Tip of the Week #12 Eat 6 Smaller meals a day!

meals1

So some people swore by it, some people are totally against it. So let me tell you how it can be amazing and work and you will never be hungry again and then I’m going to tell you in return, how it can have a negative effect and honestly probably hurt you.

The Good :

It is known that frequent smaller meals can not only curb those hunger pains we often get in between our average “3 meals a day” but also speed up your metabolism. Eating more foods (ideally cleaner foods) helps get you the nutrients you need and keeps your energy levels up as well . Here are some examples of how to do this correctly, and what is considered a “small meal”. Each meal (of the 6) should consist of a lean protein, Lower carbohydrate, high fiber, and low fat snack/meal. Always include veggies and fruits in at least 4 if not all your meals.

meals3

Some examples:

  • Half of turkey sandwich on 100% Whole Wheat bread with light mayo or mustard. Side of Veggies and hummus.
  • Big Spinach Salad with fruit and a tablespoon of almond butter on the side.
  • Grilled chicken breast with steamed veggies
  • Protein shake
  • Lean meat with sweet potato and veggie
  • Medium apple with string cheese
  • Hardboiled egg on a slice of whole wheat bread. 1 half of grapefruit
  • Lean meat with 1 cup brown rice and steamed broccoli and cauliflower

Key pointers: Make sure you keep your portion control in check and make sure you aren’t only eating a lot of one key nutrient (i.e.. Grains)

meals2

The Bad:

Eating 6 smaller meals can go back when you either don’t watch your portions (this isn’t grazing all day kind of diet its a cut your meals in half and eat them every 3 hours). Also, it can go back when you aren’t getting a balanced meal every time you eat. Make sure your getting the cleanest forms of foods ideally. You don’t want to have every snack you have to be a protein or granola bar, you need to mix it up.

Also if your eating out all the time. (cheeseburgers, fast foods and processed foods, ) these are not considered cleaner foods… If your eating these at every 3 hours, this will not work either.

meals4

Some examples of how this Wont work:

  • Cheeseburgers all the time. With fries
  • Granola bars and fruit bars for every snack
  • Foods with too much sugar constantly throughout the day (gummy snacks, too much fruits with added sugar)
  • Not a balance of nutrients  (of anything)
  • Too many sandwiches throughout the day or week. (mix it up!)
  • Prepared Salads and meals at fast food chains (sorry but they are ideally not the best but ok when only in a time crunch or you drop your prepared meal or something.)
  • Energy bars and drinks. Some are ok, but usually the ones everyone likes have more sugar than a snickers bar!
  • Pre-made smoothies – your better off making your own.

meals5

Tip of the week #9 Prep the week Ahead of time

meal

When wanting to loose weight or even practice clean eating prepping meals ahead of time can make it soooo much easier to stick to your goals. So next day you have (for most people its Sunday) take a couple hours out of that day off work to prep all your meals for that week.

Whether it be for just you, you and a significant other or even a big family, meal prepping can be easy and effective. Plus it makes it super easy when you get off work and don’t really feel like preparing a meal for the family. haha.

meal2

There are tons of resources out there (blogs, pinterist, Google, you name it) to find clean eating recipes and frozen dishes. Ideally you’ll want to do foods that don’t go bad fast and eat the ones that do sooner in the week rather than later.

meal1

I usually just prep my dinners because that’s the hardest. (usually some form of lean meat, veggies and a sweet potato or brown rice). For breakfast its usually something simple and quick like oatmeal (I can even put that in Tupperware and eat it on the drive to work) or sometimes I’ll prepare some scrambled egg whites with mixed veggies when I’m doing the meal prep too so then ill have a little bit of a mix for my mornings.

Usually prepare my lunch (usually a salad) the night before, throw some lettuce mix in a bowl, add a shit ton of veggie and viola!

But I mean you can find healthy options that you could probably freeze (like a lasagna) and be fine too. Find out what the family would like to eat, make a plan and stick to it! =)

Happy preparing!

meal3

The Paleo Diet- Why I LOVE it – And all about it!

paleo 3

So if you ask me what’s my favorite diet and/or way of eating this is definitely in my top #3 (along with clean eating and veganism) I truly believe that this is the way we were meant to eat, along with a few splurges every once in a while ;). So throughout my weight loss journey, back when I was 210, I was always having stomach aches and wasn’t sleeping well and just all around feeling like shit. The  Dr. said I might have an intolerance to gluten or dairy and I was looking for a diet that basically knocked out those two things. I kept finding vegan books but nothing that still included meat… So I pondered with veganism for a while, I worked with the clean eating stuff, but it was Paleo that kinda set off the light bulb for me. I was able to eat all these healthy foods, without getting sick every time I ate, and I was able to stuff my face until I was full without having to count any fricken calories! What’s better than that?!?! ps. I loath counting calories.

So enough about me. You may be asking well what is Paleo? Let me tell you!

So when I say Paleo, I’m talking about WAY back in the day with what our ancestors ate during the olden age (hunter- gatherer diet) . And if they couldn’t eat it.. neither can you! So say to-da-loo to cereal, bread, pastas, dairy and processed crap! But also say adios to counting calories!!! (sorry count Dracula – ah ah ah )

So when looking at us as humans… we haven’t changed since then. Back then we were lean, fit, happy, energetic and athletic. We had to hunt and gather our foods to be able to survive. Now, look at us now….were tiered, “too busy”, unhappy and possibly depressed, overweight and lethargic.. and all we have to do to get our food is either run to a grocery store where everything is laid out conveniently or pull our happy asses through the drive through that’s closest to home. Sad but true. So what the hell happened? One word: Agriculture! .. YUP… We started farming, and making foods out of other foods, finding fake foods that didn’t cost much to put into other foods and the chaos began! We went from being hunters to farmers.

So lets talk about grains…. they weren’t a part of our diet back then, but they are a majority of our diet now??? Something’s wrong here. The government is still recommending we get 6-11 servings of grains a day… really? Even not eating the paleo way that sounds like a lot. I don’t know about you but I think fruits and veggies should be what we mostly should be consuming because .. well have you ever heard I diet that bans fruits and veggies? Nope!

paleo 4

So when we look at grains, out bodies aren’t really able to digest them. When we eat grains (carbohydrates), our body’s turn that into glucose, which is a form of sugar that gives us energy to perform throughout the day and in our lives. But here’s the kicker– any glucose that’s NOT used or excreted tough things like exercise or physical activity gets stored as fat. So think about all those times your eating your carb loaded breakfast and then go to work to sit at a desk all day….. No wonder your tiered (sugar high or about an hour and then you experience the crash) and no wonder the pounds started creeping on.

So I’m sure you have heard of gluten by now with all the craze of “gluten free” products out there. Most grains contain either gluten or lectins.. or both. Gluten is most commonly found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. Lectins are natural toxins that exist within those grains and that your consuming every time you eat a form of grain,… can anyone say .. yummm?

So basically there is no sugar in this diet either, as our ancestors didn’t drink tea with sweet N low in it, nor did they eat any processed foods like a twinkie….. So the only form of sugar you will be consuming of from fruits mainly and veggies sometimes.

This is not a “low carb diet” where you basically eat no carbs at all (like Adkins) you’ll still get a good amount of carbs if your eating fruits and veggies still. Yes, our body needs some carbohydrates to function and its a main source of energy (but high carb diets aren’t the answer – which is what the average American is used to). See, with the absence of a crap ton of carbs, our body will take stored fat and burn that INSTEAD of carbs. YAY (Which is called ketogenisis.. if you wanted to know haha) So if your reading right, lower carbs (no grains) = no glucose( sugar) makes the body burn stored fat instead YAY! So when you think of carbs, the obvious fruit comes to mind, but there are things like sweet potatoes too that can curb that “I need starch” feeling. Most of your carbs are going to come from veggies and fruit though.

paleo1

Enough about grains, onto the dairy! – I love this topic! Dairy never really phased me as an “unhealthy” food option until I read the book “Skinny Bitch” (I have a review here :  Skinny Bitch )  Never did I think that I would be able to give up things like cheese, ice-cream, Greek yogurt and chocolate! But I did! It was fricken difficult, I will say that, and it did take time but I feel SOOO much better now that I did. OK- enough about me. So what’s wrong with dairy you’re probably asking?? So when looking at dairy, we are the only species in this world that continues to consume dairy through adulthood, every other species only drinks it as a baby and naturally, they wean off of it as toddler ages come along. Also, were the only species that consumes another species milk! …. (hopefully the wheels are turning in your head right now)…. So why are we drinking cows milk? Are we cows? Cows milk is meant for baby cows, not humans. Just like giraffe milk is meant for baby giraffes, cat milk is meant for baby cats. Get where I’m going with this? (hopefully you are). So when a woman gives birth, she naturally produces milk to feed to her young, its full of the vital nutrients that the baby needs to grow into a strong and healthy toddler yes? Its known to be the biggest growth spurt in a persons life… The mother stop breast feeding and her milk glands dry up (hence this is where the weaning is supposed to take place) But nope! We don’t stop there, we feed our kids and even as adults we continue to drink milk. But is it milk that were supposed to be consuming? Is it from humans? nope! Were gonna consume milk from cows….

When a cow is nursing (much like humans, after birth to give her baby calf the nutrients it needs to grow from a 100 lbs calf into a 2000 lb cow) her milk ducts dry up too, and the weaning begins! SO … lets see… mothers milk takes a baby from around 5lbs to 25 lbs where as a cows milk takes a 100lbs calf to 2000lb cow… this doesn’t seem fattening at all right???? Common people! You’d think that if we were consuming milk from another species, we’d be consuming gorilla milk or something (since they are supposed to be the closest thing to us right?!

paleo

NO legumes no beans- why? Because beans ideally need to be “processed” before they are edible. Simple as that, so when looking at a bean, can you just eat a bag of dried beans? ha-ha no. Neither could our ancestors so beans and legumes fall under that category of “processed foods”. You cant eat beans right off the stalk because some of them are toxic too (like soy). They are known for causing inflammation and can throw off your hormonal balance as well. Also beans you have to soak the little sucker, rinse and switch the water, cook the crap out of them for forever for them to be edible… I don’t think our ancestors did all that work for a few beans …

So now your probably thinking well that the hell do I get to eat if your taking away all my pasta, cereal, cheese and milk?!? Well now that we’ve cut out all man-made products and processed crap, lets take a look at what’s left, Oh natural things that were put on this earth to eat. YAY!  And good news! You basically can eat as much as you’d like (my favorite part!)

Ps. I’m not adding everything but I’m sure you can Google different options!

  • Lean meats (grass- fed obviously … remember you are what you eat ate! – meaning if your eating grain fed cattle, your eating grains- and there is study that shows that’s hard for them to digest too…. )
  • Lean Beef- Flank steak, top sirloin, London broil, lean veal,
  • Lean pork, poultry (white meats), organ meats (liver and tongue), turkey, game hen, chicken, duck, goose.
  • Game meats- Bison, elk, deer, bear, pheasant, quail…
  • Fish- bass, trout, salmon, tuna, tilapia, red snapper….
  • Shellfish- shrimp, crab, lobster, oysters, clams…
  • Pretty much any fruits and veggies you want. Limiting starchy veggies like potatoes and legumes.
  • Healthy fats- almonds, cashews, seeds, pine nuts..

Foods you can eat in moderation –

  • Avocados, walnuts, olive, flax seeds, coffee, teas, wine and beer, dried fruits…
  • The reason they are in moderation is because did you see our ancestors lugging around a food dehydrator for their fruit or a beer. No. but its ok to live a little too..

Foods you avoid on Paleo:

  • (DAIRY) All processed foods with/without dairy
  • Butter, cheese, cream, frozen yogurt, milk, powdered milk,
  • (GRAINS) Barley, Corn, Millet, Oats, Rice, Rye, Wild Rice, Wheat, Buckwheat, Quinoa
  • (LEGUMES) All beans, Black eye peas, lentils, miso, snow peas, peanuts, soybeans and soy products, peanut butter
  • (STARCHY VEGGIES) Potatoes and potato products (fries, chips ect..) Limit your sweet potatoes and yams to a minimum.
  • (HIGH SALTED FOODS) – Bacon, pork rinds, cheese, deli meat, pickled foods, sausage, salted nuts, salami, hot dogs, ham, Ketchup…
  • (FATTY MEATS) – Beef Tips, Bacon, Lamb chop, fatty ground beef, skin of turkey and chicken…
  • Soft drink and juices
  • (SWEETS) – doughnuts, cakes, candy, honey, sugar (real and fake)

paleo2

Now, Paleo is kind of what set it all off for me personally, but if its not for you, its not for you. Plain and simple, you have to find something that works for you as a person because if you feel like your in a “diet” your most likely going to be miserable. Did I follow Paleo 100% when I was on  it ? nope! I had some beans here and there, I slowly weaned myself off dairy too (which was hard to do) but I made it work for me without messing it up too much.  I also started off with cutting out only gluten in the beginning and I found some “gluten free cereals” and I had oats still…. so I was more of a 80% Paleo do-er.

Try it for 30 days, see if you notice any difference? Are you sleeping better? Are you loosing weight or feeling more energetic? You never know unless you try it.

Keep a Food Journal! – How to

jouranl

So knowing what you eat  and how you eat is a good way to assess what goes in, how it makes you feel and ways to look and see what you can or need to change. Often, people munch and snack and think nothing of it but even a granola bar can add up your calorie count for the day from anywhere from 100- 300 calories. . .

When you start a food journal, try not to nit pick everything you eat. (AKA don’t act like your on a diet, and don’t feel guilty if you ate 5 Oreos… or even 12! Just write it down) ….   Write down everything that goes in your mouth down to the drinks you drink and the gym you chew. There is no point in keeping a journal if you don’t truly assess you eating habits and patterns if you don’t write down the truth and your not honest with yourself. So, I think a week is accurate enough, but if you want do it for a couple weeks, make it a week where there is a party or a get together where you know you’ll indulge a little just to see how you act around food.  Look at what you gravitate to. And ask yourself questions similar to this when the week is over and your looking over your journal..

  • What’s your vice- Are you a carb lover, sugar, salt or all 3?
  • Do you tend to mainly eat sweet foods at night, during the day, in the morning?
  • Do you snack while doing other activities? what are the activities your doing?
  • On a tough day at work, do you eat more?
  • What do you choose to eat when your stressed?
  • Do you eat the same foods your children eat or what are you feeding them? (Mac N’ Cheese, fast food, gummy snacks?)
  • Are you scrambled for time when your eating? (trying to squeeze in meals)
  • Are you skipping meals because your too busy?
  • Do you make your lunches for work or do you go out?
  • How often per week/month do you dine out? Breakfast, lunch, and dinner…
  • Do you tend to eat a lot of the same stuff?
  • What are you drinking?
  • How much are you drinking?
  • How much water are you drinking?

Also, some good tips on when your logging ..

  • Once you eat it, drink it, or chew it…. write it down, I’ve carried a food journal for years… I like the little ones because they can fit easily in the smallest purse and barely take up any room.
  • Note the times your eating at.. (2am? 8 am? 11 pm? ) is there a pattern?
  • No one is seeing your journal but you, so be honest…
  • How did you feel when you eat __ food? (happy, nervous, bored, starving etc. )
  • Where you doing anything while you were eating? (tv, driving, watching kids )
  • How big were your proportions… (if your not sure of sizes in ( oz. , liters, etc.) use things as visuals, like the size of a baseball, or the size of the palm of your hand, as big as a quarter piece…)
  • At the end of the day, write down any emotional things that may have happened. ( was it a tough day at work? Did you have the day off? Were you full of energy or tiered all day? )

journal1

So the switch! …

Once you start embarking on a healthier lifestyle, (i.e. eating healthier or noticing your eating a lot of sweets, so your making a point to not eat as much) notice how your logging is changing. Make sure your getting all your nutrients too. Are you eating a lot of protein and no veggies? or are you eating a lot of fruit and not as much protein? Notice different changes, how they make you feel and how your body reacts to certain foods… (this is how I found out I had a dairy allergy, Every time I would eat something with dairy in it, almost always an hour later, my stomach would hurt, my skin would break out the next day too… )

As you start eating healthier… A. you wont crave those Oreos       & B. You wont want to write it down, to therefore you will be less likely to eat it… I love looking at my journal and see nothing but healthy good choices in it. Every once in a while I will have a food that’s in my journal and when I’m going over it, I think ” ahhh why did I eat that!? ” it happens, but the thing is not to dwell or feel guilty .. but rather to notice what your eating and how you can change it! =)

P.s. there are tons of different logs and graphs and outlines on Google if you need somewhere to start ! Happy logging!!!

Whats going on currently?

Assess your lifestyle now. How are things going on with your life? Also think about the people around you….

nutrition

Look at the food:

  • Are you eating healthy?
  • Can you eat healthier?
  • Is money for food an issue or worry?
  • Have you tried eating healthy and just didn’t like it? What didn’t you like?
  • Do you feel better or worse when you eat healthy?
  • What does your average meals look like?
  • Do you like to cook or prepare meals?
  • Do you know how much you eat or how much you don’t eat?
  • Is snacking an issue for you?
  • Do you feel like you don’t know what’s healthy and what isn’t?

physical

Look at the physical exercise:

  • Do you workout? If so how often?
  • Do you get into ruts where you workout for 3 days straight and then quit?
  • Do you not know what to do when you step into the gym?
  • Do you like any other sports  or activities? (i.e. running, hiking, walking)
  • Do you feel self-conscious when you walk into the gym?
  • Does exercise hurt?
  • Would it be easier if you had a workout buddy?

emotion

Look at the Emotional/Mental side:

  • Do you think negatively about your body and/or life?
  • Are you depressed? If so why? (work, school, friends, family, weight, love life, social life)
  • Do you eat /not eat when stressed, busy, bored, upset, sad ?
  • Do you crave certain foods? (salt, sweet)
  • Did something happen recently or in the past to cause trauma?  Have you looked for help if so?
  • Are you ready to loose weight? If not why? If yes, why? Create pros and cons.
  • Are you afraid of failure?
  • Do you think its going to be difficult?
  • Are you scared of change and are you intimidated by it?

** IF an injury is present, seek medical help from your primary physician and if there are emotional issues, might want to talk to someone about that too. I know its scary at first, but its worth it not only for your healthy but for your well-being. **

You can get paid to lose weight! ………….What?!?!

Yup you read that right! You can actually get paid to lose weight! How awesome if that!?! (Its like the perfect world haha).  So there was a new Mayo Clinic study that had a test group earn $20 a month for hitting their target weight for that month, here’s the catch, if you didn’t hit that goal, you’d have to pay them. (that will keep ya on track!!)

What’s to earn money while you’re losing weight:

  • Shows like The Biggest Loser have incentives for those who lose weight at home every season. Check out their website just before the next season starts and make sure you sign up! You have nothing to loose.. (no pun intended) but the weight!

loser

  • http://www.dietbet.com/   DietBet.com its a betting game you play online! You have 4 weeks to loose $% of your body weight and whoever is the highest and/or meets the goal wins. You put in money at the beginning and I believe you can play against random people or create a team. But I mean its almost a race, and an incentive to meet people with the same goals, and maybe cheer each other on!

dietbet

  • http://www.healthywage.com/  Healthywadge.com lets you wager money for losing 10% of your body weight. They also have team based weight loss challenges.

health stikk

  • Use the App Gym Pact (its free) You set a goal for every time you “check in” at the gym or run outside. Win money for reaching a goal or target, loose money when you don’t loose or gain.
  • http://www.stickk.com/   StickK.com has you make a commitment contract to yourself and you can create your own goals, create teams, have supporters and come up with a “what happens if I don’t meet the plan” consequence.

 

How to get a Faster Metabolism!

metabo

  1. Up your Vitamin B! This vitamin helps increase energy production in the mitochondria (which is the main part of our cells)
  2. Don’t skip breakfast! When you do that your body freaks out and goes into starvation mode. Its called Break-Fast for a reason, your breaking your fast from sleeping. Refuel your body with some good breakfast. Eat within 2 hours of waking.
  3.  Drink Green Tea! It contains smaller amounts of caffeine than coffee and it also has an antioxidant that I cant even pronounce (EGCG) but that antioxidant helps you burn more calories… so drink up!
  4. Have protein for lunch! It takes you more energy to digest protein than fat or carbs. Protein is crucial for building muscle and well… The more muscle you have the more calories you burn.. But don’t go overboard either.
  5. Add your spices! anything spicey has been known to rev up the metabolism .. so spice it up! Add some cayenne and some peppers!
  6. Workout! – doing some cardio will definitely help. Alternate between high intensity and moderate intensity every 5 min, it will keep your body guessing.
  7. Hit the sack at a decent time. If you don’t rest your body it will be overworked and stressed out. And then you’ll just start packing on the pounds. Figure out a schedule and stick to it.
  8. This is going to sound weird, but eat A LOT.. haha the more you eat the more your body burns (and that’s if your active and your not eating crappy foods.. don’t try to cheat the system because THAT WILL NOT WORK HAHA) But your basically ensuring your body that you aren’t going to go into starvation mode every time you eat so the more your body will be inclined to “let go of” instead on “hang on to”. Eat every 3 hours or so… and Good Foods! High fiber, nutrient dense foods… not a candy bar and chips.
  9. Skip the Alcohol – There are studies out there that show that your body will burn off the alcohol BEFORE it burns off the food, sometimes not even getting to the food- leaving it as stored fat.
  10. Break up your workout into two smaller workouts. That was your get your heart pumping in the morning and later in the day.
  11. Chill – relax- take a breather. Stress can be a number 1 culprit to weight loss so try not to stress yourself out. Learn different techniques on how relaxing works for you. Maybe its mediation, boxing or even reading a book, figure out what works for you. And then do it!

spiceyrelaxworkout

Spicey Foods!                                                            Relax!                                             Workout and pump Iron!