the fun time out. You’re not in contention for winning the pie eating contest at the county fare – so get chatty and enjoy the overall experience.
3) Start sipping bubbly…. mineral water, that is. You want to get hydrated AND have your wits about you as you deal with a waiter full of delectable “up sell” ideas and social saboteurs, so if you start into the alcohol too soon you will throw all caution to the wind before you put the napkin on your lap. Don’t do it to yourself! If you plan to order alcohol limit yourself to 2 glasses max.
4) Eat slowly and enjoy your food. Plan to take some home. You KNOW those serving sizes are enough for 2 meals so focus on having half right at the beginning, then you’ll bring home the rest to savour tomorrow. Double the pleasure!

Starters
Table Bread (1/4 loaf) – 140 calories
Mixed Greens Salad – 132 calories Or salad noted above and ask for the dressing on the side and make it half dressed (ooo-la-la!!)

Main Course
8 oz Steak – 321 calories, 14 g fat
Baked potato 385 calories, 10 g fat (ask for the fix ins on the side and proceed with caution)
Mixed Veg 132 calories

Dessert
Mint tea, finish the mineral water

Just a few more pointers:
5) I usually don’t have any bread as I figure why waste calories on this sort of thing. If it’s super amazing I’ll enjoy a piece with soup or salad, but will have 1 slice.
6) When my main meal comes I’ll cut my entree and potato in half as I make a conscious decision to take half home. As the wine flows I may finish it all unwittingly so doing this is my way of making up my mind first.
7) As dinner time lingers so does my feeling of fullness. I hate that “stuffed like a sausage feeling” especially when I’m all dressed up so decide to stop despite how amazing the waiter makes the desserts sound. I can have it, some other time. I use my “just for today” strategy, that I will forgo dessert today, but can enjoy it another time.

If you find yourself eating out more often because of the season, or because of business travel or you’re just a socialista, do some menu mulling and meandering to help you make better choices. Remember a lot of these are loaded with sodium so beware of that nutritional nugget too. Aim to get your full activity level up when you do eat out more often. Keep in mind, if you walk a 3 mile an hour saunter it’ll be a 3 hour, 9 mile walk to work off the calories of that piece of chocolate cake alone!

Learn to trade off by surfing and turfing and enjoy the entire dining experience, not only the eating part. Sound good?

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Change Your Tone!

August 6th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

As I turn another page on the calendar, so are ideas about how to further energize and tweak my activity routine. Time to take it up a notch to help me change my tone! How are your activity plans shaping up to shape you better this summer?

A few years back I found a vast difference in my core strength by simply adding a few new moves into my matt routine by incorporating lunges and squats. This season I’m adding in a string of burpees. I have been mulling over adding these for some time now as I have read about the benefits of doing these. I hit the start button on this in June, working 10 in each workout and I live to tell about it.

Truth be told I love to love the moves of my routine, but I’m getting acid reflux with this addition…. What I am loving is the results after just a few months of working these in….  It doesn’t take much time yet has myriad benefits for my aging body.

I wrote about making a 16 minute investment every 2nd day into your hourglass in my e-book Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books. Working on your muscles and tone as your personal protein preservation project.

While you’re sprucing up your repertoire consider trying something new moves such as lunges, squats and/or burpees to tone by. You’ll be glad you did!

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Thoughts to Move You

August 4th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

Climb a mountain
Walk a trail
Jump a rope
Hoist a bale

Walk a block
Ride a bike
Dance to music
Take a hike

Fly a kite
Hit a ball
Whatever you do
Just don’t stall!

Get outside
Enjoy the weather
Play some golf
From the heather

Take a swim
Have a splash
Saunter along
Or run a dash

Move your body
Do all you can
Either spontaneously
Or make a plan

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POP Goes the Weasel….What are you pouring down your gullet?

August 1st, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

So a study came out a little while ago touting soda pop’s help with weight loss. Guess who sponsored the research? Those who follow me have heard me recommend eating your calories rather than drinking your calories, as explained in Skinny On Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books. True! I made that transition in my journey decades ago from regular pop to diet. In time I thought about what I was pouring down my gullet more deeply, hmmmm. Now I keep it simple and sip on water all day. But that’s just me…

Let’s take one step back on food and drink and remind ourselves that there is more to our food than simply the calories. Food contains macronutrients – protein, fat and carbohydrate and a myriad of micronutrients from Vitamin A through zinc all needed to help our “body as temple” function optimally.

Notice I used the word “food”. Brown bubbly fluid chocked full of sweetener and caffeine concocted by a chemist to tailor a bliss point just right to tantalize your tastebuds made in a great big vat in a factory isn’t food. Not to mention the addictive qualities of this. For some being hooked on it may make it doubly difficult to kick the habit when you feel your body crave for something so unnatural. Get hooked on phonics, or love perhaps!

So folks treat your body as a temple the way it was meant to be treated. Be mindful of every sip, nibble and nosh that goes into your pie hole. It all ends up in each and every cell of your being in no time…

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Lunchtime Wisdom at Work

July 30th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve been thinking about how to approach lunchtime at work recently, hmmmmm. When you want get the most out of your workday, choosing what you nosh on at noon can help you sail through the afternoon if you’re strategic about it. Here are some words of wisdom to approach this daily meal:

Just Right – You want to satisfy your hunger, but not overeat which’ll make you sluggish for the balance of the afternoon.

Just in Time – Ideally, have lunch a few hours after breakfast, when you’re hungry but not ravenous. Raging hunger can result in ordering and eating more than you actually need.

Slow as you Go – Up your enjoyment quotient of your meal and slow down your eating pace. Aim to eat away from your desk and workstation.  Try not to eat while you’re working so you can relax.

Balancing Act – Your food will be absorbed more slowing and you’ll feel more satisfied longer when you choose a mixed meal containing protein, some fat with complex crab’s.

Fill-er-UP – Including high fiber choices will also help fill you up so choose whole grain bread, beans/peas/lentils, fresh fruit and veggies, nuts/seeds. Protein foods also helps you feel satisfied when you eat.

Keep it Real – Choose real food in place of those meal replacement bars and drinks whenever possible which will infuse some joy into your day instead of fueling up artificially.

Find a Friend or Split & Save – Find a friend at work to share lunch with if you’re choosing a larger than usual portion OR split what you order in half and refrigerate it to enjoy tomorrow.

Wash it Down – Enjoy your lunch with Mother Nature’s elixir – water. Whether it’s straight, or frizante (mineral water), or boiled (to make tea/coffee) why not keep it simple? Aim to have water at your desk to keep you hydrated for the whole day, to avoid a slump like a wilted flower.

Take it Outside – Get your circulation moving and get out for a walk. This will help clear out cobwebs, sort your thoughts and ideas and energize you.

Fuelling up at lunch with a stealthy approach can keep you blazing through the day to be as effective as you can possibly be. Enjoy!

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