Sunday, September 26, 2010

Drew Carey Did It (the right way) and You Can Too!



                                                                                                         Drew Carey
  I love this quote.

  Drew Carey put this quote on his bathroom mirror after he had been eating clean and exercising for about 6 months, losing around 3lbs a week. He ran his first 10k in 25 years and decided to celebrate with an ice cream, and pizza. And over the next few days, more pizza. He gained a few pounds and felt sick. It was then that it really hit home that eating bad food makes you feel bad.
               Read Drew Carey's inspirational story here in this week's Parade Magazine.
  Drew Carey is a comedian that has been around for a long time, doing comedy and hosting game shows. His story is similar to a lot of peoples'. In his twenties he was in the Marines and in great shape. When he left the Marines, his weight slowly crept up. With each size he gained, he thought of new ways to accept his new size, in his mind. However, he felt depressed and tired all of the time. Nine years ago after he was diagnosed with heart disease and needed a stent put into his artery, he decided to eat better and exercise and he lost weight. But when his mother got ill in 2002, he was under enormous stress and put his new eating habits and exercise to the side and began eating unhealthy food again. His weight increased to it's highest in November 2002 at 262 lbs.
   Despite a litany of health issues caused by his obesity,  it wasn't until he couldn't keep up with his fiances son, and the realization that he might not live to see him graduate high school, that he decided to finally make a change. He hired a personal trainer and nutritionist, changed his mindset and eating habits (to a totally clean eating program (click here to see how you can eat that way)) and began exercising 6 days a week. He has now lost 77 lbs!!!
    What I love about Drew's story is that it is so relatable. He has always been a really likable, funny guy. He struggled with food and stress as we all do. He had numerous health issues related to his weight and he felt tired and frustrated with himself.  His father and brother died from obesity related illnesses. Drew saw his future and decided that he did not want that for himself and the people who love him. He realized that his only option was to absolutely change the way he ate and worked out in order to save his life. He didn't rely on surgery, fad diets or diet pills, he did it with hard work and determination.

  Here are some take aways that you can incorporate into your life from Drew's fabulous accomplishment:
1.  Change the way you eat completely. Drew went from a diet filled with fast food, soda, excessive calories and fat to eating clean everyday!
2. Reach out for help when you need it. When Drew felt he could not do it on his own he hired a personal trainer and nutritionist to help him create an exercise and nutrition program to meet his goals and keep him focused and hold him accountable.
3.  Begin an exercise program, but do it at a safe level. Drew began doing 30 minutes a day at a moderate intensity and worked his way up to 60 minutes. He started walking and now he runs 10ks.  If you have not exercised in a long time it is very important to add exercise into your daily life to lose weight, but you have to start at a level that is challenging yet appropriate and safe for you. As you get stronger, continue to increase the intensity to constantly continue to shock your body to help you lose weight.
4. Set goals for yourself. Drew set a long term goal of losing 92 lbs. He also set a goal of running a 10 k. He has lost 77 lbs and has given himself until Oct 31 to lose the last 15lbs. Setting realistic, time bound goals for yourself is key to losing weight. They keep you motivated and focused. When setting goals, think about a long term goal for yourself such as "I want to lose X amount of pounds." Give yourself a realistic time frame to lose that weight. Losing 1-2 lbs a week is a healthy amount to lose. Then make smaller goals for yourself to keep you motivated and give yourself a feeling of accomplishment as you work toward your bigger goal. An example of a short term goal is "This week I will walk at an intense pace for 25 minutes, adding 1 minute to my daily time from last week; and I will eat clean everyday bringing my lunch and snacks to work with me" Keep a record of what you accomplish everyday. Remember to continually set new goals for yourself.
5. Know that there will be times that you might not eat perfectly, and when you do slip up, don't go crazy and give yourself permission to eat everything in sight. Get right back to eating clean your next meal (not the next day or week). Drew has times when he eats a piece of pizza or fatty snack, but he doesn't eat the entire pizza anymore or the gallon of ice cream. And now he starts eating clean right after that.
6. Write words of inspiration for yourself  like Drew did.  Post them around your house, car and office to remind yourself that you are worth the effort! Click here to see how to make a vision board for yourself.
7. Make eating clean and exercising part of your job! Drew explains that he realized eating clean and working out "isn't an extra thing to do, I told myself I'm going to make this part of my job" You can do this by scheduling time for yourself to workout. Don't schedule other things during the times you have set aside for your workouts!!!  Plan your clean eating for the entire week on the weekend and buy all of the food you will need. Prep the food you can ahead of time. Make meals such as soup, or fritattas, that you can just heat and eat!

 8. Think of a reason to make the change that is critically important to your life and keep that in mind when you are not feeling strong. Drew's motivation to finally change was inspired by his desire to be around for someone else in his life that needs him. If you can not think of a motivation to change your life within yourself, think of someone who loves and needs you and save your life for them. Be the change you want, for your children.

  I hope you found Drew Carey's weight loss story as inspirational as I did.  Take from it the knowledge that you can achieve your weight loss goals, whether it is 10lbs or 100 lbs, if you finally make the decision to put yourself first.

                                                                       YOU'RE WORTH IT!

 I wish Drew good luck in achieving his goal of losing his final 15 lbs, I know he will, and I wish him a long and healthy life surrounded by the people he loves!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

You CAN take it with you! Eat Clean Challenge Week 5!

                                       Eat Clean Challenge Week 5
Take food from home to eat throughout the day, instead of eating out.

  One of the most frequently asked questions regarding making eating clean a permanent lifestyle change is,
 What do I do when I'm not at home?
  The answer is simple... yet it will take some planning.
You must ALWAYS bring food with you (including snacks and drinks) when you will be out of the house for longer than 2 hours.
If you do not bring your food with you, you will not be successful because it will be impossible to eat clean on a consistent basis.
**You will also find that you save a lot of money when you bring all your food from home.****

Here are some tips to make" brown bagging it" easier to do:
1. Plan your meals and snacks for the week over the weekend and purchase the food you will need for them. Cook any meals you can over the weekend and put them in the freezer or refrigerator depending on how long they will last.
2. Buy a large cooler and ice packs that you can store a larger amount of food in to keep in your car. Purchase a small cooler bag as well to have for one meal or snack.
3. When making dinner, make extra of the protein and use it the next day in for your lunch as a sandwich or salad topping.
4. Pack your food the night before so that you aren't too tired or rushed in the morning and tempted to skip it and eat out.
5  If you have to dine out with clients for work, you should still pack your food. Eat your snacks throughout the day and have something light before you go out to your meeting. Then you can order just a small salad or broth based soup to have when the others are eating a full meal.
6.  Make a huge pot of homemade yummy broth based soup that you can have all week long. Soup is a great food to take with you on the go you just need a nice thermos to keep it in.  You can have it for lunch or a snack as long as it's not cream based. Soups are easy to make and are lowest in sodium and calories, and highest in good veggies and lean protein when you make them yourself.

EASY SNACKS TO PACK (use your cooler for perishables!)
 You want to make sure you eat both protein and carbs for your snacks. These can also be combined together for a lunch.
1. Cut up veggies and bring portioned amounts of either hummus/Greek yogurt or low fat cottage cheese for dipping
2. 10 almonds (if not allergic) and sliced apple sprinkled with Cinnamon
3.  A banana and a tablespoon of all natural soy/sunflower/nut butter (store in small plastic container)
4. Low fat string cheese with orange
5 1/4 cup raisins with cup Greek yogurt
6 100 calories of all natural whole grain crackers with 1/3 cup berries
7. 100 calories of whole grain cereal with berries
8. Make a shake at home in the morning with frozen berries and plain yogurt store in a thermos.
9. Instant oatmeal ( if you have somewhere to heat up some water) with skim milk
10. Don't forget to bring green tea/Puerh with you and plenty of water so you won't be tempted to hit the soda machine!
11. Air pop a half cup of popcorn (bring in ziplock bag) in the morning and have it in the afternoon if you want a little fun snack when everyone pulls out the chips!

  You will really notice a difference on the scale if you are very careful about what you eat when you are not at home. I hope these tips help make it easier to incorporate "taking it with you" into your life. Let me know if you have any other tips that might help!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cellulite! Can we get rid of it for good?



 Even the word is yucky! Unfortunately it's something almost every woman (well I know I do) struggles with no matter what their size or shape.
 I have it but what is it anyway?
  I know you know that cellulite is the dimpled, puckering appearance women get mainly on their butts and thighs.
 (Yeah that's right mainly women get cellulite! You would think that with everything else we have to deal with, the universe would have given cellulite to men!  Oh well,  we did get the brains!.....)
   If you look at the diagram above, illustrating the three layers of skin we have, you will see the third layer is where the subcutaneous ( beneath the skin) fat lies. This is where cellulite is created. Fat is stored in " standing fat chambers" that are separated by connective tissue. Cellulite occurs from projections from those chambers pushing up to the dermis level and causing the bumpy effect.
 I have way more now than I use to!
   It's cruel, but as with a lot of things, cellulite gets worse with age. The reason we seem to get more cellulite as we get older, is because after the age of 30  the dermis starts to get thinner and the connective tissue between the fat cell chambers weaken, allowing more fat cells to protrude through the skin. Although cellulite can be anywhere on the body, the reason why it shows up mostly on our thighs and butts is because as women, we have more fat storage in these areas.   Slender women can have cellulite as well as heavier women because it has to do with the structure of the skin below the surface. However, women with more muscle definition do tend to have less cellulite showing than women with less muscle.
  Myths about cellulite
  It's a isn't
  It is due to circulation problems in you's not
  Liposuction will get rid of it ...actually liposuction makes it worse.
  Massaging cellulite will make it go away. Massaging the area only creates inflammation.  After massaging, swelling occurs around the cellulite and for a short time, might make it less visible, but does not get rid of it.
  Creams will make it go away. The truth is there aren't any creams that will get rid of cellulite. (But if you have found one let me know!!)

   All of this is depressing I know. So what's a girl to do?

  Although we can't really get rid of it for good, studies have shown that females with low percentages of body fat have less cellulite and minimize the appearance of what they do have. So the best thing to do is to focus on eating cleanmaking sure to avoid sugar, processed carbs and saturated fats. Also drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and exercise intenselyespecially concentrating on strength training 3 times a week.
   You knew I was going to say that right?

  Since the subcutaneous fat rests on top of muscle, its crucial to build up that muscle to minimize the appearance of cellulite. When it is weak and not defined, you see the dimpling and uneven effect of cellulite more pronouncedly.

 Here are some great lower body exercises,  that you can do AT HOME or in the gym to minimize the look of cellulite.
Work up to 3 sets of each with 12-15 reps.
 Do these as body weight exercises first and then when you are ready, progress to adding free weights in you hands while you do them. Start with light weights (3-5 lbs and progress upwards)
Lunges (front, backwards, side, walking)
Wide leg/Sumo squats
Step Ups
Hamstring curls on stability ball

Using resistance bands:
Hip adductions for the inner thighs.
Hip abduction exercises for the outer thighs.
Hip extensions for back of glutes and thighs

Plyo Squat Jumps: Squat down low, and jump up trying to touch the ceiling, land in squat. Repeat. Try to build up to 15 jumps. Plyo jumps are only for someone who has been working out for more than 6 months on a continual basis.

Plyo lunge Jumps: Similar to plyo squat jumps but start in a lunge position, jump up in the air switching your legs and landing with legs on the ground in opposite lunge position. Repeat on the other side. That is one rep. Work up to 15 reps. Again, these jumps are not for the beginner exerciser.

**As with any exercise program, check with your doctor before starting anything new to see if it is safe for you to do.****

Don't forget to add intense exercise throughout the week to get rid of as much fat on top of your muscles as you can.

So while there isn't a quick fix and we can't get rid of cellulite for good, we can fight the good fight against it and maybe gain some ground!

Let me know if  you struggle with this like I do!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


There are 10 weeks until Thanksgiving!
Don't worry, I'm not going to start singing Christmas Carols... yet
I am going to help you set and achieve some exciting goals!
Do you realize that you can lose 10-20 lbs by Thanksgiving?!

                 But only if you get focused about eating clean and exercising intensely. Click here to find out how to up your intensity at any fitness level!
    Remember, losing just 10 pounds can lower your blood pressure by 10%, lower your risk for certain cancers and heart disease and 10 lbs is about 1 dress size! If you need to lose more, it's a great first goal.  When you achieve it you will know you can do anything you set your mind to. If you need to lose less, your goal is very doable in 10 weeks. You will also be able to increase your strength and cardio endurance a lot no matter how much you lose.
                          Read how it's not too late to rewrite your story!

First, lets review what we have focused on for the last 3 weeks... and then talk about where we should go from here.

I have challenged you to give up:   Your favorite unhealthy snack food
                                                              Fast food
                                                              Refined grains   

I have also asked you to add:      A healthy breakfast everyday
                                                       Whole Grains
                                                     Drink more water                                                   
             How have you done? Don't forget this is an ongoing process of making these challenges a daily habit. It will take time. Some weeks you will do all of the things really well, and some days you might slip up. That's OK. If you do, just start right back on track with your next meal or snack. Don't wait for the next day or week to start eating clean again or  if you missed a workout, exercising again.           
                                             THIS WEEKS CHALLENGE

        Give up unhealthy saturated and transfats and replace them with healthy fats. It is important that we have about 25% of our diet be from healthy fats.
   What's the difference between unhealthy and healthy fats?
   Well, saturated fats are found mainly in animal products such as fatty meats, butter, whole fat milk and whole fat cheese. Transfats are in foods that are made with hydrogenated vegetable oil and are found in most processed foods.Transfats have actually been shown to be more unhealthy than regular saturated fats because they raise bad LDL cholesterol while they lower "good" HDL cholesterol. NEVER EAT ANYTHING WITH TRANSFAT!!!! Treat it like it's poison, because it is!
           Foods to stay away from ALWAYS are:
                        FRIED FOODS such as  chips, fries, tempura, Chinese stir fry...(bummer I know)
                        Processed foods such as cookies, cakes crackers,gravies,dessert toppings,salad dressings and candy.
                        Cocoa Butter
                        Cream Cheese
                        Ice Cream
                        Palm Kernel Oil
                        Whole Milk (products)
  But all is not lost!!!
  You can eat yummy monounsaturated and some polyunsaturated fats, which taste great and are belly fat fighters. However, remember that even though they are healthy fats, they still pack a punch at 9kcal/gram so watch your portion size and calorie totals. Read package info to decide how much you are going to eat.  You don't need to eat what the package says is the serving size if it is too many calories for you. Just cut the serving in half.
Here are some good fats to put into your diet.
These fats raise your HDL (you want to have at least a 40 for your HDL and most beneficial is 60 HDL)
 Olive Oil (best choice)
 Canola Oil
 Almonds (if you're not allergic, 10 non salted per serving)
 These fats lower your LDL and Raise your HDL. They reduce inflammation, decrease the risk of heart disease and heart attack.
   Wild Alaskan Salmon (NOT farmed raised salmon which is very bad for you
    Canola Oil
    Soy oil
    Steamed broccoli
    Walnuts (if not allergic)
They lower both your HDL and LDL
Walnuts (if your not allergic, are the best choice in this category)
Safflower Oil
Sunflower Oil
   If you feel that this list leaves you with nothing to eat check out my clean eating shopping list for some great food choices

Plan out your goals and how you will achieve them.
  First, write down your goal of losing 10-20 lbs in a journal. (or whatever you want your goal to be, it can be less  however don't make it losing more than 2 lbs per week.)
  I know I talk endlessly about keeping an exercise/food/goal journal but that is because it really works!
  One way to keep your goals visible throughout the day is to get one of those big desk calendars from Office Max. The one with the big squares and lines on them. Write down your goal for the month at the top. For example if there are 2 weeks left in September write down
Goal: Lose 2-4 lbs
          Strength Train 2-3 days a week
          Do Cardio 5 days a week
          Eat Clean Everyday by packing lunch for work.
  The key is to be specific about what your goals are for a specific time period. Then, schedule your workouts on the calendar for the next week or two. Also, put them in your ipod/blackberry calendar so that they are real appointments that you will keep and schedule other things around.
   Then plan out what you will eat for the week ahead. Write it down on your big calendar. Make a list of the food you need to buy. Think about where you will be throughout the week and plan on snacks and meals that you can bring with you in a  lunch cooler.  At the end of the day check off what foods you ate that you had planned to eat and add any extra that you may have had. Also, write down information about your workout such as duration, how you felt and what you did.         

  Let me know what your goals are and if you have any questions about how to achieve them. I'm always here to give you advice and support!  Good luck this week! I know you can do it!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Flott Fitness Clean Eating Shopping List

        I know, I'm always telling you what you can't eat! And it might leave you feeling as if there isn't anything left to eat!
     So, here is a list of everyday foods (I obviously couldn't list everything that is OK to have on a clean diet,so sorry if I may have left off your favorites!).  You can mix and match them to make delicious clean meals, that you can enjoy all week long. Pick the ones you like and maybe try some that you haven't had before.

Skim Milk (Organic if possible)
Non Fat Greek Yogurt (Oikos is fabulous, great as a snack with some cereal and fruit mixed in or on the side with salsa for dipping fresh veggies. Use in place of Sour Cream!!)
Non Fat/Low Fat String Cheese
Non Fat/Low Fat Cottage Cheese 
Fat Free Soy Milk
Fat Free/Plain Yogurt (Don't be fooled by yogurt!! It's not all healthy, most of the flavored kind has at least 15-20 grams of sugar! That's a candy bar! Check the labels before buying!)
Low Fat Parmesan Cheese
Low Fat Shredded Cheese (careful of calories and portion size)

PROTEIN  (Serving Size is 3-4 oz)
 When eating clean it's best to stay away from red meat. However you can on occasion have a nice 4oz extra lean cut of beef or bison. Try to buy all of your meat organic if you can. Jewel and Target now carry very reasonably priced organic chicken and Turkey. Whole Foods has fabulous organic meat, although it might be a little more expensive. (they do have it on sale sometimes)

Egg Whites (This is one of my FAVORITE clean eating products! Available at Super Target,Jewel and Whole Foods in the egg section. They come in a green carton and are called All Whites. It makes it super easy to whip up an egg white omelette, frittata or quick scrambled egg whites in a pinch without having to separate the whites!!)
Eggs Target, Jewel and Whole Foods carry my favorite brand  "Phils Fresh Eggs" free range organic eggs. They really taste different and they are a really good choice with the samonella scare from the big egg factories.(to make hard boiled eggs, the perfect protein! Have one yolk and the rest just the whites. Great to have after a workout or for an afternoon snack with some veggies)
Skinless Chicken Breast (Organic if Possible. Jewel has a great Organic Line call Wild Harvest)
All White Ground Extra Lean Turkey Breast (99.9 percent fat free ONLY= only ground breast)
All White Extra Lean Ground Chicken Breast (99 percent fat free only= only ground breast)
Fresh Turkey Breast (Great for cooking Sunday night for dinner with steamed veggies and having cold turkey slices over a salad for dinner the next night! Whole Foods has delicious Local Fresh Turkey Breasts in Deli Case)
Wild Alaskan Salmon (salmon has omega 3 fatty acids that help fight abdominal fat)
Shrimp (cook in the morning and have a nice salad with cold shrimp on top for lunch or dinner or shrimp cocktail with steamed veggies.)

Brown Rice
Wheat germ

  100 percent Whole Grain Cereals come in many different varieties. You will find the healthiest ones in the healthy sections at Jewel, Whole Foods and Super Target
***However just because they are in the "Healthy Section" doesn't mean they are.You want to make sure your cereal doesn't have any high fructose corn syrup and no more than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Make sure you read the labels, many cereals look healthy but they have way too much sugar!

Some of my favorites are...
Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat (available at Super Target, Jewel, Whole Foods)
Cheerios (not very fancy but a familiar whole grain cereal with just one gram of sugar)
Oatmeal (Quaker or any other plain variety, can be instant or regular, but without any sugar  added)
Steel Cut Oatmeal

  Any 100% whole grain bread that you like. Check the ingredient list. Do not buy any that has high fructose corn syrup or lots of  added sugar. You can find some nice bread that has just a few ingredients and a little honey.

Some of my favorite brands are...
Kangaroo whole wheat or multi grain pita pockets (Available at Super Target)
Whole Foods 100 percent whole wheat wraps  (Available at whole foods)
Whole Foods whole wheat pita pockets (located at front of store in bread aisle)
Ezekiel Sprouted Bread (This is made from sprouted Grains you will find it in the freezer section at whole foods. This product is not nut free! )

**Whole Foods has a lot of different varieties of whole grain breads and wraps to choose from, check the labels to make sure they are really "clean".
Another great way to have delicious and clean bread is to make it yourself. It's actually super easy with a bread machine (available at Super Target) and you can use 100 percent whole wheat flour or any other kind of whole grain flour and no preservatives. It is also a great way to make sure your bread is nut free if you have any allergies!)

 Eat a rainbow of colors all week long to get a healthy amount of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Also, look for fresh vegetables that are in season, they will always taste the best. However, frozen veggies are just as nutritious as fresh, sometimes more and they are very convenient to use for frittatas and stir fryes. These are some of my favorites...

Red Cabbage
Green Cabbage
Carrots (regular and baby carrots great for snacking)
Sweet Potatoes
Romaine Lettuce
Green Beans
Green, yellow and Red Peppers
Snow Peas
Celery Root
Brussels Sprouts
Hot peppers (these have capsaicin which studies have shown boosts metabolism)
Fresh Ginger (spice found in vegetable section, also has capsaicin)
Avocado (technically a fruit...) click here for my blog about the belly fat reducing properties of Avocados!

  As with vegetables, check the season for fresh fruit. I have only listed some of my favorites here. There are many that I have left off of the list.

Pomegranates (these are starting to be in season now! They are my absolute favorite fruit and are filled with vitamins and phytochemicals)
Apples (farmers market has wonderful apples, especially Honeycrisp! Yum! through end of October Have sliced apples sprinkled with Cinnamon and a low fat string cheese for a morning or afternoon snack)
Bananas (Yes! You can have a banana!)
Fresh Berries (Blueberries, Raspberries, blackberries, strawberries)
Frozen Berries (frozen berries are perfect for making a shake for a pre or post workout snack. Throw some in a blender with non fat plain yogurt!)
Spelt Flour
Buckwheat Flour
Whole Wheat Pasta (Make sure that your pasta is 100 percent whole wheat and measure it before cooking. A serving size is only 1/2 cup. It's best to eat this for lunch and not dinner.)
Whole Wheat Flour
Baking Powder and Soda
Vanilla (real)
Sugar Substitutes (Agave Nectar, Stevia) Look for an upcoming blog reviewing these two products
Corn starch

  Spices have numerous health benefits. Some like cinnamon have been shown to help with weight loss. They also add tons of flavor without adding calories or sodium. You can buy many of these fresh or dry.
 Cinnamon (put in yogurt, oatmeal, tea or sugar free applesauce.)
 Turmeric (has been shown to help fight off Alzheimer's)
 Indian Spice blends/Masala
 Cajun spices
 Coriander seed
 Tamarind Paste
  Celery Salt (use a tiny bit with little bit of low fat olive oil mayo and vinegar for healthy Cole Slaw)
  Rosemary ( has immune boosting qualities, so great during cold and flu season, make an infused oil or marinade for chicken)
 Red Chili Flakes

Hummus (Make sure you buy a Hummus that only has a few ingredients in it without a lot of preservatives. They have many different kinds to choose from at Whole Foods. When eating this make sure to watch portion size and calories)
Beans (Navy, Pinto, Black, Soy,Kidney,Garbanzo. These can also be purchased in dry bagged form.)
Lentils (also available in dry bagged form)
Split Pea (also available in dry bagged form)
Tomatoes (crushed or whole...great to warm up and put over baked chicken breast for fast dinner or make a homemade tomato sauce and use it for a couple different dinners!)
Water Packed Tuna (Be careful not to eat too much Tuna, because there is a high mercury content in it.)
Water Packed Wild Alaskan Salmon
Low Fat,Sugar free, Low Sodium Soups
Low sodium Chicken or Vegetarian Stock (It is great to make a healthy Veggie Packed Soup on the weekends and have it for the entire week!)
Tomato Paste

 Extra Virgin Olive Oil (liquid and spray)
 Canola Oil (liquid and spray)
  Grape Seed Oil

Dijon Mustard
Salsa (great for snacking with fresh veggies! Not chips!)
Unsweetened applesauce
Raw Organic Honey
Thai Chili Paste
Low sodium soy sauce
Olive Oil Mayo (use just a tiny bit to make healthy cole slaw)

Green Tea (regular and decaf)
Puerh Tea click here to read my blog about how awesome Puerh Tea is!
100 percent Pomegranate Juice (no added sugar or other juice mixed in! So good for you! Available in healthy/organic aisle at Jewel and Whole Foods)

  Vinegar is a great food because it lowers the glycemic index for any meal it is added too. It also lowers the insulin response from a starchy meal. It's obviously awesome on salads. Try a bunch of different kinds to find your favorite.

Low Fat Coconut Milk (great for making low fat curry sauces for veggies)
Balsamic Vinegar
Rice Vinegar (a sweeter vinegar great for a low fat cole slaw mixed with low fat mayo and celery salt, or great for lighter dressings with citrus.)
Lemon Juice
Lime Juice
Apple Cider Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
Low Fat Coconut Milk (great for making low fat curry sauces for veggies)

 So I hope you see from this shopping list that there are still tons of yummy foods to eat when you are eating clean. Print it out and take it with you the next time you go shopping. It's easy to get into a rut and buy the same processed foods over and over. With a little planning you can make fresh, clean foods that will taste great and help you lose weight. I will update this list when I find new delicious clean foods, I think you might enjoy. So check back periodically. (I'll highlight new additions) If you have a favorite clean food that I left off the list, let me know and I'll add it so other people can enjoy it too.

Also, check back soon for a new weekly blog segment in which I will have clean eating recipes (one for you, one for your kids, using similar ingredients) to make your life easier when cooking clean for yourself and making food your kids will eat!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Your most vulnerable time of the day....


 I made it!                                                                                                               
 I ate a clean breakfast
 Squeezed in a morning workout
 Had a clean lunch/watched portion size!
 Didn't eat cookies with the kids after school
 That's it, I'm done,
 Yeah me!!!
 OH SH** !!
 You mean there are still 7ish hours left of the day to get through???? What the......
And now I have to make dinner, do dishes, help with homework, do laundry...
Oh forget it... I'm havin some chips.....

Oh yeah! I've been there. By the time late afternoon rolls around your willpower is gone and the hardest part of the day is ahead of you. (so not fair!)
Consequently, it is very easy to eat junk food. or just too much food from the time you get home until you go to bed.

I'm very sorry, because I truly understand how hard it is, but the reality is...
No matter how good you were during the day, no matter how much exercise you did (no you can't eat extra because you worked out!!) if you do not keep your eating in check during the evening and nighttime hours you will not lose weight. PERIOD.

Here are some tips on how to stay strong during these hours...

 EARLY EVENING (before dinner)
 You've just gotten home after a long day and your famished. But you need to prepare dinner.
  It is so easy at this time of the day to snack on chips, pretzels, or anything you can get your hands on. You feel so hungry you don't care about your "diet" anymore. Plus you figure you were good today and you exercised, so a little snacking can't hurt. Not true...

  Here's how to make it through without consuming a ton of calories...
 1. Eat throughout the day, every two to three hours.
    This will help so that you are not feeling totally famished around four or five.  If you have eaten a healthy snack at around three, that consisted of protein and some healthy complex carbs, you shouldn't feel as though you are going to pass out in the late afternoon. A good option is a plain Greek yogurt with cheerios or 1/2 cup of oatmeal.

 2. Prepare a salad/ or sliced veggies for yourself the night before or in the morning before you go to work.
    If you have something already prepared and you come home starving, you can eat a bunch of veggies to hold you over until your healthy dinner is ready.  And you won't be "forced" to eat those tortillas and salsa!

3. Make sure you don't have your  favorite go to snack (chips, etc) in the house.
    If it's not there, you can't eat it. I know this is hard to do when you have kids, but try to choose something to have for them that isn't your total favorite pig out food! 

4. Text or facebook a friend.
   It's a busy time of day, but checking in and laughing with a friend for a minute can take your mind off of wanting to snack. It can also make you feel less stressed. Texting/facebook is so perfect because you can chat for a quick second and not disrupt anyones busy schedule.

5. Drink some water
   I know this sounds like an old cliche but drinking plenty of water really does help you eat less. click here to read about recent study about filling up with water and weight loss So if your hungry while cooking dinner have some water until it's ready.

   Here is how to avoid the after dinner dessert or alcoholic drink....
1. If you can take 20 or 30 minutes for your self, after dinner is the perfect time for a walk. 
     Go with your spouse, call a friend or just go by yourself.  Even if you just have a little time to spare. It will help you take your mind off of food and give you some time to reflect on the day. When you get back you will feel like you did something good for yourself and you will feel less inclined to eat.

2. Have a cup of tea.
  If you feel like having something else after you have had dinner, while your watching TV with the kids or finishing up some work around the house, make yourself a nice cup of decaf green or herbal tea. It will give you something to occupy your hands and mouth with and doesn't have many calories ( don't add tons of sugar or honey) and it can help you feel full if your dinner didn't satisfy you.  This is actually one of my favorite things to do throughout the day when I know I've eaten enough but I still feel hungry!

LATE NIGHT (before bed)
When the kids are finally asleep, (or at least hanging by themselves...) and your on the computer, instead of munching on a late night snack of chips do one of these instead...

1. Change your routine
  Sometimes we get into a habit of doing a certain activity and eating something while we are doing it. Like watching tv and eating ice cream or going on facebook and having some cookies. If you think about it, you aren't even hungry at those times, EATING becomes a major part of how you destress from the day  A real connection is made in your brain between the activity, or even the specific chair you sit in and the snack you have. (Smokers do this as well) So, break the connection by changing up your routine. Sit in a totally different part of the house or room to relax, or avoid the activity all together. For example, instead of going on facebook and eating, read a healthy living magazine or a fun book on the couch or in your bedroom.

2. Journal
   Before bed is the perfect time to write in a journal. It's hard to write and eat at the same time (although it's possible I know!! ) If you aren't the journaling type, try filling out a food/activity journal for the day. Or make a plan for what you will eat for the next day. When you have a plan in place, it makes clean eating a whole lot easier.

3.Go to bed earlier!
   If you find that when you stay up late you end up eating a lot of junk food (you shouldn't be eating after 7 anyway) go to bed earlier!  read my blog entry about how sleeping more will help you lose weight!   You should be going to bed around 10-10:30 to optimize your hormonal balance. So make a plan to go to bed a little earlier everyday, facebook will be there in the morning I promise! And you will save a ton of calories!! Maybe you can coax your significant other into coming to bed early with you, and can even burn some extra calories before bed!! Woohoo!

 I hope these tips help you create your own routine to eat clean when your self control is at it's lowest point of the day! Let me know if you do other things at night to avoid overeating! I'ld love to hear your ideas! I'm always looking for new ones for myself too!!
Have a great night!

Monday, September 6, 2010


                              This weeks challenge...     
                            Stop eating refined grains                                       
   This includes all white rice, pasta, breads, crackers and cereals made from white flour.


   What are refined grains?
    Food manufacturers refine grains in order to extend a products shelf life. In order to do this, they strip the wheat or grain of all of its bran and germ, which can go bad in a relatively short period of time.  When they do this, they also get rid of all of the vitamins, minerals and fiber from the grain. The government tells them they must then put these nutrients back into the finished product. That is why you see the word "enriched" on these products' food labels.

**  Enriched seems like a healthy word, but it is actually a red flag that these products are not good for you! These products also always have tons of sugar, salt, fat and chemicals added to them.***

  Why will refined grains make you gain weight?
 These "white" refined carbohydrate products are very easily digested and create a huge spike in blood glucose and insulin making your pancreas work harder. Consequently you will continue to feel hungry and overeat because the insulin is continually taking the glucose out of your bloodstream. Overtime, a diet high in refined carbs will exhaust your pancreas and will wreck your metabolism and can cause diabetes.

   Eating white products will lead to fat storage and will decrease your ability to burn fat even when you exercise regularly!

  But....Whole grains stimulate a much lower insulin response. They will keep you fuller longer so you don't over eat. They  are also full of essential vitamins and nutrients that we need to stay healthy. A diet high in whole grains decreases your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Besides making us fat, eating white products is disgusting because the food manufacturers actually BLEACH the flour to make it white, with chemicals such as: oxide of nitrogen, chlorine, chloride, nitrosyl and benzoyl peroxide mixed with various chemical salts. Do you really want those in your body???

Reading food labels:
When you are choosing a whole grain product, you must read the nutritional label on the package carefully and not simply rely on the front of the package where it might say "Whole grain...." or "Whole Wheat".... The words whole grain, whole wheat, stone ground, bran, seven grain...etc... do not mean the product is 100 percent whole grain.  The law only requires that products labeled as "whole"  have 51 percent whole grain, which isn't a true whole grain product. Think of the front of a food package as a commercial for the food, very often it is saying things to trick you into thinking it is a healthy choice.

 So in order to ensure that you are truly buying a whole grain product, look for the words "100 percent whole _"in the ingredient list.

 Here are some delicious whole grains that you can replace your refined products with...
wild rice
brown rice
whole wheat
whole oats
whole rye

There are countless varieties and brands of whole grains available to choose from. Keep trying different ones to find your favorites! And the great thing is you don't have to go to a specialty store to buy them. 

         Getting rid of refined carbs in your diet is key to losing weight and being healthy; and you will find that once you start eating only whole grains, you will feel and look much better.

 Let me know some of your favorite whole grain products!
 Also let me know how have you been doing with the fall eat clean challenge. Is there one thing that you had to change that has been most difficult? I'ld love to hear any tips you might like to share with others!
Good luck this week.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dream it, See it, Be it

   How do you make the leap from dream to reality?
   You must begin to believe that the dream is possible.
  And we all know that seeing is believing.
  Everyone has something unique that will motivate them to finally make the change to eat clean and exercise.
What keeps me from eating chocolate cake everyday, is different from what will keep you from doing the same.  Our dreams for ourselves are individual and very personal as is our journey to achieve them.

  I am a visual learner. I understand things best when I read about them or see them. I love to make lists and I can never have enough calendars with dates and times of upcoming events filled in.
  That's why I love to have my clients create a

                                                       VISION BOARD

when we first start working together.

 What is a vision board?
A vision board is a collage or collection of pictures and quotes of people, things and ideas that are  motivational and inspirational to you. 

  How to make one...
 1. Get a piece of poster board or paper to put your collage on. It can be any size or color that you would like. (it doesn't have to be big, it can even be just a sheet of 8 x 11 paper)
 2. Look through some magazines or online and cut out/print pictures of women that you think look similar to the way you would like to look or are doing something (like running or lifting weights) that you would like to do.
 3. Cut out pictures of foods that you want to make a regular part of your clean eating diet.
 4. Find a picture of something you might buy yourself as a reward for achieving one of your first stage goals. For example, if you eat clean and exercise regularly for one month, you will buy yourself some new fun eyeshadow. Find and print/cut out a picture of the eyeshadow or whatever you want to make as your treat.
 5. Find quotes that you find motivating and print them out. You can also use lyrics to a song that make you feel good. Or if there is something that you want to say to yourself for example " I can do it" or  "This is the time" type it and print it.
 6. If you have a picture of yourself at a time in your life that you looked and felt really good, you can put that on.
 7.  Lastly be creative and put all of those pictures and words together on your board/paper. Hang it somewhere that you often feel susceptible to either giving up on your plan to workout or eat clean for the day. Or put it somewhere that your mind might wander to negative thoughts about yourself, like maybe your workdesk or bedroom mirror.

 By creating a visual, concrete representation of your dreams for yourself , you will help your mind bridge the gap between dreaming it and being it!

Let me know if you create a vision board or if you already have one. If you would like, I would love for you to  share some of the pictures and quotes that you find inspiring,  because they might help some other people!!