Weight Loss and Mindfulness: Why Did You Buy and Eat That?

When discussing goals with my clients clients, none of them want to be overweight or face chronic diseases because of their food or lifestyle choices.  It is very difficult for most people to avoid eating too much given the bombardment of advertisement and marketing strategies placed before them in supermarkets and at restaurants. It goes beyond willpower. Education,planning  and being vigilant about being aware can help more than you think.

Most peopFrazzledle are overwhelmed with all that has to be done on a day to day basis and are not mindful of the choices they are making, especially when shopping.  It is difficult to be on top of your game when you are tired, stressed and have ti
me demands.  Most supermarkets take advantage of our ‘decision fatigue’ through strategic placements of various ‘food’ choices.  Ever wonder why candies,chips and non-foods are at the cash register? Or the healthier choices are on the higher or lower shelves? The stores rely on your impulse buying of items that are at eye level or  posting  blasting signs about ‘limited quantity’ or  ‘special today’.  You end up buying more, resulting in consuming more items you probably didn’t need (or want) in the first place.  Studies have also found that changing the shapes and variety of foods increases our desire to buy them.  Think about pasta shapes, mini- chocolate chip cookies, different shaped crackers, chips or novelty ice creams.  The variety offered often tempt you to try them.  In actuality it is the same food, but the different variety makes us think it is something new and attracts us to it, therefore eating more. We need variety to keep our food interesting and help us get proper nutritional needs. Different vegetables and fruits are suggested to help us avoid monotony as well nourishing out body.  However, five different shapes, brands or seasonings of potato chips – are still potato chips. Focus on variety of your real foods, fruits, vegetable and grains.

When entering a grocery store, it is a known fact that you never go in hungry.  Make a list on paper, your smartphone or send yourself a message ahead of time. If you saw a recipe you wanted to try, take a picture of it so you have the ingredients you may need to get.  Don’t get sucked in to the ‘comfort foods’ we know sabotage our efforts to take better care of ourselves.  Skip the fast foods unless it is the salad bar, some roasted turkey or chicken, pre-grilled wild salmon or the fresh roasted veggies. Try roasted parsnips or carrots, instead of potatoes.  Farro is a delicious whole grain with a nutty taste that works well in most recipes, substitute it for rice or pasta. Grill peaches or plums and serve them with chicken for a taste treat. These are fast and easy.Go for frozen fresh fruit bars, or low fat frozen yogurt instead of the chocolate chip, caramel swirl full fat ice-cream. I just found some almond milk ice-cream, I was thrilled to see an alternative for those who are sensitive to milk.  However,it was loaded with chocolate peanut butter chunks and salted caramel- so much for the health benefits.

If you are looking to ‘do your body good’, spend the money on foods that will serve and nourish your body well. Treat ‘treats as treat’, eat real food.  There is no mystery. Don’t be lured in to buying foods that are gimmicks or pull at your weaknesses.  Try and be smart, leave with more unpackaged foods than packaged and I can almost guarantee you will have mo9re money left in your wallet too! If it isn’t in your food pantry- you aren’t going to be tempted to eat it. When do you stop eating something? …..when it is all gone.

In Great Health!,

  Mary

 


 

For further support or guidance around sound nutritional habits and choices, call me for a complimentary

 

 

Nutrition:Lifestyle Change: Tape Measure or Scale?

Waist or Weight Measurements?

Ever wonder how one of your friends can weigh more than you but are two sizes smaller? What about the person who works out all the time and eats well but is in the obese category of the BMI index (body mass index)? It is called body composition. When you have an optimal body composition, one that is a favorable ratio between leaner tissues, like muscle, and less fat mass, you are healthier. You are able to eat more because muscle is active tissue that needs fuel,fat does not. Your clothes fit better and your inches will decrease. Muscle weighs more than fat, and it is much more dense. Would you rather have a smaller waist and weigh more, or weigh less and have a thicker waist? I think I know your answer.

Muscle is a biologically active tissue that needs a far greater amount of caloric fuel to maintain itself, compared to body fat. Muscle burns calories. So maintaining your muscle through the foods you eat as well as exercising will promote a more efficient metabolism to burn more calories each day.

Muscle also helps us to heal. It is a major source of protein for important recovery functions such as wound healing, white blood cell production and antibody production. If your body composition is low in lean body muscle your system is already depleted and the body has less to draw on in case of illness.

Muscle mass and strength are the top two indicators of healthy aging. The most powerful way to manage the aging process and restore vitality is to improve your lean tissue –to –fat ratio by adding more muscle to your body.

There are some of us who are considered ‘skinny fat’. This term is related to those people who are not overweight, but may have too little muscle and too much fat. This condition is called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia can raise the risk of chronic diseases and accelerate aging in the same manner that gaining extra visible weight from fat can. Most people with this condition may experience lack of strength, reduced endurance ,achiness and generally reduced quality of life.

The message here may be to ditch the scale and pick up the tape measure. When eating whole foods, in the right combinations and amounts, along with total body exercise you will avoid losing muscle and up your metabolism. If you do not know what your body fat mass vs. lean body mass is, inquire at your local gym or contact me for a BIA.  ( BioImpedance Analysis). It will tell you what is going inside your body regarding your health. Reducing your waist even an inch will help reduce inflammation and improve your path to healthier aging. Your age and gender are important factors in calculating your lean to fat mass numbers.  You are looking to be less than a 35″ waist for women and less than a 40″ waist for men.  Central obesity is considered to be an indicator for many lifestyle diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

If you are looking to make some changes, do it with a plan and a realistic goal.  If you need support along the way, contact me for a complimentary consult.

In good health,

  Mary

Nutrition News: Protein powders – which one?

I am often asked about why type of protein powders are the best to use for smoothies.  There are a few different one’s to consider, and more and more are being introduced to the nutrition scene.  While we still prefer getting protein from real food, there are times to look at these as powders as ‘tools’ to keep you focused and provide a convenient way to obtain a healthier option. Here are some of the top protein sources for smoothies, and baked goods. Keep in mind that many protein powders are just that- protein, no carbohydrates or fats. In order to have a balanced meal or snack you will need to add to the mix – a liquid, fruits, veggies, nut butter, flax seed, avocado or other foods of choice.  Keep it simple – avoid too many fruits or fruit juices, add celery, cucumber or spinach for a nutritional punch without adding in a lot of sugars and calories.

Soy – soy protein isolate,, soy protein powder, hydrolyzed soy protein – from soybeans.

This is a powerful plant protein and research has shown that it increases muscle mass and improves strength during and after exercise. Soy contains naturally occurring isoflavones which are antioxidants which can help reduce muscle damage during and after exercise.

Choose non-GMO sources and beware of soy sensitivities which may cause gas or digestive upset

Bonus:  helps muscles and boosts iron

Whey- whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, hydrolyzed whey protein- from cow’s milk.

Whey protein is composed mostly of an amino acid call leucine, which is the most potent for building muscle. It is also a good choice for whittling your waistline .  Many people tend to decrease inches and pounds using a whey protein drink rather than a carbohydrate shake- over a consistent use over at least 6 months .

Bonus: helps muscles, calcium boost, slims you down.

Pea– pea protein powder, pea protein isolate- from yellow peas.

Unlike soy and whey, pea protein is free of common allergens. This plant protein is high in the amino acid arginine, a precursor to creatine, which delivers energy to muscles. Some research suggests that it may have more appetite curbing power than whey protein.

Bonus: helps muscles, iron boost, keeps you satiated.

Rice– brown, white or whole grain rice isolate- from rice.

Rice protein is hypoallergenic.  This makes it easier to digest and will not irritate the stomach. Individuals who suffer from IBS, food allergies, or who are lactose intolerant find it difficult to digest meat, dairy and other sources of protein.  Rice is a good alternative.

Bonus:  helps muscles, good for vegans or vegetarians, easy to digest.

Some products I recommend  from Metagenics are: UltraMeal Rice, Soy or Whey, UltraMeal Daily ( pea and rice).  These are considered balance ‘medical foods’, they also contain carbohydrates and fats for a complete meal or snack. (you can find a link to Metagenics on my home page of my website www.yourchoice4wellness.com)

The Institute of Medicine recommends about 46 grams of protein a day for women and 56 grams of protein for men.  One tablespoon of protein powder is about 4 grams. I suggest no more that one shake a day.  Enjoy your other meals and snacks in real food form.

If you are interested in changing your lifestyle to incorporate healthy eating habits along with balanced activity and stress management, contact me for a complimentary phone consult to discus your goals.

Be Well,

Mary

 

 

 

Nutrition News: The MIND diet.

Have you heard of the MIND diet? It’a a way of eating that protects you from the risk of Alzheimers. What I like about it is that it is a combination of the #1 healthiest way of eating, the Dash Diet and the #3 leading plan,the Mediterranean Diet. The MIND diet stands for Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. In a recent study, those who followed the MIND diet showed a 53% reduction for the risk of Alzheimers. Even if you ‘cheated’ once in a while, you can still rack up rewards for prevention. Some of the concepts are pretty simple.

  1. Leafy greens– eat 2 of more servings a day and you will develop a level of brain function equivalent to that of people five years younger. Leafy greens have more vitamin E than other veggies.  Add some EVOO and it helps in the absorption of the fat soluble vitamin.
  2. Berries– blueberries and strawberries are the star players.  The anti-aging effects may be attributed to anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that help protect the neurons in regions of the brain associated to learning and memory.  Have at least 2 servings a week to delay cognitive aging by 2.5 years! Easy enough!!
  3. Fish – no surprise here! Even once a week can help lower the risk of Alzheimers.  A recent study also showed that eating fish 1x a week (not fried) increased the gray matter of your brain.
  4. Wine- studies have found that drinking 1.5 glasses of red wine per day experienced the least amount of memory loss and cognitive delay. It is also good for your heart. So pour and enjoy.

Here are the top 10 foods included in the MIND diet.

Daily– whole grains (not processed), leafy greens, other veggies, glass of wine.

Most Days- nuts(almonds, walnuts), olive oil, legumes, blueberries/strawberries,poultry, fish.

Limit– butter, fastfood and fried food, full fat cheese, red meat, pastries and sweets.

Ask yourself what you are already doing. Where is one area you can improve upon? For support and a plan, contact me.

Be Well, Be Better,

Mary

Nutrition News: Juicing or Smoothies??

Often I am asked about ‘which is better, to juice or to have a smoothie ?’ Both have their place and their benefits. The best part about both is that they enhance your intake of fruits and veggies, something most Americans need to do. The trend often comes down to what machine you would buy- juicer or blender.

 

Juicing leaves behind the pulp of the fruit or vegetable. What that means is that you are throwing away the fiber of the plant and many nutrients, therefore, you lose most of the benefits of the whole fruit and vegetable. We as Americans eat around 10 grams of fiber a day, the RDA is around 25 grams a day. Unless you use the pulp in soups or stews, it is wasted. The other consideration is the amount of sugar you may be consuming. If you were juicing vegetables the sugar content is relatively low. If you are juicing fruits, then the concentration of sugars can be high, which if not balanced properly, could spike blood sugars. Juicing allows for quick hydration, easy digestion and many nutrients. Once a day with low glycemic (low sugar) fruit or vegetables is fine.

 

Smoothies incorporate most of the plant. You would not want the seeds of many fruits or the peels of oranges, bananas etc., but you would get the whole food from the vegetable or the fruit. This allows you to ingest the fiber, pith, vitamins, phytochemicals and antioxidants. If you add a protein such as plain yogurt, nut butter, protein powder or a product like UltraMeal– you have a complete and nutrient dense meal. You will experience regulated blood sugar with no highs or lows in energy. Beware, adding sweetened yogurts, frozen yogurts, sorbets or sugared frozen fruits can add on unnecessary calories. Unfortunately, many bottled smoothies or store made smoothies are high in sugars that can decrease the overall nutritional value.

 

One of my favorite morning smoothie in my Vitamix*.

 

Water

Slice of fresh ginger

Celery stalk

Cucumber

Handful of greens ( kale, spinach, collards, romaine lettuce, parsley)

Berries or fruit (berries, cherries, kiwi, apple, pear- all lower in sugar)

Avacado (sometimes- ¼)

UltraMeal** Whey vanilla

YUM!!

 

*I use a Vitamix because it really breaks down foods into a nice smooth liquid. It is powerful, and works well with ice, too. I burned out two high end blenders because it takes a lot of power to break down greens and vegetables.

 

There are so many ways to make a smoothie- the trick is to use low glycemic (low sugar) plants. One a day is enough. Chew the rest of your food- enjoy the flavors and the goodness.

 

** There are many UltraMeal Medical foods. If you have a medical condition such as elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, inflammation, digestive issues or trying to decrease fat mass, contact me so that I may guide you to the product that would best suit your needs. You may order the product via my website www.yourchoice4wellness.com.

 

Be Well,

Mary

 

 

 

“Live Healthier on the Mediterranean Diet” at Savour

Dear Friends-  There is a very special program being offered this winter/spring at Savour Wines and Cheese in Gloucester, Mass.  This is a time for you to enjoy and learn cooking techniques, insights to healthier food choices, fitness and mindfulness.  You will also be receiving some healthy and delicious prepared foods for your busy week that include salads, soups and entrees.  Along with a 10% discount from items in the store.  If you have any questions  contact Kathleen, owner and presenter.  I will assist with some of the classes as well as offer some special discounts for those who want to take their health/lifestyle to the next step. Take a peek and come to a complimentary class on Tues January 20th. Hope to see you then. This may be exactly what you are looking for!  Please read the attached form.

Be Well, Let 2015 begin with Health First!

Mary

Live Healthier on the Mediterranean Diet

Weight Loss: Toss the Scale

I wanted to share this article especially to those who are driven by the scale.  I weigh my clients very infrequently.  I feel it is not a good representation of the commitment they have made to become healthier.  How your clothes fit, how energized you feel, what choices you make around food, exercise, sleep and stress management are far more important than what the scale dictates.  The scale fluctuates just like your blood pressure.  If you weigh yourself in the morning and it doesn’t show what you want- it may just ruin your day!  If you can relate to being a slave to the scale, read more….

http://www.amihungry.com/pdf/Weighty-Conversations-Dont-Measure-Your-Self-Worth.pdf?inf_contact_key=c9b5de684a73de75ce7e5e18dbfcd69a14567ac5b75fa88423963e52ac0bbed3

Be Well,

    Mary

Weight Loss: Immunity to Change.

One of my required books for my advanced professional coaching certification is Immunity to Change by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey.   This is not a light read or a light topic!  I started reading this on my own after a conference a year ago and I just wasn’t ready.  Now as required reading and almost eight months into the program, I now ‘get it’.  Since I support individuals in making behavioral changes for improved lifestyles (usually starts with weight management issues), it makes perfect sense to understand why it is so damn difficult to make changes that stick, and how to overcome what ‘holds us back’.  It is not about just changing some behavior, but adapting to the new behavior.  it takes time and an understanding of your own beliefs.

I found this one statistic rather interesting, one that I often discus with clients.  Diets do not work, becoming mindful does.  Here is a quote from Kegan, ” For most of us- since research shows that the average dieter regains 107% of the weight he or she takes off- losing weight is not a technical challenge; it is an adaptive one.  Solving it with a technical means- dieting- will not work.”

If you have been trying to lose weight through a technical means, you might want to try a different approach.  Creating goals, understanding behaviors, being mindful and having someone to support you in the highs and lows may be your answer .  If you have any questions, contact me.

Be Well,

Mary

 

Nutrition News: Do You Know Your Carbs?

Carbs get a bad rap.  Ever since Dr. Atkins we are of the mindset that carbs are bad.  The reason we get hung up on this is that so many people think carbs are bagels, pasta, white rice, candy, sugar, pizza, crackers, bread and other processed foods.  Well they are, but what are fruits, vegetables and whole grains?  I hear this over and over again from clients who don’t realize that fruits, vegetables and whole grains are the GOOD carbs.  We need them, they should be 75% of our daily intake.  Processed carbs should be a very very small percentage of our caloric intake. Vegetables are the mainstay of our health and if you want to feel good, lose weight and keep disease at bay- eat lots and lots of different colored vegetables.  This is the season for a variety of lettuces, greens and nutrient dense fresh produce  (especially if you are in the east). Vegetables are loaded with fiber, low in calories and  will fill you up. Fruits are great too, but try to go for the berries, apples, pears, kiwi, melons that are lower in natural sugar.  As far as whole grains-  try the real thing.  Brown rice, quinoa, oats, spelt, millet, farro,wheat berries, cook them up and have them as a side, in soups or a stir fry with your good veggies.  I love quinoa as a salad, cook quinoa in a broth of choice, cool slightly then add balsamic vinegar, EVOO, dried cranberries or other fruit, some chopped scallions, chopped nuts and fresh parsley. Yum!  Get away from the pasta salad and treat yourself to the goodness of real grains.

Take a moment to look at and even write down what you have eaten in the past couple of days. How many whole, real foods have you had? Replace the processed ones with real ones and you will be investing in your health and maybe enjoying a little taste sensation!

Be sure to take advantage of your farmers markets!

Enjoy–  Be Well, Mary

Need a little help along the way?  Contact me for your complimentary strategy session! 978 283-0591 or wellbychoice@comcast.net

Lifestyle Changes: The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook is Here!

One of the biggest obstacles for individuals with increased blood sugar levels is learning how to eat and cook all over again.  Mark Hyman is a very dedicated doctor who is all about prevention and treating the root problem.  What better way than to start in the kitchen and feel secure about your choice.

In Good Health,

Be Well, Mary

For extra support along the way to a healthier you, contact me today

wellbychoice@comcast.net

 

The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook, Mark Hyman, MD

In 1900 only 2 percent of meals were eaten outside of the home; now it is over 50 percent.  And most of the meals eaten at home today are factory made science projects “cooked” in a microwave.  The consumption of industrial fast and processed food is driving our epidemic of obesity, diabetes and chronic disease that now affects EVERY other American.  We need a food and cooking revolution to change that!

 

Now, Dr. Mark Hyman provides us with the tools to start this revolution in his new book, The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook.  Dr. Hyman begins by showing you how to take an assessment of your own health status, how to prepare your kitchen to follow The Blood Sugar Solution six-week program and follow the principles to eating healthy for life.  Plus more than 175 recipes to fill your kitchen with the enticing aroma of world-class meals.

 

You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to prepare the healthiest and best-tasting foods you’ve ever had.  Many of the dishes take less than 30 minutes to prepare, so you’ll never run out of delicious, breakfast, lunch or dinner options no matter how busy your schedule!  Click here for a preview of these recipes.

 

Plus when you order today you will get access to these fabulous gifts:

  • An invitation to join Dr. Hyman on a live online webinar on March 27th, 2013.  Open to the first 500 buyers only.
  • In the Kitchen with Dr. Hyman – a “how to” online video series where Dr. Hyman shows you how to shift from a “factory food” diet that’s making you sick to meals that make you healthy.  Featuring 90 minutes of entertaining how-to videos.
  • A 1 week Gluten-Free meal plan, with all new recipes.

Get your copy of The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook today.