Archive for October, 2009
Halloween is a holiday for kids, right? And, it’s funny how adults seem to go through just as much candy and chocolate this time of year! Obviously, these ‘treats’ are not beneficial to our waistline or our healthy weight goals. And, if they aren’t great for us, just imagine what they’re doing to our kids – setting them up for the same rollercoaster of energy, dieting, and poor self-esteem we have battled our whole lives. Setting a good example and healthy boundaries around Halloween candy now will be a tool they can use for life.
Halloween candy is chocked full of refined sugar, chemicals, and artificial flavors and colors, and it is a very long process to trace these non-foods back to their whole food form. All the refined sugar from candy causes spikes in blood glucose levels leading to hyperactivity, and then crashes in blood sugar leaving us fatigued, moody, and craving more sugar.
White sugar in all its forms-glucose/fructose, high fructose corn syrup, glucose solids-contributes to obesity and hyperactivity (there’s nothing else we can do with this sugar but store it as fat or burn it as fuel), causes disruptions in sleep (when we heal and prevent disease), and depletes our immune function. Artificial colors and dyes can also cause allergic reactions, asthma, behavioral changes, and physical signs like hives or itchy skin.
Here are a couple of tips to make Halloween less harmful, yet still enjoyable:
1. Be mindful of what you give out. Instead of compounding the problem, choose to hand out healthy treats like boxed raisins, or non-consumables like pencils or puzzles. Limit any ‘extras’ you would be left with to eat yourself.
2. Limit the amount of candy that comes into the house. Limit the number of houses visited; visit specific homes of friends, neighbors, and family. Make visits longer and more social. Use a small sack for trick-or-treating so young ones still feel like they have a big loot haul.
3. Limit the amount of candy that stays in the house. Sort through candy when the kids first come home. Have them (and you) pick out the favorites. Anything that is not an enjoyable treat can be taken to a shelter, food bank, or the office.
4. Divide up remaining treats. Divvy up into 12 piles – one for each month. Put each into freezer bags and freeze for later dates. Save these for special movie nights, outings, or other times when you would go buy these types of ‘foods’.
Keeping the candy and chocolate of Halloween within our 20% available for ‘foods with no nutritional value but that we truly enjoy’ will allow you to do just that. Enjoy them when you consciously choose to eat one or two. Teaching this skill of moderation instead of deprivation to our kids is a great trick that you can pass on this Halloween season.
If you missed my interview last week with Astrid Stromberg on Brilliant Essence Blog Talk Radio, you have another chance to catch it here. Astrid talked to me about my background and how I’ve come to where I am today, specifically, how the MindBody FX Lifestyle came about. I also talked about ways to manage your thoughts, and how to use them to power you toward your weight loss goal. Click on “Strategies for Overcoming Limiting Beliefs” below to take a listen!
It’s hard to miss the latest news on the H1N1 virus (swine flu). You’ve probably heard about protecting yourself through hand washing and vaccinations, but have you made sure you are doing what you can to protect yourself and your immune system through your diet?
Our immune system protects us from all things foreign; things that are not part of our body, that enter through our mouth, nose, skin, lungs, and digestive tract. The system goes to war attacking the foreign invader so it can be defeated and removed from the body. But what happens if your immune system is being compromised by your actions?
White sugar is a big immune system suppressor and an even bigger part of our food culture. When sugar cane or sugar beet juice is refined into white sugar, most of its vitamins are lost. These specific vitamins and minerals are required in its digestion. So when you eat the refined version, your body has to find those missing nutrients elsewhere to digest it.
Ninety-eight percent of the zinc that was once found in whole sugar is missing in its refined counterpart. The mineral zinc plays major role in our immune systems. The more sugar you eat, the more zinc is required for its digestion, and the less zinc is available for immune function.
Spikes and crashes in blood sugar level also decreases your immune ability. When your blood glucose levels fall too low, your body senses “crisis” and goes into its fight-or-flight response. It’s now ready for a war, famine, or being chased by a bear …
But whenever we are in fight-or-flight, we cannot be in our “rest, digest, rebuild, and regenerate” mode. This is the state of our parasympathetic nervous system in which our immune system is most efficient, sleep is possible, and less stress is being put on the body.
White sugar, white flour, white rice, and white pasta, along with alcohol, can put us in fight-or-flight state. Caffeine from coffee, black tea, and soda are all stimulates; also not allowing the healing, protecting, and sleep to occur.
These refined and stressing foods, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, and caffeine all decrease your immune system’s ability to protect you. So what would happen if you reduced the intake of these foods dramatically, especially when you are feeling under the weather? You would be allowing your immune system to function properly, with all guns-a-blazing.
What about positive things to include in your diet that will increase your immune function? Include these food as often as possible:
- Water: Moves nutrients around the body, moves wastes out, and gets immune cells to where they need to be.
- Rainbow of fruits and vegetables: Provides antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E, plus zinc, fiber, phytonutrients, and water that all required to fuel immune cells.
- Essential fatty acids: Are found in cold-water fish and flax seeds, and are required to build immune cells and hormones that signal those cells into action.
- Garlic and onions: Have natural anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic properties.
- Exercise and laughter: Have proven immune-stimulating properties.
That’s my prescription for avoiding the flu this season. Switch the coffee break or wine after dinner for an extra glass of water. Have a great meal of salmon, carrots, and spinach sauteed with onions and garlic, then power walk to the movie store and pick up your favorite comedy to watch before getting a good night’s sleep. How’s that for a flu-preventing day? You’re on your way to sailing right through this flu season without so much as a cough!
Nearly everyone who’s struggled with their weight has experienced that sinking feeling in their stomach: GUILT. It makes you unhappy and depressed, and can cause you reach for even more food to comfort yourself, locking you in a vicious cycle. But while it’s easy to succumb to feelings of guilt, it’s also easy to rise above it. Here my top 10 ways to overcome guilt.
1. Don’t feel guilty about wanting to eat. Eating is part of survival, but you have to choose wisely what you eat. Try eating foods that are whole, healthy, nutritional, and organic when possible. You won’t feel guilty after eating these kinds of foods.
2. Overeating relapse should be expected. We are only human after all, and we learn through our experiences. Everyone is expected to have a stressful day, and in those times, you’ll turn to comfort food and probably overeat. However, food will not solve the problem, and you will end up feeling more guilty later for overeating. Next time you feel like reaching for something to comfort yourself, make it the phone and call a friend, go for a walk, or do some gardening — anything to shift your focus.
3. Take some time and find out why you overeat. Overeating can be triggered by stress, boredom, depression, anger, or loneliness. Take time to identify what triggers your eating and respond to them without food. When you learn why you eat, you can begin to change old beliefs and learn new behavioral skills and tools to overcome your triggers. In return, you won’t feel guilty about your actions.
4. Join a weight loss support group. Achieving permanent weight loss is much easier when you have the support of like-minded people who are there to give you encouragement, including how to not feel guilty about a slip-up on your diet. Joining a group is on the of the best things you can give yourself.
5. Positive thoughts and affirmations help keep you focused. Keep thinking and acting like you are already at your ideal weight, because what you think about, comes about! When negative mind chatter or feelings of guilt start to fill your head say, “STOP” before they have a chance to hold your attention. Use your positive affirmations to keep you on track; you have the dominant power over your mind.
6. Slow, small changes lead to permanent weight loss. When you lose weight too fast it usually comes back too fast with a little extra. This can leave you feeling depressed, angry, and guilty. To permanently release weight, small changes need to take place in your daily life. For example, start your exercise program small by walking around the neighborhood or going for a bike ride, and build up to more extreme exercise. Take time to meditate and visualize yourself at your ideal weight. Keep a journal to record how you’re feeling and what you’ve accomplished. All the small successes add up to your overall permanent, successful weight loss.
7. Love eating? Learn to make it a pleasurable experience. Some people live to eat and some just eat to live. If you live to eat but think you have to feel guilty about it, think again! Just because your are on a weight management program doesn’t mean you can’t sit and enjoy every bite. Enjoy the whole experience, from choosing what to eat and preparing it, to setting a beautiful table and enjoying your food guilt-free with family and friends. Bon appetit!
8. When you focus on being healthy, being thin happens. What is motivating you and where is your focus? When you change your mindset to wanting a healthy lifestyle, being thin is less important. Therefore, alleviating guilt surrounding numbers on a scale. When you choose healthy natural whole foods you will release your extra pounds easily and your body will feel healthier and you will feel happier.
9. Portion control and losing weight. Be mindful of the amount of food that you are eating. When you are served enormous portions, take notice and cut it in half, only eating until you feel comfortable. Remember that it takes about 20 minutes for the hormones in your stomach to reach your brain to let it know that you are full. When you learn to pay attention to your hunger and stop eating before you are stuffed, you will be less likely to feel guilty about what you’ve eaten.
10. Guilt has been bringing us down for far too long. Now is the time to take pride in all the things we DO, rather than the things we DID NOT DO!
Well tonight is my big interview with Brilliant Essence Blog Talk Radio. I’m super excited about it. The host Astrid Stromberg uses her show to promote positive, inspiring, and empowering thought, which is what MindBody FX is all about. I’ll be speaking about methods for overcoming negative thinking and beliefs that stand in the way of our success, and how to apply them to weight loss. It’s happening tonight at 8 p.m. pacific time. Hope you get to hear it!
Last week, while browsing the shelves of Barnes and Noble, I found myself looking at particular book. I can’t remember the name of it, but I found myself thinking, catchy title, eye-catching cover, seems like a good book. But what really got me thinking was all the work that went into making it stand out on the shelf. The countless hours of passion put into it, the artwork, layout, editing, the 3 a.m. phone calls to the proofreader …
I spent three years studying, researching, and writing my book. Now it’s finally done and in the hands of my publisher. While I’m thinking it’s ready to be sitting next to that book I saw earlier at Barnes and Noble, I find out that the real work is only beginning. I would have to promote my book, otherwise no one will even know it exists. So the question remained, How?
This past weekend I attended a seminar in San Francisco called Experts Academy. It was put on by Brendon Burchard, a very accomplished and talented author who filled my head with more than enough knowledge to fuel my road trip to literary success. A few of the book promotion strategies I found to be the most helpful and interesting are:
- Create a campaign for online marketing
- Develop a presentation for getting the word out
- Create joint venture partnerships
Well, sounds like I have my tasks laid out! Thanks to Brendon, I now have lots more projects to get busy with if I want to get the word out about The MindBody FX Lifestyle!
Since many people ask us about how our nutrition plan works, I thought I’d go over the basics in a blog post. Our goal for the MindBody FX Nutrition Plan is to ensure it’s effective at allowing you to reach your ideal weight and stay healthy and disease-free for years to come.
We’ve found that a big reason this plan has worked for so many people is that we take an educational approach. We teach you why it in your best interest to make specific choices. People who’ve successfully lost weight on MindBody FX have said that knowing this makes it much easier to follow the plan and stay on course.
The nutrition plan revolves around our Three Keys to Superior Health and Wellness. These keys are also the basis of our eight eating guidelines, because it’s just as much about the eating habits as it is about the food itself. The keys are:
- Optimize the nutrition being absorbed by the body
- Stabilize blood sugar levels
- Reduce toxins in the body
To help you incorporate the keys into your lifestyle, there are three phases in the MindBody FX Nutrition Plan, and all are based on incorporating whole foods as the main component of your daily food intake. Each phase asks you to reduce a few more detrimental foods and include a few more beneficial foods and habits in small, manageable steps.
Phase 1: Ideal Beginnings Phase is an introduction to removing the worst of the non-foods and incorporating whole foods as staples.
Phase 2: Ideal Balancing Phase is about upgrading from Phase 1. That is, removing a few more items that may be whole foods, but aren’t always beneficial for all people at all times (dairy, wheat, caffeine, etc.).
Phase 3: Ideal Cleansing Phase includes a self-assessment for the six top metabolic imbalances that relate to excess weight.
We have researched to find the best dietary, lifestyle, and supplemental recommendations for you to incorporate into your specific program, allowing you to bring these back into balance and therefore reach your ideal weight goals. By following this program through the three phases, your body will in turn absorb your food better, your blood sugar levels (and therefore energy) will be consistently balanced, and toxins will be released from your body without causing harm. What will be left is the happy, healthy (and therefore skinnier!) new you.
Fad diets and temporary eating plans have no place in our daily guidelines for losing weight. We recommend you make lifestyle changes, including integrating healthy eating habits into your life and sticking with them. Your focus should be on balance, nutritious eating, changing old habits and beliefs, and living a healthy life. Here are our eight healthy eating guidelines to help you lose weight.
1. Eat three to six meals and snacks or mini-meals throughout the day. Keeping your blood sugar regular and within its desired range all day allows for optimal energy, decreases the burden on your endocrine system and lets your body know it’s receiving a consistent supply of the glucose it needs. If your body receives nutrients on a regular basis, it has no need to store excess fat for emergencies.
2. Include breakfast soon after waking. You’ve been fasting since dinner, so supply your body with the energy it needs to take on daily tasks without creating stress and low blood sugar.
3. Include a source of carbohydrates, proteins and fats with each meal or snack. Each of these macronutrients plays a vital role in your health (carbohydrates for energy, proteins for structure and fats to protect every cell in your body). Each is digested at a different rate, releasing its energy into the bloodstream as it’s digested. By eating all three macronutrients at each meal, you’ll keep your blood sugar level consistent for a longer period of time and stay satisfied longer.
4. Include a vegetable or fruit with each meal. Produce contains so many health-promoting factors — vitamins, minerals, water, fiber, phytonutrients, and macronutrients — that it’s no wonder these foods are considered the best for staving off disease. They are also generally lower in calories and high in fiber, so you stay fuller, longer, for less of your daily caloric allowance. Guidelines for health recommend 8 to 10 servings daily; eating at least one serving every time you eat will get you close to that goal. Aim for 1 to 3 servings of fruit and have the rest in vegetables.
5. Eat a rainbow.While eating 10 servings of green fruits and vegetables is good for you, each color group provides a different set of phytonutrients (plant defense system) that protects a different system in your body. Eating a rainbow of produce daily will ensure you’re receiving full-body protection. Having a red, orange, yellow/white/light green, dark green, and purple fruit or vegetable daily is a much easier way to ensure you’re getting in your 10 servings — and variety will keeps you interested! If this seems a little daunting, aim for 3-4 colors daily and rotate through all five many times throughout the week.
6. Drink ample water each and every day. Your body is approximately 70 percent water. Think of all the ways you lose it — going the washroom, sweating, breathing, etc. To maintain your 70 percent, drink hydrating beverages like water throughout the day. How much? Take your weight in pounds and divide it by two; that’s how many ounces you need in a day (e.g., a 150-pound person requires 75 ounces of hydrating fluids). Hydrating beverages can also include herbal teas or 100 percent fruit juice (in moderation). Dehydrating beverages (coffee, alcohol, caffeinated teas, and hot chocolate) require two glasses of water just to make up for the water lost by drinking one glass of them.
7. Eat until you’re 80 percent full. One of the longest living people, the Okinawans, practice this way of eating. When you eat until you’re 80 percent full, you give your brain time to catch up with all you’ve put in your stomach. When you eat until you’re 100 percent full, you can end up feeling uncomfortably overflowed — perhaps at the 125 percent level — by the time your brain processes how much food you’ve really taken in. When you’re 80 percent full, you allow your body to be hungry again when it’s time to eat in 3 to 4 hours.
8. Live by the 80/20 rule. Your body is a fascinating organism-it deals with all you throw at it and yet you can still walk down the street. If you focus on eating whole foods (health-promoting foods) 80 percent of the time, then your body can handle the other 20 percent, when you may choose to indulge in foods that aren’t necessarily good for you, but you truly enjoy. Allow yourself to eat those foods you crave without guilt, which can create more damage in the body than the food itself! If you want to fast track your way to your ideal weight, 90/10 might be more ideal, but never deprive yourself completely of anything you really enjoy.
Vital Points to Remember: Since this is a lifestyle change, creating these healthier habits may take some time and that’s okay; it take 21 days to create a habit. Keep moving forward and picture yourself at your ideal weight, seeing yourself as you want to look and feel.
Don’t try to change everything all at once; apply a new habit every day or once you’re comfortable, then add another, and another, and before you know it, you’ll have successfully created a new daily eating lifestyle that’s easy to maintain and a natural part of your thought process. Remember, you’ve got time to make these changes for life; it’s not a race. And, have some fun and laugh every day, too!
- I move beyond past beliefs and embrace positive changes.
- I am passionate about eating nutritiously.
- I enjoy exercising regularly.
- I choose food that gives me energy and vitality.
- I am at my ideal weight and loving it.
Do you believe that you’re overweight and will never be thin?