Category Archives: Food

4 Ways to Get Your Man On Board With Healthy Eating

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It can feel frustrating, un-motivating and derailing to your health and fitness goals if your boyfriend/husband/partner decides not to jump on the healthy eating train with you.

It might look like this. You express your new journey, stock up on healthy options at the grocery store, prepare a colorful looking dinner and have a few days of solid “on plan” eating. Inevitably he then comes home with a pizza and breadsticks or you both go out to dinner and you order a salad and water and he decides on a big bacon burger, fries and beer.

Here’s the thing.

No one wants to be forced to changed and even if he may have some interest in being healthier he for sure doesn’t want to be scolded or frowned upon for his food choices. But there has gotta be a happy medium, right?

It is a dilema that many couples have and today I want to share some insights and strategies to help deal with someone who just doesn’t want to get on board with healthy eating (or get on board as much as you).

I can share from personal experience. My man and I are both very much into health and fitness but eat very differently and view healthy eating in different ways. Let me tell you, this can be just as challenging.

He eats chicken fingers, lots of pasta, pizza and cinnamon toast crunch or apple jacks depending on the week. If we get Mexican food he almost always gets a burrito and at most restaurants gets some sort of bacon burger with fries.

I on the other hand really feel best when I eat my plain brown rice, crockpot chicken and veggies and fruit every day. I like my dark chocolate (that he took a bite of one weekend why I was away and spit out immediately) and limit my greasy food intake. I think everything he eats tastes delicious but it usually stop at a bite or two (he would argue 3 or 4).

We eat very differently but ultimately he knows vegetables are crucial to good health and I have loosened up around food because, well, bread, wine, and pizza are a part of life. I would rather learn how to moderate my intake around them ( because I feel best when I do) than try to avoid them forever.

So how do we manage this when our versions of healthy are different? Here are 4 strategies I have used that have helped us comprise and blend our two eating worlds together so it doesn’t feel quite so challenging.

Spice up the veggies.

Coat veggies with all the good stuff when you cook them. When I first started making vegetables for Shawn I used way more butter, oil, and seasonings than I cared for.

My steamed broccoli just wasn’t making the cut and I didn’t want him and my vegetables to get off on the wrong foot. Knowing a little extra sodium and fat wouldn’t make or break my diet I would eat them. Gradually (whether he knows this or not) I started lessening the butter and seasonings and now have found a happy medium that we both enjoy.

It only took a couple months but not only does he eat vegetables without giving me a hard time, he cooks them himself.

He knew he could stand to eat a few more vegetables and I realized a little fat and sodium isn’t going to make or break my diet.

Don’t overhaul his diet.

The biggest recipe for failing is trying to change everything all at once. This is a formula I use with all of my clients trying to implement healthy habits, from eating to working out.  Big drastic change usually doesn’t work. It is small change implemented over time.

We don’t always eat the same and on nights like that this is how it goes. Shawn eats his chicken fingers with a side of vegetable. I eat mine with a turkey burger.

He cooks up his pizza and I make a side salad he actually likes for both of us but add chicken to mine. He makes prosciutto wrapped asparagus and eats it as a side of pasta.  And sometimes I just eat that pasta.

He is not changing everything but he is changing something and I am pretty sure he feels a little healthier and has most definitely been able to sustain this way of eating for years now. Why? Because he actually likes the way he is eating.

Is this the most clean diet ever? No but it works for him and he stays healthy and fit. Do I really need to try to get him to change just to match my eating so I feel better about everything? No.

Make two varieties of one dinner.

No one wants to make two different dinners, I get it, but often it is helpful to make a dinner and alter the ingredients just slightly.

For example, we make turkey burgers and sweet potatoes fries (lots of seasoning) and he uses a bun and I skip it.

He bbq’s carne asada and make a burrito with beans, rice, and cheese. I opt for a salad with similar ingredients but also some diced tomato and avocado.

We make spaghetti and meat sauce and keep them separate so I can choose less pasta and more meat if I wish with a side of a vegetable we both like.

I’ll make a chicken dish and we will have cheesy vegetables on the side.

Practice Portion Control.

Could you use this challenge as a time to practice portion control?

Avoiding food completely can be a great start in the beginning but isn’t a realistic solution for the long haul. Having your man eat different than you is a great lesson in exposing yourself to the food you fear and practicing portion control anyways.

For me personally it has actually helped balance my sometimes too strict approach to food. So often we think eating healthier means that we have to comply to a diet at all times, eliminate condiments, and our favorite adult beverages.

Sure you may have to adjust if you are seeking certain changes but giving up certain foods for good or eating in a way you cannot maintain is a sure sign that it is not sustainable. If a diet is unsustainable the results will be as well. Focus on what you can control, not what you can’t. That leads me to my last point.

It’s not all about him. Do you.

Be honest and have a chat but ultimately do you. You have made a decision to eat healthier for a reason and you can convey that to him openly and honestly.

Let him know what you may struggle with or what things he does that might make it difficult for you (offering you snacks, suggesting fast food for dinner). Let him know how this change would impact your life positivity and let him know how much his support would mean to you.

The reality is no matter how much you want him to join you, you can’t force him and if you do it could easily turn up in resentment in the relationship. If he decides not to get on board you have two options. You can give up on your goals and health or you can move forward anyway.

Ultimately this a lesson you can learn form each other. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You don’t have to go extreme either way and you can find a safe, healthy and sane middle ground.

Quinoa, Broccoli, and Cheese Egg Muffins

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In my efforts to keep eating and simple as possible I love recipes like this that can double as a quick on the go snack or part of my meal at home. And I often do “breakfast” meals at lunch and dinner too.

These quinoa muffins pair easily with a side of toast, potatoes, or fruit, for a complete meal and are a great balance of protein, fats, carbs, and nutrients to keep your cravings in check and energy high.


Ingredients:

  • 5 whole eggs
  • 1 cup of liquid egg whites (or 4 egg whites)
  • 1 tbsp of greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 1.5 cup of cooked broccoli
  • 1/3 cup of diced onion (white or green)
  • 1/2 cup of diced mushrooms sautéed
  • 1/2 cup of cheese of your choice ( I use cheddar or parmesan)
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper

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Directions:

** I always prepare the veggies and quinoa first. Cook quinoa according to directions on package. Lightly sauté the broccoli, onions and mushrooms and set aside.

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Beat together the eggs, egg whites and greek yogurt. Add salt and pepper.
  3. Add quinoa and veggies and mix together.
  4. Divide the mixture evenly into 12 muffin tins (coated with oil a non stick cooking spray) and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the mixture is cooked fully.
  5. Cool before serving. Set aside the rest for quick snacks and meals during the week.

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Dinner tonight! I got ya covered….

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This little beauty of a dinner was so simple and yummy I just had to share. You know my dinner pics will always look as they are, without any staging, because thats how they come about. Food presentation is fun to look at but lets just be real about how most of us feel on a everyday basis. Make food, get it on the table, try to have time to enjoy it.

So today I share with you my recipe for meat muffins and also quickly attached a few directions about the sweet and savory carrots and spinach, feta salad.

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Meat Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon oregano (or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper for added spice)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or 2 tbsp of pre minced garlic
  • 1 package of lean turkey meat or lean beef
  • 1 cup Quick cooking oats 
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large egg whites or 1 whole egg
  • Cooking spray or muffin liners
  • Optional: Choice of veggies ( I used chopped bell peppers, mushrooms and chives for this one)

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, garlic, spices and veggies and saute for a couple minutes
  • Combine onion mixture and the remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl.
  • Spoon the meat mixture into muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or cooked all the way through.
  • Top with ketchup if desired. I always look for one free of high fructose corn syrup.

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While these are baking you can put together your two sides.

You can access the salad recipe here.

For the carrots. Bring water to a boil in a small pot. Add a pack of baby carrots after you take them out of the wrapper. Boil until soft. Drain and return to pan that is still warm, heat off. Add 1-2 TBSP of butter and 2  TBSP of brown sugar. Adjust to your liking as I personally do something different every time. Mix together and the heated pan will melt the butter and mix the sugar together.

And  that’s it! They are ready to enjoy. 🙂

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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diet advice to drop (+ what to do instead)

Without even realizing it we have been fed an overload of information throughout the years that has created mental constructs with the way we think about food and eating.

We have been taught that carbs are bad. Fats are bad. Eating at night is bad. Food is something to fear. Calories are something to fear. To eat less, to restrict.

All these concepts blend together and create a whole spectrum of emotions around food that influence our choices and habits. Yet many are still struggling.

Today I am talking about reworking thoughts that we have been fed (pun intended) over the years and how we can use these concepts to enhance our relationship with food and eating, not takes away from it.

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.

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!

Is 6 meals a day good advice for fat loss?

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, overindulging regularly or restricting food 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.

If you eat every few hours it will control your hunger.

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) throughout the day? 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.

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. Tell me, has eating small meals throughout the day helped you?

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.