How is your stomach feeling? How is your energy? Do you get heartburn often? Headaches? Feel puffy? Allergies? Are you bloated all the time and now so used to it you do not even notice it? Do you even notice when you have a stomach ache?
More and more awareness and information is coming regarding our digestive tract – our gut – with regards to our mental and physical health. Articles in the last few months have been revealing research regarding the health of our gut with mental health (click here), weight loss (click here)and Michael Pollen wrote a lengthy feature on the microbiome that just rocked my world (click here). The microbiome is insane and as we learn more about all this bacteria and how it is affecting us I think we will be shocked at what a significant role this plays in our weight, long term health, mood and overall wellness.
It makes for a really important discussion in understanding why you are doing what you are doing. If you are eating in a manner to promote weight loss but it is causes you to feel sick – what is the point? Or if you eat in a way that makes your digestion work and your energy improves – so what if you do not eat some foods that many consider “healthy”. Or are you committing to an exercise regimen or a daily routine that is causing you to feel exhausted?
Your digestion, your energy levels, your sleep – if these are off then your body is trying to tell you something! Take a good look at how you are doing and feeling and assess if you are where you want to be. And if you are not – what do you need to do to get there? The answer isn’t always eat less and exercise more…what is going to work for you?
I guess the question is not whether or not your gut is talking to you, but rather, and more importantly – Are you listening?
I was thrilled to see I was quoted in an article in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago. Exciting to be in such a distinguished newspaper but more importantly, I loved being a part of a wonderful story. The article is a feature of Rodney Tafoya, a 49 year old bank executive who still actively pitches in amateur baseball leagues on weekends and holidays. While he never made it to the pros, he never gave up on his passion. He lives his life as an athlete and does everything he can to take care of himself so we can live the life he wants. Inspirational and beyond impressive!
I keep saying this but no one wants to believe me – there is no quick fix, no magic pill, no shortcut. It takes effort to live a healthy, strong, well life. The thing is, all this “effort” does not have to be considered so miserable. It feels good to take care of yourself. Doesn’t it? Why is that such a hard thing to believe?
When you exercise and you get your heart pumping, break an awesome sweat, challenge yourself, get that endorphin rush and your mind clears…that feels so good!
When you eat a plate of wholesome, nourishing food that makes your body stronger and healthier…that feels fantastic!
When you give yourself a break, sleep a full 8 hours, take some time during the day to slow down rather and destress….that is just the best!
Rodney Tafoya has a goal – he wants to play baseball for as long as he can because it is what he loves to do. He lives his life in a manner that will help him achieve his goal.
What is your goal? What do you want to do? What can you do in your everyday life that will help you create behaviors that will make living that life that much closer?
Take some time this week to consider one goal you want to achieve and one simple change you can make to your routine to get closer to that goal.
Today’s newsletter is about how to drink bourbon successfully through a sippy cup…kidding! Ha! Boy, many of you would like that!
Seriously though, so many of us are dehydrated. I truly believe if everyone drank more water many of us would feel so much better. It can help manage weight, curb food cravings, decrease internal stress and improve skin tone, exercise performance, GI issues and so much more. Drinking more water is the true “detox” and “cleanse” for the body.
So why is it so annoying? And so difficult? This is my worst habit – I can go a whole day and forget to drink. Drives me nuts!
A few weeks ago some buddies bought me an iced tea at Starbucks. It was a hot day and I was so thirsty so I ordered the extra large cup and ordered the unsweetened herbal tea. I slurped it down before we left the store. So I filled my cup up with water and noticed I drank it within a few minutes.That day I drank over a gallon water! After thinking it through, I figured out how I was able to do it – I was drinking through a straw! The darn straw was my game changer.
I have become a bit obsessed. My buddies even bought me a reusable cup with a screw lid and fancy straw so I do not have to rely on plastic or spend a ridiculous amount of money for iced tea.
Drink up everyone! Become a dork like me and start drinking through a straw or figure out your game changer to get more fluids into your day.
- The right bottle - get the right size and opening so you can drink easily. You would be amazed at how important this is. It has to be just right for you to use it.
- Hot or cold? Notice what temperature makes you drink more
- Sans or con gas - Do you like bubbles? Maybe carbonated water will allow you to drink more. Just remember that some carbonated water has sodium in it so watch for that on the label if you do not want the added sodium in your diet
- A little flavor? Maybe some lemon, lime, cucumber, apple cider vinegar or orange will help you get the water down.
How much water?
We really do not know. Start to notice how much you are currently drinking and add 8 ounces a day until you get to a point where you are urinating often and it is clear. Take it slow – do not start chugging a gallon of water straight away as that can be quite harmful. Slowly add more until you are drinking as much as you can and you become hydrated.
Now go get some bourbon! I mean….now go drink some water!
Hiya…just checking in with you all. It is October 1st! Wowza time flies when you are having fun. I love this time of year – my obsession with fall foliage can begin…it is sweater and scarf weather…cozy time for tea is a daily habit and cinnamon seems to fill the air a bit.
The only problem with this time of year is people’s commitment to taking care of themselves often goes out the window. New Years Day is 92 days away – what will you weight on January 1st? Last year I had several clients who just accepted they would gain 10 pounds over the holidays and deal with it in January. Seriously? This year I am not having it…lets up the ante and stay focused on the prize.
I encourage you all to think about this now. How are you going to handle the next few months? Food is everywhere, social calendar gets busy, we often spend time traveling and stress and drama tend to creep in around now…Are you going to control how this plays out – or are you going to let your environment control you?
This is your life, your 2013…your 2014…how do you want this to play out?
I know I have been a bit MIA – my apologies – but I do have a good excuse…I got a new job! Don’t fret – still seeing clients at The Bay Club…but thought I would add some more goodies to my bag of tricks.
I am working as a Health Educator at Stanford School of Medicine Prevention Research Center. Quite excited! The study is comparing a very low carbohydrate diet versus a very low fat diet. Crazy extreme diets! As a Health Educator, I will be teaching the study participants their diet and supporting them for the year they are on the study. The study is not just looking at weight loss, but also how these two diets affect a variety of things such as long term weight loss, gut microbiome, insulin sensitivity and many other outcomes. For a nutrition dork like myself, this is a little slice of heaven!
For years it has been said that a “healthy” diet should be high in fibrous whole grains and low in saturated fat. Many still believe in that philosophy, but there is a new camp of folks who suggest the exact opposite – they encourage large amounts of saturated fat and eliminating all grains. How can both diets have research to support them, true believers in each camp and convincing arguments, yet be so fundamentally different?? It is good to note that high vegetable intake is encouraged on both diets…vegetables are a key to healthy living!
It is an exciting time for the field of nutrition. Slowly (very slowly!) but surely, people are beginning to pay attention to how food affects so many aspects of our culture. As exciting as it is, it is also quite confusing. We still do not know the answer!
So here I am, part of a great group of folks who are trying to ask questions and get some possible answers.
I will keep you posted as I get more scoop – stay tuned!
You are about to put of a fork full of food in your mouth….do you ever stop and ask yourself…”why am I eating this?”
The first step in making any change in your nutrition or behavior is to find out why you are doing what you are doing. Do you keep going for coffee and sweets at 3pm because you are having major emotional cravings? Or is it because it is easy, convenient and tasty? Do you always go for vegetables at lunch because you love the taste? Or is it because eating more vegetables makes you feel healthy and strong?
A small study was recently conducted where individuals had to tweet photos of their food for three days and add a hashtag associated with that food. People could add something as simple as #protein or #grains or explain the reason they were eating their food such as #social, #taste or #convenient. The study found convenience and cost to be the main motivators in the participant’s reason behind their food choices.
Now I am not the most techy of gals – in all honesty, I am still a bit confused as to what Twitter is in many ways…but this study does make me wonder how our attitudes and relationships around food would change if we tried this exercise. Would your behaviors change if you had to think through the “why” before each meal?
#Convenience – If the main reason you eat certain foods is due to their convenience, are you doing what you need to do to take care of yourself? Yes, your food is easy but how do you feel about your health? Could you do a smidge of planning to get things to move a little more in your favor?
#Social – I love being a social butterfly too but it can get dangerous if you eat at every function. Could you eat before you go to an event? Could you drink a bit less? Could you choose the restaurant next time so you can get what you want?
#Health – What if you were confident the foods you were eating were making you healthier and happier? Imagine how tasty each bite would be?
What would your most common hashtag be? Any of you want to try this for a day or two? Shoot me an email and lets make it happen. It would be quite a reality check!
With this knee injury dragging on, I have become very good friends with the bicycle. I wouldn’t say we were never friends, but I couldn’t quite get the “runner’s high” from spin class and was having a hard time breaking a sweat when I was trying to workout on my own. I have been consistent and patient and slowly but surely the workouts are getting harder, far more enjoyable and endorphins are kicking in. Thank goodness!
When you are trying to increase your aerobic fitness there are three things you can alter:
- Intensity – resistance and/or speed
- Frequency – how often
- Duration – how long
I GUARANTEE everyone can improve their aerobic fitness by adjusting the variables.
If you are looking at duration – consider adding a few more minutes to your current workout – could you do 5 more minutes?
If you are looking at frequency – add one more day a week. Can you make that work with your schedule?
If you are looking at intensity you can adjust resistance and/or speed to change things up. Are you up for the challenge?
Playing with intensity can get fun – make a game of it! Find a certain amount of time “on” and a certain amount “off” and find just how hard to can push yourself. I am certain you can do more than you think. Show yourself how strong you are!
Today I spent 45 minutes on the bike and played with the following intervals:
- 1 minute on – 1 minute off
- 4 minutes on – 1 minute off
- 30 seconds on – 30 seconds off
- 1 minute on – 30 seconds off
- 2 minutes on – 1 minute off
I kept the RPM around the same level and adjusted the intensity by changing the resistance. I also watched my heart rate to monitor how I was doing. The time flew by because I was so focused on the interval and I was dripping by the end because I was continually challenging myself.
Do you think you are getting the most of your cardio workouts? Can you push yourself harder? Do you even want to? Just know that you can – changing things up can make a big difference.
No go get some endorphins!
Last Friday my client weighed in at his lowest weight ever! So exciting. Just a few more to go for his goal weight. This is a wonderful client who I have been working with for years, meet him weekly and very slowly but surely the weight is coming off. He has made fantastic changes in his lifestyle to achieve his goals. I am beyond proud and impressed with him.
So what does he do after this exciting news? He goes and rewards himself with a few extra glasses of bourbon and gains a few pounds back! I wanted to strangle him! Now is this the end of the world? Of course not. However, why work so hard just to screw it up? Why take baby steps forward for months and then a solid jump back? Why?
Disclaimer – my client is fully aware that I am writing this email as an ode/rant to him and we are still friends…
So what can you do to stay on track?
- Most importantly, accept that while these behavior changes will be difficult and different, you have to create a plan that doesn’t make you feel constantly deprived. If we are relying on willpower, it is not going to work in the long run.
- Set yourself for success. All the time, but especially the weekends. Look at menus before you go to restaurants, eat some protein and fat before you leave the house so you do not walk into a social event starving and have some snacks in your bag/car so you are always prepared.
- A weight loss plan likely includes decreasing your alcohol consumption. Not eliminating, but decreasing. Consider not drinking as much as you are used to or as much as everyone else. I know it is difficult at first but you would be amazed how much it is simply a habit. Next time, have one less drink than normal and see how it goes.
- Go ahead and reward yourself! Just find something that will not sabotage your health and wellness goals. Get a massage, go for a hike, buy that goodie you have had your eye on – do anything to keep you moving forward.
All right everyone – Happy Friday and have a great weekend. And to my fantastic client…you know who you are…I will see you Monday!!!
Email from a client with a photo attached of a food item with the question:
“Can I eat this?”
“What are the ingredients?”
It is not natural for us to think about what we are eating. Quite fascinating actually… Why are so unaware of what we eat? We are so conditioned to look at the calories or grams of protein and sugar or read the pretty label, but we often do not take the time to learn what are the ingredients in the food we eat.
Take a few moments and think before you eat. If you are eating anything out of a package, look at the ingredients and be sure you know what you are eating and want to put it inside your body. If you are about to eat a plate of food, take a look and see what you are eating. What is on that plate? Seems silly, but do you know?
Have a question? Unsure of what you are about to eat? Feel free to send me an email of the ingredients…happy to help!
I will be honest with you all – I am little confused about nutrition these days. I have some pretty serious questions about what makes up a balanced meal and what ratio of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat) we should all be eating. It is an exciting time in the field since people are starting to really pay attention to food, nutrition and health, but it is also a little unsettling that there are so many unknowns.
That being said, there are a few things I do know…
- Vegetables have to be a large part of everyone’s diet. No matter what your health or nutrition goal is – you need to eat a lot of vegetables – a lot. We all should be eating several servings a day (a serving is about the size of our fist).
- Cooking vegetables in bulk is one of the most efficient and effective ways to increase your vegetable intake.
Want to know what I do every Sunday? I cook! Last Sunday I bought 2-3 bunches of kale, 3 eggplants, 3 peppers, 1 butternut squash and 2 bunches of carrots and roasted or sautéed them all and have them ready to go in my fridge. I also bought a few heads of radicchio and sliced and washed and dried them all as the base of my salad. That way I have lunches for the week and when I come home I can grab a fist full of everything and heat it up and I am good to go for dinner. It is the only way I have figured out how to make it work.
Tamar Adler is a chef in New York and has a great approach towards food and cooking. Click herefor a fantastic video watching Tamar cook her veggies for the week. I felt like I was watching myself! Although her kitchen is far nicer than mine…and my food does not look as pretty as hers…I am not as calm and mellow like her…I do not have the cool music in the background. I am a bit more of a mess, have Miles Davis playing to keep me mellow-ish when the smoke alarm goes off and while the food tastes delish, it may not be appropriate for a film!! Regardless it gets the job done!!
You want to know how to make it work? THIS IS IT. Do it!