Friday, April 29, 2011

The No-Yo Diet

*my article for my column in the local paper from this week

Going into Alco and seeing lawn furniture, swimsuits, and flip-flops is very discombobulating. First, I’m unaware of a beach nearby. Second, it’s snowing outside as I write this. And third, I still let the car warm up for 15 minutes in the morning.

Despite the fact that buying a swimsuit and starting a diet to fit into that swimsuit is like a bear coming out of hibernation too early, many of us are doing it. Or maybe it’s not the swimsuit that has you thinking about shedding the winter weight. Perhaps it’s the fact that you’d like to be able to walk farther than a mile so you can do more than fish the “tourist fishing-holes”.

January is often touted as the “diet-crazed” month, but my guess is that April and May are in close competition. If I ever write a diet book (I never will, I don’t believe in diets, but go along with me anyway) I want it released at the end of April. I know I’d cash in!

If you’re one of those people who is searching for quick pre-summer weight loss, this article is for you. There are SO many diets out there. Which one should you choose? Is it better it subsist on steaks and protein shakes or eat only salads? Could you survive on only four meal replacement bars a day? What will make you drop the weight faster; no sugar or no fat? There are way too many choices, and each one claims to be the best.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

care FOR, not just ABOUT

COMPLETE HEALTH = caring FOR yourself, not just caring ABOUT yourself

There is a difference between caring FOR yourself and caring ABOUT yourself. Just caring ABOUT yourself usually leads to self-indulgence & instant gratification. In the long run it becomes the direct opposite of TRUE care. On the flip side, when you care FOR yourself, you recognize your value and treat yourself with respect. Things that have value are cared for, protected and prized. That what you need to do with yourself. That means food is not a reward or a friend, food is nutrition - a way to CARE for your body. It also means that exercise is not a duty or a punishment, instead it is CARE FOR your body.
So often the world around us tells us that self-care = self indulgence. But if that self-indulgence is destructive than it is not longer self=care. So when making healthy eating choices feels difficult remind yourself that by putting good food into your body you are caring for yourself. When working out sounds miserable and all you want to do is hit snooze and go back to sleep, remind yourself that you are caring for you physical health by getting up and getting moving.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Toast Topping Ideas

A good piece of bread calls for a great topping.  Here are few favorites.  I use gluten free bread but feel free to use any other kind of bread.  If you use light bread (50 calories or less per slice) subtract 40 calories from each recipe except the "Banana Almond Butter Sandwich - subtract 80 calories for that one. 

Peanut Butter Berry Toast:

1/2 cup berries

1 pkg. Truvia

1 slice gluten free bread

1 Tables spoon Peanut Butter

Pinch of Nutmeg

* Mash berries with a fork, and sprinkle with Truvia. Toast bread. Spread with Peanut Butter, top with crushed berries and sprinkle with nutmeg

* 225 calories

Apple Almond Butter Toast

½ c sliced apple

1 slice gluten free bread

1 Tablespoon Almond Butter

1 pkg. Truvia

Dash of cinnamon

* Toast bread, spread with Almond butter, top with apple slices, sprinkle top with Truvia and cinnamon

* 205 calories

Banana Almond Butter Breakfast Sandwich

½ banana sliced

¼ c Nonfat Greek Yogurt

1 T Almond Butter

2 pkgs. Truvia

2 slices gluten free bread

*Stir yogurt, Almond Butter, Banana Slices and Truvia together in a small bowl. Toast Bread. Spread one slice with yogurt mixture, top with 2nd slice of bread. Cut in ½ and EAT!

* 360 calories

No more Oatmeal, Spring calls for Smoothies & Parfaits

So it's actually not very "spring-like" but I'm gonna fake it and eat spring food anyhow.  Here are a few great smoothie recipes!

Blueberry Smoothie

1 c frozen blueberries

1 c Soy or Almond Milk

2 pkgs Truvia or Splenda

Pinch of nutmeg

* blend all ingredients together

* 150 calories

Chocolate Pear Smoothie

1 small pear, peeled and sliced

¼ c oats (instant or regular)

1 c Soy or Almond Milk

1 T Chocolate Chips

3 pkgs. Truvia or Splenda

¼ tsp ginger

* blend all ingredients together

* 295 calories

Banana Cottage Cheese Parfait

1 Banana, sliced

½ c fat free cottage cheese

¼ tsp cinnamon

2 pkgs, Truvia or Splenda

1/3 c Cinnamon Chex (slightly crushed)

* Stir the cinnamon and sweetener into the cottage cheese. Layer ingredients in a dish, alternating with the banana, cottage cheese and Chex.

* 220 calories

Grape Parfait

1 c grapes, sliced in ½

½ c Total, Bran Flakes, or Special K

1 container Honey or Vanilla Flavored Greek Yogurt

1 T Sliced Almonds

* Layer ingredients in a dish, alternating with the grapes, cereal and yogurt, top with almonds.

* 264 calories

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Change is never comfortable - NEVER!  So, thinking that changing your any aspect of your lifestyle (diet, activity level, routine, activities etc) is going to be one pleasant ride, is not realistic.  However, once a change has been implemented it can become COMFORTABLE!  It takes time though.

Because of the lack of comfort involved in changing your habits, it's easy to say, "I can't" when it comes to making that change.  It's easier to say I can't give up or change  _      _(you fill in the blank)_      _ than to actually go through the process of change in order to give up or change that thing. 

That being said: proves that, "I can't" isn't the real problem.  Instead, "I don't want to" is the real reason behind a lack of change. 

This week I challenge you to evaluate anything you've said, "I can't" to.  Ask yourself, is "I can't" really the truth or is it really, "I don't want to"?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Looking for Laughter

I typically detest things that are cliché, so I’m actually appalled at what I am about to write, but here it goes… Laughter is the best medicine. Gasp… Wheeze… Let my catch my breath. Ok, I’m good! Yes, it’s cliché, but oh so true. Laughter is amazing medicine. Here are just a few of the benefits of a good hearty laugh. Laughter reduces pain and allows us to tolerate discomfort. Laughter offsets the negative effects of stress. Laughter relaxes the whole body. Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being. And finally, laughter protects the heart.

With that in mind two things inspired me to focus on the laughter aspect of exercise this week. First, I ran a race this weekend (p.s. I finished!), and the man standing next to me at the starting line was wearing plaid dress shorts. I talked to him some, and he was a seasoned runner. Therefore, I can only assume that he finds dress shorts comfortable, and that the pleats in the front of the shorts don’t cause chaffing or waist-drifting (that’s when your shorts drift up your waist until it is impossible for them to go any farther). Anyhow, his attire made me chuckle.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Self-Absorption vs. Introspection

If you are on a journey to lose weight or become healthier or more fit; at some point you may have had a little voice in your head that told you that you were or are being selfish and self-absorbed to spend this sort of time and effort on yourself.

I want to tell you now that YOU ARE NOT BEING SELFISH OR SELF-ABSORBED. What you are doing is self-care and introspection, meaning you are taking the time to care for yourself and exam the areas in life you need to improve in. Self-absorption leads to a false reality, introspection and self-care leads to insight, truth and ultimately change.
We all have times in our lives when we must concentrate on ourselves in order to survive.

So, feel good about the times that you take the time to care for yourself, whether that be exercise, rest, good-eating, quietness, etc.

You are taking the time to improve yourself so that in turn you can be of greater benefit to those around you.