Category Archives: Food

Sweet Potato Cakes


This recipe is one of my favorite recipes to give to clients who are not big fans of eggs but are still trying to get protein into their diets in that form. Or anyone who loves using eggs for that matter.

I love this recipe because you can make it sweet by adding cinnamon or a sweetener of your choice or savory by adding garlic or cayenne pepper. The options are endless really.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 eggs
  • sweet (cinnamon and sugar) or savory (garlic, salt and pepper) seasonings

Directions:

  1. Peel potato
  2. Grate.
  3. Mix together with eggs.
  4. Choose seasonings
  5. Cook like pancakes.
  6. Enjoy!

 

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Where eating and exercise went wrong, part 1

When it comes to the conventional wisdom we have been provided with in the health and fitness world we have been misguided.

In this first post (of a a 3 part series) I am going to set the record straight on what matters when it comes to eating, where we have been steered wrong, and what we can do to get back on track.

We have been taught to fear food.

 

We avoid egg yolks red meat in fear that fat and high calories are the enemy.

We skimp on carbohydrates because they are “bad” and wonder why results don’t last.

We take out of the fat from our yogurt, label it fat free and add tons of sugar.

We replace sugar with artificial sugar and butter with margarine.

We fear potatoes and bananas as having too many carbs.

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You can have it all, but not in the amounts you want.

I fell into this trap years ago thinking that if I could just do more exercise and just eat less food that I would find success. I avoided butter at all costs. I turned to artificial sweeteners to give me my sweet fix. I thought carbs were bad. By the end of the day after my dreaded miserable 3-4 mile run I would eat everything in sight and go to bed and wake up in a state of guilt and shame.

There was no better option in my head to start the same way as I did the day before. Restriction was my golden ticket.

It did not make sense to wake up after a night of overeating and eat a moderate breakfast that make me feel happy and satisfied. I thought I didn’t deserve it. It didn’t make sense not to workout extra hard to try to burn off extra calories in fear of gaining weight.

After years of staying in this cycle I want to help others simply by helping break down where health and fitness went wrong.

Entire books are written on these topics but today I am sharing some perspective on where we went wrong with food. 

We turn to artificial sweeteners, fat free, and non fat.

This is the downfall of the diet world at its finest. Artificial sweetness can mess with our bodies and brains in a number of ways. They can trick us into feeling full, they can make us crave certain foods later on, and pretty much offer nothing nutritional for our bodies. Usually fat free and non fat take out the fat and add sugar.  Now check this out.

The book The Willpower Instinct address a subtle way that artificial sweeteners  contribute to overeating and weight gain. “The sweet taste tricks the body into taking up glucose from the bloodstream in anticipation of a blood sugar spike. You’re left with less energy and less self-control, while your body and brain wonder what happened tot the sugar rush they were promised. This may be why recent studies how that diet soda consumption is associated with weight gain, not weight loss.”

Aka: your diet soda and fat free food habit is not helping you.

We choose the wrong carbs in the wrong amounts at the wrong times.

We get caught up in removing all carbs, good and bad, because they get lumped together as sugar. Yes essentially veggies are a sugar when broken down to its simplest form as a bagel is broken down into sugar but the difference is that vegetables contain many nutrients for our body and often are higher in fiber and water. This has less of an impact on blood sugar levels. That’s a good thing.

But all of a sudden carbs are the enemy. It is not the carb itself, it is that we are choosing the wrong carbs in the wrong amounts. We fear healthy foods like potatoes and bananas, restrict carbs of all kinds and eventually end up indulging more than we want because our bodies are crying out for a little bit of love and attention.  I had a client avoid bread all day only to eat a pizza at night. Regardless of your thoughts on bread, doesn’t it make sense to eat a sandwich with two whole pieces of bread for lunch if that will help prevent you from overeating at night?

When it comes down to it, this is what you need to know about carbs.

Choose the right carbs (less processed varieties), in smaller amounts (the size of your hand when you make a fist), at the right times. Really there is no wrong time to choose a moderate portion of carbs, unless you know from your own experience that you do better rationing carbs at certain times. 

We fear fats and proteins.

I still hear people say that they are afraid that fat will make them fat and protein will make them bulky. The truth is too much fat will make you fat and too much protein combined with an intense 6 day body building split designed to maximize muscle growth with a surplus of calories may create more muscle on your body that some refer to as bulk.

Protein plays a huge role in helping with satiety. Helping us feel full. When the body processes protein it takes more energy than protein or fats. Plus when you eat more protein you need less carbs and fats.

As for fats simply start to choose healthier ones like eggs, meats, nuts, avocado and less of the ones found in prepared foods. Because of the high calorie content, yes you do want to limit them but not eliminate them.

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Before you resort to extremes simply try to be better.

We restrict foods.

Restriction is our go to method. That is what we have been taught especially when we overindulge. When we restrict food, we restrict nutrients. And when we restrict nutrients we restrict good nutrition for our bodies.

We don’t need to just eat less. We need to eat smarter. We need more good food and less junk food. Is there a place for pizza, cookies, and wine? Sure. But if you make those choices more often than not, in too high quantities you will gain fat, you will feel like you have less energy, and you will be offering your body less nutrients.

Learn to balance your caloric intake without going into starvation mode. And that starts with allowing a little more flexibility in your diet. When you decide to eat better, do just that. Don’t cut out foods that you know you will add back in some day. Find ways to stay satisfied so you are able to stick with your diet and not give in because you feel bored and deprived. Keep it fun, keep it yummy, and trust the process by exhibiting patience and persistence.

The thing is, what you do this week or month, whether that is overeat or not workout, shows up down the road. This can work for us or against us. Eat well and exercise and in months you will see results. Eating poorly and skip workouts and in months you will see those results as well.

It is tough to make change when results are invisible.  But if you want to make change you have to change something you do daily, even if the results are invisible at first.  Replace what you want now for what you want long term.

The death of labeling food good or bad

I am confident that the death of labeling food as good or bad is upon us and I simply want to help spread the word. It’s not really the classification of the food itself that bothers me it is the emotional impact associated with food labeling, especially with women.

Classifying foods like this never really helped us anyway. Good just doesn’t represent a healthier choice it represents a strong control and an inherent self worth of being good enough. 

Bad doesn’t just represent a lesser nutritional choice, it represents a lack of self control and a lack of worthiness. Sure there are foods that are more nutrient dense than others but bad doesn’t mean off limits and good doesn’t mean a free for all.

Personally I remember ten years ago when I picked up The Eat Clean Diet Cookbook and within weeks I had eliminated all “bad” foods. Things like bread, condiments, anything with an ounce of sodium, anything with added sugar, desserts, and focused on “good” foods like fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, brown rice, chicken, and ground turkey meat.

I didn’t even like the term cheat meals. Why was I going to intentionally eat “bad” food? On good days I was good and happy, on bad days I was sad and shameful.

Even with these rigid guidelines I could never find a middle ground. It was always on or off. Good or bad. I had months where I was able to adhere but any results I saw never felt worth it because it was always so stressful and consuming.

After years of focusing on moderation, mindfulness, and the mindset that goes with food labeling I now have a better understanding of why food labeling can push us towards poor food choices and away from better ones. Its completely fascinating and it begins like this.

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Fries, bacon, and chilli. So bad? Or just food?

Being good gives ourselves permission to be a little bit bad.

Or so willpower researcher Kelly McGonigal says in her book The Willpower Instinct. As humans, we like to moralize our choices. We like to feel like we are doing the right thing and making the right choices so we do our best to convince ourselves of that.

When we do something that we view as “good” like eat a healthy breakfast or choose not to skip our workouts we are actually more apt to make poorer choices or skip workouts at a later time because we let our good behavior let ourselves of the hook for  a later time.

It is almost like our good behavior cancels out our bad behavior and sometimes it’s not always something we are aware of.

There is a term in psychology called the halo effect in which we justify our choices, looking for any reason to give into temptation. In the dieting world researchers have even coined a term in relation to food, the health halo.

When we eat something “good” it subtly justifies an indulgence of something else.

Eating a salad makes it ok to eat dessert.

Adding vegetables on the side make pizza ok.

Eating appetizers only for dinner make unlimited alcohol not so bad.

Saying no to the bun makes it ok to have all the fries.

Good choices make the bad ones not so bad. However more often than not many of us would have been better off just ordering the cheeseburger instead of eating a salad and then eating all the appetizers, drinks and desserts that come along with it.

We lose common sense when we label foods as good or bad and look for any reason to give into temptation.

Moralizing choices can come in many different forms.

It can be viewed as what you could have done but didn’t.

I could have had 3 martinis but I only had two.

It can be justified in the fat free ice cream.

Well it is fat free so I can have more.

If can rewarding yourself with your workout.

I had a hard workout so I deserve a big meal.

Awareness is the first step of change.

This is a mental practice that begins in awareness. When I work with clients on changing habits I encourage them NOT to go crazy trying to change it at first because typically the harder someone pushes to change, the harder it will push back.  I have them start by noticing what they are doing when they are doing it and practice an internal dialogue. 

“Hey, I just worked out and I am crushing this meal because I feel like I deserved it. Interesting.”

Then practice shifting it to what the reality of the situation is. “I am not eating this meal because I have been good and I deserve it, I am eating it because it looks good and I am choosing too.”

The idea is with time and practice you will slowly started to notice that your food choices are not about you being good or bad, it is not about the food being good or bad, it is simply about what you are choosing to do.

Viewing it from this perspective takes away some of the power that food has over our emotional state and our need to give ourselves permission to give in. Eat a cookie because you want to, not because you deserve it.

In the end it is short sighted to operate in a state of thinking that we just need to be more strict and stick to virtuous foods that imply that we worthy of having it. Food is food. Some of it is way more nutritious than others but when we can stop thinking about it as some sort of moral licensing we can start to view food as what might be best for our health, goals, and state of mind. We can take our halos off and not give in to mind games that contribute to the food and eating struggle.

Mayo Free Egg Salad (what’s the secret ingredient?)

I am on a mission to help re work where eating and exercise went wrong. Because it did go wrong. We thought restriction with food and exercising all day to burn calories was the answer. It’s not.

I want to make it simple for you because it doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as we have made it out to be. So let’s start today with a simple recipe that includes lots of healthy fats. Eggs and avocado.

We don’t need to shun fats altogether, just replace them with healthier choices in moderate portions. If you want to remember anything about food remember that. Healthier choices in moderate portions.

Think less potato chips and nacho cheese and more eggs, avocados, fresh meats and fish, and dairy.

Ok onto this delicious avocado, egg salad recipe.

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Ingredients:

(single serving)

  •  2 hard boiled eggs (which I did the day before)
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • tsp lemon juice
  • tsp red wine vinegar
  • sprinkle of salt and chili flakes
  • tbsp of diced onions

Directions:

  1. Peel hard boiled eggs and mash all ingredients together.
  2. Top on toast.

 

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5 Meat Free Ways to Add Protein into Your Diet (& recipes)


I am totally guilty of recommending chicken, chicken and chicken to people as a way to get in more protein. It’s not wrong but I get that not every likes chicken or if you do, you probably get tired of it from time to time.

I am a meat eater but I go through this phase occasionally where I have what I call a chicken/meat aversion, where I can’t stand the thought of eating a bite. Then the next day I am back to my normal ways. With that in mind I decided to share with you 5  meat free foods you can eat to meet your protein needs.

But first lets break down protein.  Protein is made up of building blocks called amino acids which our responsible for everything from muscle repair to a strong immune system. They also help keep you full, stabilize blood sugar levels and manage cravings.

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Foods highest in protein are usually animal based and include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese. These are usually referred to as essential protein sources because they contain all 9 amino acids, which the body can be  obtained through diet only, not created on their own. Their macronutrient count is highest in protein.

Secondary protein sources include foods like beans, seeds, quinoa, and nuts. It is important to note that the macronutrient count is usually higher in fat or carbs and less in protein for these foods.  For example, while nuts do have some protein they are considered a fat. And while beans are also a good source of protein they are considered a carb.

The best way to meet your needs to get a mix of both sources. If you follow more of a plant based diet your best bet is to include protein from a variety of sources like beans, nuts, seeds and vegetables and less processed foods like cereals, which have less amino acids and little nutrient value.

How much protein?

The recommended amount of protein is controversial but generally is .08g per kg of body weight. For example an 150 lb person would require about 55 grams of protein, minimum. Precision Nutrition notes that this requirement is to prevent protein deficiency and that for those who are more active may require 1.0 to 2.0g per pound kg of body weight and that, “we need a small amount of protein to survive, but we need a lot more to thrive.”

Here are a few ways to get a solid amount of protein in your diet without eat meat or chicken. I also tracked down some delicious recipes for you.

Greek Yogurt (1 cup).

Mix with berries. Add into oatmeal. Eat plain or add a drizzle of honey. This is a convenient, easy post workout snack.

Check out one of my favorite, unconventional ways to use greek yogurt here.

Beans (1/2-1 cup).

Make vegetarian tacos, bean salads, or use as a side to your meal.

http://www.cookinglight.com/food/quick-healthy/no-cook-recipes/healthy-arugula-italian-tuna-white-bean-salad-recipes

http://www.cookinglight.com/food/top-rated-recipes/best-taco-recipes/black-bean-tacos-recipe

Quinoa (1/2-1 cup).

Cook and dice up veggies to add variety and flavor.

2 large eggs.

Scramble, make an omelet, or shred a sweet potato, mix with egg and cook like a pancake. 

2 egg whites (or 1/2 cup of liquid egg whites).

Add to oatmeal and cook, use in scrambles and omelets in addition to whole eggs.

http://adele-jones.com/2015/11/the-breakfast-i-eat-almost-every-single-morning/

Fish (3-4 ounces Tuna, Salmon, Halibut).

Bake in the oven, make salmon cakes (my recipes will be posted soon), add to salads.

http://steamykitchen.com/96-tropical-island-salmon.html

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-salmon-in-the-oven-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-204559

Veggies that contain higher protein.

Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, Spinach and Peas 5-10 grams per half cup. Roast Brussel Sprouts and broccoli in the oven. Add spinach to omelets, smoothies, or sauté in garlic and olive oil and add to rice and quinoa mixtures.

http://adele-jones.com/2015/11/candied-brussel-sprouts/

http://adele-jones.com/2015/11/festive-spinach-salad/

Additional Reading:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-protein

6 things I want every woman to know about health and fitness

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Let’s talk about you for a minute. Lets talk about your transformation. The one that takes you from not feeling like you are taking as good a care of your health as you could be, not feeling great in your own skin, and not living your best life to having the healthiest body you can and feeling strong, comfortable, happy, and confident in your own skin. Envision it. Feel it. Know it is possible. 

There is one big problem though. An umbrella of problems rather that come in the form of conventional wisdom and current advice encouraging women to shrink their bodies through low calorie, low fat, restrictive diets and excessive exercise.

The diet dogma, more is better, all or nothing, get smaller to be happier approaches, are the exact things that keep us struggling.

It seems that our brains like to think that just because exercise takes longer or is a diet is more restrictive it must be better for us, or better at getting results.

It sure kept me struggling for years. I thought that more exercise was better and stricter eating would get me the results I wanted. With much time, self trust, and a little bit of guidance I slowly started to cut back on exercise and loosen my rigid diet guidelines.

A funny thing happened when I started to cut back on exercise. I got a little bit happier first and then leaner second. I was happier in a sense that I wasn’t putting so much pressure on myself to workout, was able to relax around my food choices, slowly practicing more positive self talk and body acceptance.

I started focusing on exercise that helped me create a strong foundation with body and help support a healthy metabolism and eating foods I enjoy without deeming things as off limit.

How could I get leaner by doing less exercise and being less strict with my eating? It blew my mind and everything I always thought I knew about working out and eating.

So I started to mix up the conversation with myself and clients. Instead of turning to what I *should* do with eating and exercise I started to turn towards more mindset work behind why I do what I do and started to learn to create my own way of doing things.

With that in mind I put together a list of things that I hope women (and any one for that matter) will start to consider when it comes to a healthy and happy lifestyle.

More is not better when it comes to exercise and less is not better when it comes to food.

More time and burning more calories is what we have been taught when it comes to working out. Eat less calories and restrict more food is what we have been taught when it comes to eating.

That is simply not the case. Just because you spend a lot of time exercising or restricting food does not mean you will get better results. You may temporary get results and believe me I know that feels enticing, but the quicker it comes off the quicker it will go back on.

Sustainability and consistently trump any specific way of eating and exercise. In can be daunting to commit to the process for life rather than any type of 21-day, 30 day, 60 day program, but the more you get comfortable with the idea, the more you will be likely to implement it.

You don’t have to change everything all at once.

I want to discuss Pareto’s principal which I am sure you have heard of before as the 80/20 rule. I always hear it in this phrase. You wear 20% of your closet 80% of the time.

When applied to eating and exercise think about it this way. Eighty percent of your results come from 20% of your effort. In other words most of your results are coming from a series or set of large habits not all the nitty gritty details.  This is actually great news because it takes away the need to try to change everything all at once.

The 20% are what I refer to as the difference makers. The things that make a difference. Healthy meals, proper sleep, consistent exercise. Not whether or not berries are the best fruit choice or if squash has too many carbs.

Nutrition is different for everyone and diets are not the answer.

I know this is tough in the beginning because we want answers. We want to be told exactly what to do and have a plan laid out for us. It feels safe, it feels controlled, it feels like we are doing more and harder we try, the better results we will get.

The reality is these types of plans work against us. They keep us in a powerless cycle of never relying on our own body, thoughts, and desires and keep us fearing certain foods, fearing social events with excessive food and temptation and things that are not on plan. They keep us in a dependent state only supporting our belief that we can’t do it without a plan, diet, or quick fix cleanse. But we can.

If we can learn to trust our instincts, trust ourselves and learn how to make food and exercise work for us, not against us, we will realize that it doesn’t have to be so damn difficult, strict or tiresome. It can feels simple and easy with time.

Wanting to change is not enough. You have to put in the work.

In the beginning it feels tough and like everything is working against you. You put out a ton of effort and investment into change and it feels like your results are lagging behind. It feels unfair. It feels hard. It feels like it is not worth it.

It is tempting to want to give in at the first signs of struggle or self perceived failure. But through your struggle is where your success lies and there is no way around it. Change will come, you just have to stay with it, learn and move forward.

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Happiness is in the journey not just the outcome.

We like to think that once we reach our body goals that we will have a flood of happiness and confidence that we because we finally made it we can either stop putting out the effort or will find this great burst of happiness and satisfaction.

Happiness and joy is often found in the process. In overcoming challenges. In experimenting to see what works best for your body. In conquering new exercise and trying new recipes. In little accomplishments along the way.

Refrain from putting all your worth and happiness in that end goal and practice it now. Otherwise before you know it, everything will have passed you by and you will be left searching, new body or not.

Being able to do something long term is your golden ticket.

Not quick fixes, detoxes or cleanses. As much as you want them to work they just don’t plain and simple. You body is its own amazing detoxification system.

Creating your own process and your own unique rules in regards to exercise and eating is what matters if you want sustainable change.  The journey does not require an ounce of perfection. In fact it requires you to get comfortable with failure, set backs and discomfort and requires you to have the mindset to just keep going.

In the beginning it may take weeks, months or even years to find your formula but what is that amount of time if it is something you can do forever. Start to question the traditional rules and pay more attention to how you feel. Listen to your body. Like the way you live. Be in it for the long haul!

The Hunger Games Part 2 – Is 6 meals a day the answer?

Establishing parameters feels good when it comes to eating because it gives us guidelines in attempts to simplify the chaos we have made of food.

Low fat. High fat. Low Carb. Vegan. Paleo. The Zone.

Don’t eat after 8. No carbs at night. Eat 6 meals a day.

I am going to talk specifically about the latter today but ultimately know that no specific way of eating will conquer bad habits, stressed out choices, and restricting food (or overindulging) for lengths of time.

Eating 6 meals a day is a modern way of eating. Back in the day (even 50 years ago) we never were given the advice to pack our Tupperware for the the day and time out our mid morning and afternoon snack whether we were hungry or not.

We are told to eat more often because it speeds up our metabolism and if you can speed up your metabolism you can turn yourself into a fat burning machine and get the results you are seeking. That if you eat every few hours it will control your hunger. That if you eat every few hours it will boost your energy.

Don’t feel bad if you have believed this or tried this. I sure have. I have done the extremes of the tupperware packing to simply making sure I eat every couple hours. I remember one day stressing out about how I was going to eat my mid morning chicken and vegetables during my 5 minute break between clients. I wasn’t even hungry!

The thing with the body is it adapts and if you train yourself to eat 6 meals a day it starts to expect to eat 6 meals a day. Hungry or not.

Is this wrong? No. If you are hungry, eat. At the same time learn to find balance with hunger. Not giving into it the second you feel like it but not letting it drag on too long in hopes it will give you better results.

Here are a couple concepts to consider about hunger and eating 6 meals a day.

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Am I hungry or does the clock say it’s time to eat?

Don’t be scared to be hungry.

The thought for many of us is that if we just eat 6 meals a day we won’t have to worry about being hungry because we are eating every few hours. This is standard advice. But what is wrong with temporary hunger?

In part 1 of my blog post The Hunger Games, I discuss this mindset dilemma in which some people think being starving all the time equates to success. Hunger for sure does not indicate victory but it is not something to fear either.

I often have clients tell me, “But if I eat breakfast I am hungry for the rest of the day.” I respond, “Good. Your body is meant to be hungry.” 

Hunger is not the issue, self control is. Learning to adapt to the discomfort of hunger from time to time and how to control eating when hungry are good practices to adopt.

Eating more often gives you more opportunity to overeat.

When our willpower is shot and our self control is limited (which it is these days) why would we so often give ourselves more and more chances to eat, and overeat? More and more chances to have to make decisions!

In the book The Willpower Instinct, by Kelly McGonigal, it discusses how we make, on average, about 200 food choices a day and our self control is highest in the morning and decreases throughout the day.  So let’s not  force ourselves into more decision making with food. Start by planning your 3 bigger meals for the day and 2 snack ideas. Then go about your day and try to eat in accordance to true hunger, not what the clock says.

Eating every few hours keeps your body in a chronic state of digestion. 

When we eat every few hours our bodies are constantly digesting and never really get a time to rest. This can leave people feeling bloated, feeling like they constantly need to have food in their system and not really paying attention to what their body is saying. Hungry or not.

Like I said above, this is a modern way of eating that we have trained ourselves in.

Eating every few hours doesn’t take into account if you are hungry, need or want food.

 

In a world of high access and overabundance of food, we are used to eating just to eat. Just because the food is there. Just because we have a craving. Just because we feel like it. We are told to eat things to curb our cravings, to ward off hunger, to keep us full.

But we are talking temporary hunger people. We are talking a couple hours of hunger. It is ok to be hungry. Now if you are skipping food all day, every day to lose weight, trying to be productive at work, and get your workout in at 5 p.m. before you settle down for your one meal of the day lets talk. That is not smart or sustainable.

Is there a place for eating more often throughout the day? Sure. When schedules are odd  or training for certain goals like bodybuilding, an athletic event, certain physique goals. There is a time and place for eating more often throughout the day.

Blindly following common advice is something we need to start thinking about in depth before we actually apply it. Just because we are told to do it doesn’t mean it always works.

Some reading this article may be committed to their small meals throughout the day and love it. Some may have dabbled in it a bit and some may eat one meal a day. The key is, is it working for you?

Ask yourself that question and proceed as necessary.

White Turkey Chili

 

Simple and easy is the name of my game when it comes to food and cooking. Enjoy! 🙂

 

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1/2 TSP Italian Seasoning ( or any you prefer)
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 1 can white beans
  • Handful of spinach
  • 1 package of lean ground turkey meat
  • 1 cup or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup of favorite salsa
  • Toppings of choice: Cilantro, greek yogurt, shredded cheese

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Saute onion in oil and add and cook turkey meat thoroughly in a large pot.
  2. Add seasonings, salt and pepper.
  3. Rinse canned beans and add.
  4. Add salsa,  stock and spinach.
  5. Bring to a rolling boil and then reduce heat to simmer until thickened (about 5 minutes).
  6. Turn off heat, let cook, dish into bowls, add garnishes and enjoy.

6 ways to be more peaceful with your body, food, and fitness


Today I want to talk about body acceptance and being in it for the long haul, with your health that is. At some points in my life I feel I have been afraid to just accept my body as is, healthy or not ( I have had my share of health struggles) in all its imperfections. I feared I would somehow sabotage my results. It was like if I felt ok about my current place, even while striving towards improvement, I wouldn’t put in the work, want to be healthy, have motivation etc.

This also related to my style and thought process was to be more strict with food and do more and more exercise.  With January approaching I want to give you an alternative to body shame, quick fixes, super strict diets, and programs that just don’t offer anything sustainable. If you do decide to embark on any of these things ask yourself this.

If I put in the work, am I ok with gaining the weight back as soon as I go back to my old ways.

I get the quick fixes and quick results feel kind of good because going all out and putting in all your effort it gives a false sense of long term success because in your head because you are doing more and more you think you will get better and better results.

But more is not better. Smarter is better.

 

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And if you have tried quick fixes before and gained weight back or they didn’t last for any particular reason be sure to check that off the list as something that does NOT work for you.

This is not a bad thing. It is actually a good thing because you know you no longer need to try it because you have experienced for yourself, it does’t work.

There is no short cut that is going to get you to where you want to go but there are tools and strategies that will help. Today I share with 6 mindset makeovers to help you be more peaceful with your body, food and fitness, no matter where you are in your journey.

“Stop shouding.”

Thinking that things should or should not be a certain way is one of the quickest ways to misery. Thinking that you should be losing weight, be making more progress, be leaner, or be different than where you are only sets you up on a path to feeling bad about where you are. You are where you are, and where you are is perfect. Just because you have not done something in the past does not mean you cannot start right now.

Taste your food for what it is, not what you want it to be.

My man actually said this to me one day when eating vegetables.  “I just try to taste food for what it is, now what I want it to be.” Not his favorite thing in the world but he knows there are health benefits to them and therefore adds a side of veggies to his pasta, pizza and chicken fingers.

I love this and will do an entire blog on his food pairing soon (shh he doesn’t know) but my point being his comment. To taste food for what it tastes like not what he wants it to taste like or what he thinks it should taste like. Vegetables are vegetables. They are not pizza and they do not taste like pizza. Accept veggies for who they are and what they do. This not to say you should eat foods you do not enjoy but is to say that you can appreciate food for what it is and what i does for your body.

Accept and train your body for what it is, not what it use to be.

I played in a summer volleyball league a couple years ago and we affectionally named our team the Use-to-be’s. We were no longer 19 year old volleyball players in training season and our expectations should no longer be that. Don’t get me wrong you can still get leaner, stronger, lose weight, but keep in mind that your body is not the same as it was 10 years ago, before you had a baby, had surgery, whatever if might be.

Ask yourself, what is your body prepared to do today. Just because you once were able to eat whatever you wanted, lift heavier, work out every day doesn’t always mean you can do it now. Things like being decades older, having a full time job, or having a baby will forever change your body. Not in a bad way, in a realistic way.

Take responsibly for your choices.

It is so easy to put blame on anything and anyone other than yourself. I know from personal experience, it feels better. It feels better to tell myself that I didn’t have the time, the resources or that someone else messed up my schedule. It feels better to blame it on the holiday, being social or the person next to you who ordered dessert.

But ultimately, your choices are within you control. You can not always control the outcome, but you can control what you do everyday.

Being starving and eating everything at dinner, means you didn’t prepare during the day.

Not getting a single workout in means you did not prioritize it.

Not being motivated means you are telling yourself you are not and therefore it plays out.

Being too tired means you did not sleep enough.

Being too stressed means you are letting the stress get the best of you.

Start cultivating your own results and don’t let anything or anyone (including your own brain) take away your power. Nothing is happening to you. You ultimately make the decisions.

Quit thinking things are not fair.

I use to think it wasn’t fair that some girls didn’t work out as hard as I perceived myself to, or at all, and were able to eat whatever the wanted, while keeping their cute, petite shape. I on the other hand was in the middle of my stressful eating, workout out every damn day routine, and pouting along the way.

It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. If it works for them great but it doesn’t mean it will work for you and it is not a matter of fairness. Every body is uniquely different and the quicker you focus on your own journey and quit comparing yourself to someone else the more energy you will have to apply to your own process.

Find your difference makers.

Don’t focus on everything when trying to change your body. There are some things that will make more of a difference than others. Eating a healthy breakfast, snacking less after dinner, having more protein and veggies throughout the day, getting in a couple workouts a week. These are the things that matter. 

Creamer in your coffee, ketchup on your eggs, one cookie during the week. These things do not matter as much if you have other things under control. So please don’t ignore bread or bananas all day, only to go on and eat straight from dinner until bedtime. Pick one thing to change and focus on that until you don’t even have to think about it any more. 

Find what makes a difference and go do it.  Practice makes progress. And then practice again to make more progress. You don’t have to go to extremes or hate yourself towards body change. You can find peace and acceptance, it just starts with a little practice. 

Festive Spinach Salad

Not only is this salad super easy and tasty, but this pretty colors make it perfect for holiday celebrations. I will add that the dressing makes the salad but you can always choose your own.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbled
  • 1/4 cup of dried cherries (or cranberries)
  • 1 chopped gala or fugi apple
  • Dressing: Balsamic Vinegar, olive oil, seasoning packet, follow directions on packet or use your own balsamic dressing or dressing of choice.

Directions:

  1. Prepare dressing.
  2. Toss spinach with nuts, feta and fruit. Shake dressing again and drizzle over salad to coat evenly.
  3. Serve and enjoy!