June 1, 2014

29% of the world is overweight? The time for change is NOW

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 9:03 pm

new study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, announced that 29% of the world’s population is overweight or obese. This is not acceptable! We have to make a change.

Are you overweight? Do you know someone who is overweight? Do you have a lab result that is scaring you…and losing weight could help? Or do you have a loved one in that situation? It is time to make a change…to live healthier…to get well…

This epidemic is affecting all of us. While the study found that two out of three of the obese live in developing countries, it also found “there is a strong link between increased income and obesity - as people get richer, their waist lines also tend to start bulging,” according to Christopher Murray, who led the investigation.

We can all do something. NOW.

  1. Start moving - are you in an exercise routine? Is your overweight loved one moving regularly? Start with walking for 5 minutes a day. That is it. And for those of you who are already in a good routine, can you change it up a bit to challenge yourself?
  2. Eat vegetables!! While no one knows exactly what is the best diet for weight loss, we all can agree that vegetables are a large part of the mix. Full of nutrients, packed with fiber and barely any calories – cook em, eat em raw…I dont care…just eat them.
  3. Go to the doctor. When was the last time you went for an annual physical? Do you know your cholesterol panel, blood glucose and blood pressure values? This is a must. Make an appt…and for the loved one who has not gone to the doctor in years…make an appointment for them. Be a proactive patient!
  4. Drink water. A large part of our weight crisis is we drink too many of our calories. We add sugar to our coffee, drinks sodas and juices, drink too much alcohol – be sure you are hydrating with the old school basic….water. Drink up buttercup.
  5. Get rid of the JUNK….please! Know what you are eating…look at the ingredients and make sure you can understand what you are putting in your body. If it did not come from the earth, or have a mother….get it out of your diet. Whole, real foods.

ASK FOR HELP! Please! Weight loss is so difficult and requires a village. Ask friends, family, health professionals, ME…anyone. Ask for help in taking that first step forward.

I may not be able to singlehandedly change the world, but I do believe if we all take a baby step in the right direction it will have a profound affect.

Dream big!

May 20, 2014

Get Consistent at Being Consistent

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 6:39 pm

A wise coach of mine always talks about consistency…no matter if you are injured, tired, in a funk, good day, bad day, busy, bored..whatever…just stay consistent with exercise.

Smart words and really applies to everything – in particular health habits, such as nutrition, exercise, hydration, sleep and stress management. We all want it NOW, see results NOW and make it all be perfect straight away…but that is not usually how things play out. And the more you force it, the more difficult it is to create the habit.

Instead of trying to take on everything all at once…what if you took baby steps and focused on staying consistent?

I talk a lot about meal timing – eating every 3- 4 hours and pairing a protein and a carbohydrate at each meal to keep you satiated and fueled. Say you set a goal to do this Monday – Friday and stay on a set plan…

In order to make that happen you have to:

  1. Cook in bulk so you have food ready to go…
  2. Know spots near your home and office where you can pick foods up that will work for you
  3. Remind yourself to eat! No matter how crazy the day
  4. Always be thinking 3-4 hours ahead…when you go buy lunch, you may need to buy your afternoon snack!

So you start this with a goal of meal planning 5 days a week and you succeed in planning 3 days, the next week 2 days, the week after 4 days, the week after 5 days, then 2, then 5, then 4, then 5….see where I am going with this? LIFE HAPPENS! Crazy days, things go out of control, drama exists…continue to stay consistent with your goals. The more consistent you are with being consistent, the more likely your goals will be achieved and created into a lifestyle habit.

What is one goal you want to work on? Drink more water? Meal timing? Getting to the gym? Eating more vegetables? Running? Cooking? CHOOSE ONE THING…ONE THING… and work on staying consistent with that one habit. 

One step in front of the other…it is amazing how simple it can be…and how good it feels!

You got this…

May 14, 2014

Late Night Bowls of Cereal…

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 8:20 am

When meeting with an athlete, one of the first questions I ask them is if they have a late night snack…the answer is almost always yes. Good news – most athletes need a late night snack since their metabolism is so fast they need to keep fueling. The next question is, what are they eating late night….and the answer is almost always cereal. I ask the athlete how many bowls and it is often 1, 2, 3 or sometimes it is easily the whole box!

Any of you known to munch on cereal before going to bed? Or a few too many pieces of fruit? Sweets? What is your favorite late night snack? There is nothing wrong with cereal (it is a wonderful food!), but it is all starch and when someone, an athlete, or anyone really, munches on too much carbohydrates late at night it is usually a sign that they are not eating protein during the day.

Seems odd right…if you need protein, why are you craving carbs? Well, remember carbs are the food of choice when you are starving in the desert….you NEED cabrs to live and thrive…so at the end of the day if the body thinks it is in trouble it will always go to glucose ie carbohydrates. 

So…what to do? Plan your day better! And get those small, balanced meals in throughout the day so your body does not over-stress and therefore, does not have insane cravings for sugar late at night.

Here are some protein source ideas that work on the go. REMEMBER – eat a protein AND a carb together. Balanced, small meals every 3-4 hours.

Yogurt - check the grams of protein (get at least 10g) and look at the ingredients. While yogurt has sugar in it since all dairy is made of the sugar lactose, there is no need for added sugar. So yes, I am encouraging you to eat plain yogurt – the horror!

Jerky - I recently started working with KRAVE Jerky. Slightly obsessed with how tasty it is! And not tough like normal jerky….and based out of Sonoma…and uses high quality source ingredients. All jerky will have some sugar – as it would taste pretty terrible without – but the amount is minimal and they use legit ingredients. Great for on the go. And clearly a winner for athletes considering Meb Keflezighi, winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon is one of their athletes!

Salmon and Sardines - You were not expecting that one! I just recently learned about Vital Choice and bought a bunch of their sardines and salmon (in non BPA packaging thank you) and it is great on the go. Just please don’t be that guy that opens up a thing of fish on an airplane…

Quinoa and Lentil Salads - Quinoa and lentils are a fantastic sources of plant protein and I seem to notice salads everywhere these days. Or make one at home filled with veggies and you are good to go.

Leftovers! Never ever doubt the power of leftovers. Throw  dinner in a small to go container and you can have it on the go at work the next day.

Eggs - Ah I love eggs. Hard boiled, scrambled, egg sandwich, kale egg cups, baked eggs, microwave eggs – go get em! Great source of protein to balance out a meal.

When you start eating consistently throughout the day and pairing protein with carbohydrates your world is going to be rocked! No more sugar cravings, better energy, fat loss. Sounds like a good place to be!

And you will save money on cereal…

April 22, 2014

Do you suffer from FLC syndrome?

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 7:03 pm

Last week, on The Today Show, Dr Mark Hyman was part of a segment about elimination diets and said that”most of us are eating hyper-processed, hyper-palatable addictive foods that are full of inflammatory triggers” which lead so many people to suffer from FLC syndrome - “Feel Like Crap” Syndrome.

He says “many people suffer from chronic symptoms that are really unnecessary and are connected to what they eat.” Can you relate? Do you FLC?

It saddens and infuriates me when I think about how many people are walking around this world, spending their days, feeling terrible and…food….something as simple as FOOD….could be all that is needed to turn things around.

I have mentioned this concept before, and I will continue bringing it up until we all feel great.

All of us need to pay attention to what we eat and notice how food affects our health, wellness and mood.

Some of us actually need to cut out several foods out of our diet in order to get through the day - that is how sensitive some of our systems are.

Many of us may just need to cut one thing out and notice a dramatic difference.

ALL of us can cut out the junk. The processed foods, the chemicals, the weird ingredients, the food that makes us FLC.

Can you imagine how great it would feel to feel…great? Do you even know what that could feel like? Clear minds, beautiful skin, healthy weight, high energy, good sleep…how phenomenal would that feel?

So, what is your FLMB diet – Feel Like a Million Bucks Diet??? (just made that one up…still working on it)

April 14, 2014

The Spicy Jew

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 10:53 am

Today is the start of the Jewish holiday, Passover. It is one of my favorites, mainly due to the beautiful symbolism around food. An important story is told and we eat a delicious meal full of meaning. 

One of these foods is horseradish. These “bitter herbs” are to remind Jews of the bitter times endured as slaves in Egypt. My father makes a legit, homemade horseradish every year. It is more of a clear-your-sinuses-and-make-you-cry version, but, it is quite tasty. Funnily enough, I have been going through a bit of a horseradish phase these last few weeks. I bought it for no particular reason at the market and I seem to be adding it to all my meals. It is delish! So good! Full of flavor and spice (quite a kick!) and no calories. Why isn’t everyone eating horseradish? 

People tell me I have a bit of a spicy personality, not sure about that one, but I do love spice in my food!

If you like spice or not…take this opportunity to look at the sauces and dressings you add to food and ask yourself, “what is in there?” You would be amazed at what is in condiments – often filled with sugars, empty calories, chemicals and a bunch of junk. Consider using herbs, spices and acids such as vinegars and lemon and lime juice to add flavor without the calories.

How have I been eating horseradish?

I have been making a quick dressing of horseradish, red wine vinegar, zaatar spices, a squeeze of lemon and olive oil and adding it to my “everything under the kitchen sink” meals. Yesterday, I hadsome hummus and added a spoonful of horseradish which was just was divine. And a few weeks ago, I was cooking lentils and squash and threw some horseradish in while it was cooking and each bite was so much better.

So, whether you are celebrating Passover or not, take this opportunity to add some spice, some kick, some flavor to your food and savor each bite. It is fun to be a bit spicy!

April 11, 2014

The truth is in the label…

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 10:14 am

Finally….a step forward in understanding what we are eating.The infamous “food label” is hopefully getting a much needed makeover. So many of my clients look at food labels as if it is written in stone…they believe every piece of information on there. The problem is it is so confusing and difficult to interpret, that I often recommend not looking at the label at all. 

 

I may change my view. The new label would have portion sizes that are comparable to what we really eat, larger font for calorie counts, a separate row for added sugars (vs naturally occurring sugars) and would cut out the line that tells you calories from fat (which is irrelevant in many ways). 

However, if it happens…still not approved yet….it wont be for a few years…so what to do now? READ THE INGREDIENTS! So many of us go right to the food label and look at calories and grams…but what is in your food?!? Always look at the ingredients first to make sure it is what you want. Then, look at the label and compare calories or whatever other measure you are interested in.

It all goes back to being more aware of what you are actually eating. Do you know what you are eating?

A step towards progress! Yay!

April 2, 2014

Try not to laugh at me…

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 5:23 am

Last week, I was teaching my lovely study participants at Stanford and we were talking about properly fueling pre and post workout. Many participants were sharing how they don’t know what to eat before or after exercise and one woman asked me to share my morning. I told her I had some plain yogurt and a banana before my morning run and then when I got home, I had two eggs over lentils and butternut squash with some tahini sauce for breakfast. Two folks started laughing right in my face, most of the room looked at me like I was insane and the other said, “Well that is totally unappealing!” – I had to laugh too. 

They were laughing at me for having dinner for breakfast. I was laughing at how my nutrition has changed so much over the years that dinner for breakfast is now something I crave and seems totally normal. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE breakfast…and often have breakfast for dinner, but that is a whole other story.

The point is, I eat food that fuels me, is good for me, satiates me and tastes delicious. While I love breakfast foods, I am often not full afterwards. It doesn’t always do the job and lately eating something warm and filling in the morning after a good hard workout has been the perfect trick to set me up for a successful day.

I encourage you to think outside the box! Change things up a bit, throw everything up in the air and see where it falls. 

Maybe you have dinner for breakfast, lunch at 11am instead of 2pm, a snack at 3pm and breakfast for dinner at 7pm. What would happen?

Maybe you try soup as a snack paired with some protein and see how it makes you feel. What if you had chicken soup for breakfast???

Consider bringing leftovers from dinner and eat mid afternoon - does that make your afternoon more productive and you eat less at dinner?

The point is that food is fuel! We all have different needs, cravings, schedules, goals and routines. If you keep following a routine that doesn’t work, how are you ever going to get what you want???

Change it up…make it happen…have fun…and don’t laugh when you see me eating steak and potatoes in the morning. 


March 25, 2014

Cook breakfast while you sleep

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 9:59 pm

This is just too perfect I had to share. Don’t have time in the morning to make breakfast? Do this the night before and start your morning off right. Yum! And so quick and easy!

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It jump starts your metabolism, gets your brain working, allows you to start burning fat, lowers stress hormones, balances your mood and helps decrease cravings. A no brainer.

Remember to get protein and carbohydrates in to make a balanced breakfast. So add proteins such as yogurt, milk, nuts or nut butter to your overnight oats. Or hard boil some eggs the night before and grab them too.

Oats are a fantastic whole grain filled with fiber. Add some spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla to add flavor rather than processed sugar. If you need some more sweet, add some fresh fruit.

Don’t like oats? Try quinoa or quinoa flakes, flax and chia seed or even rice.

If you are not a breakfast eater….get on it and make it happen. Focus on getting breakfast in every morning for the entire month of April and you will be a new person. Trust me! You will thank me later.

March 17, 2014

Catch it before it catches you

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 3:18 pm

Your alarm goes off way too early in the morning.…you snooze a few too many extra minutes…you rush out the door and grab a banana….get some coffee on the way to the office, work comes full of meetings…and then a few too many calls…you make it to lunch at 1pm and you grab a healthy salad with some chicken, no bread so you avoid those “fattening” carbs….afternoon continues with more emails/calls/meetings….

It is 4pm now and you are hangry – that mix of hungry and angry that is not cute. You are craving cookies, coffee, sweets, but you stay strong and do not give in because you want to stay on a healthy track. You are proud of yourself when you grab an apple rather than chocolate and go back to work.

7pm now, post workout and you are about to bite your arm off. You walk in the door cranky, moody, tired and so hungry…hangry really. You are so proud of yourself for not giving in to sweets and getting a workout in that you feel you deserve a reward. You pour yourself a glass wine, enjoy some bread and cheese while you and your spouse/friend/roommate/family cook and you cannot stop eating. No amount of vegetables, proteins and healthy foods will fill you up and you just keep eating and eating and eating.

Sound familiar? It should, as this is a majority of my clients! So many of us do not front load our calories and we wait too long to satiate ourselves – we do not catch our metabolism in time – and then we eat way too much at dinner. It is a myth that eating late at night will turn into fat…but it is a truth that eating too much at one meal will turn into fat since the body does not need that much food at one time. 

Get smart about your schedule, plan in advance and get those mid morning and mid afternoon snacks in so you keep yourself fueled throughout the day. You are doing things right if you do not walk into dinner starving. Or walk into any meal starving. Eat small, balanced meals every 3-4 hours so you work like a well oiled machine.

Get your schedule to work in your favor rather than your detriment. Make it work!

March 11, 2014

Olive oil cannot be trusted? Wait….what???

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 2:30 pm

Last week, some friends were discussing how obsessed people are getting about food. Gluten free, dairy free, allergen free, raw, cooked, local, seasonal, organic, sustainable grown, grass fed, low sugar, high saturated fat….when you say it all out loud it does sound a bit nuts! One friend asked me if, as a nutrition professional, I felt this is a good thing or a bad thing and my answer was that while some folks may be getting a bit too specific and unnecessarily restricting their diet, I am thrilled that individuals are noticing what they are eating, are becoming more aware of what they put in their mouths and are asking questions as to where their food comes from. Even if we all have become a bit too high maintenance, I am so happy that we are asking these important questions.

 

So…when I saw this very disturbing article in the New York Times, I just got sad. I knew there were some issues with olive oil, but I did not know it was this bad. I honestly didn’t want to pay attention because it felt overwhelming. 

 

In a moment of panic, I asked my dear cousin Maia Hirschbein, an olive oil expert (how lucky am I!!!), and she gave me some scoop. You must check out one of her workshops (click here) if you are in the area….and here is what she had to say about choosing olive oil:

 

“I generally recommend choosing California olive oils both to support local producers, and because I know that the oil is high quality and extra-virgin. Price is not always an indicator of quality; the best oils are often expensive because they are more complex and costly to make. I always have two extra virgin olive oils in my kitchen: one mild oil that is less expensive to cook with like California Olive Ranch, and one more complex oil that I use to finish dishes and never heat, like Frantoio Grove. Opt for darker glass bottles and buy in smaller quantities. Once you’ve opened a bottle, use it within a month.”

 

The wonderful Chef Samin Nosrat also has a great write up on how to choose olive oil which is very helpful. Check it out and be a smart consumer.

 

So yes to high maintenance, making smart decisions about what you eat and eating good food from wholesome origins. 
Yes to high maintenance!!!!

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