November 26, 2013

All Righty Folks…Thanksgiving Pep Talk

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 5:20 pm
I do love this time of year, but I also get a bit nervous and scared right around now. This is when clients say things like, “I will just gain 5-10 pounds over the next month and we can deal with this in January” – Pretty please NO NO NO! 
Celebrate, enjoy your friends and family, eat some really yummy food, but remember to take care of yourself and not set yourself up for total sabotage.

Some tips to keep you focused on the prize:
1. Exercise - Get moving! Go for a workout in the morning, grab a family member and go for a walk or park on the outer edge of the parking lot when you go shopping on Friday. Walk, move, hike, sweat – burn some calories. Download workouts onto your phone so you can exercise in your hotel room or guest room of wherever you are staying – just get moving. Good for your body and mind.
2. Eat your vegetables! We focus on the turkey and the starch so much we forget the veggies! Enjoy your favorite foods but still find a way to fill a good chunk of your plate with non starchy vegetables. Bring your own vegetable dish to the party you attend – even if they didnt ask you to. Just do it! Set yourself up for success.
3. Drink water. Enjoy your egg nog, saucy cider and cozy wine – just drink water too! We get so focused on filling up on booze we forget to get a few sips of H2O in there as well. After a glass of wine, have some water to manage your intake. You will thank me later when you are not hungover.
4. Eat before you go. Eat a mini balanced meal before you leave your house. Get some protein, veg, a little fat and a little starch so you feel satiated and calm. If you walk into dinner wanting to eat your arm off you are setting yourself up for a tricky night.
5. Be mindful. Check out the scene – what are your options? Do you really want the baked potatoes…nope – you really want the mac and cheese. Check out all the goods, decide on what you want and then go for it rather than mindlessly noshing for hours.
Last piece of advice…enjoy your friends and family! Yes, this is a time to break bread with the ones you love, but it does not have to be all about the bread! Catch up with people, talk, enjoy, celebrate and eat only what you really want.
We all have so many things to be thankful for. Appreciate it and enjoy it.

Remember, January 1st is 34 days away – what will you weigh?

November 21, 2013

Stick your booty out!

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 5:16 pm

Want to know how to look leaner, feel more confident and live longer? Quite simple actually…stand up straight. Yup, good posture can have significant improvements on your physical and mental health. No joke. Chronic poor posture is the root cause of many physical ailments. Do you know where your hips, spine and head are in space? Are they aligned? So many of us are in such constant pain we do not even know it. We work out with poor posture, sit at our desks, in our cars and on our couches for hours in a slumped position and then we wonder why we get hurt? Also, think about someone you know with good posture – what a presence they demand when they walk into a room! Think of the guaranteed confidence that comes with that. There is a lot of research out there to show the benefits of proper posture – take this seriously and you will be thankful!

I try my best to stand and sit with good form but we all have our things…if I am not paying attention I will stick out my ribs and /or tuck my pelvis under. Why are these problems? If you flare your ribs like me you tend to lose all connection to your abs.  Connecting to your core and abdominal muscles is key to strong posture. If you do stand correctly your abs are on all day long – it is like a workout all day – in a good way I promise! Also, when you tuck your pelvis under you overstretch your lower back and do not use your glutes properly. Many people are subject to this and that is why lower back pain is such an issue for individuals.

So…I have to keep reminding myself…stick my booty out and pull my abs in. I am reminding myself right now and I just gained a few inches when I sat up straight in my chair.

How is your form? Do you even know how to fix it? Ask an exercise specialist, Pilates instructor, chiropractor or physical therapist to support you based on your needs. It could prevent many injuries down the road.

Stand up straight and look 5 pounds leaner! Perfect trick right before the holidays.

Did you all just adjust your posture? Feels good right?

November 14, 2013

Do 30 squats…Right Now

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 6:37 pm

Just a little something to change your perspective on a Friday…

To promote the upcoming Olympics in Sochi (cannot wait – I love the Olympics!) you can now get a free subway ride in Russia in exchange for 30 squats. Check out this video – pretty great.

It makes me think about how easy it can be to add exercise into your daily life. Sometimes it is hard to fit in a proper workout into a busy day, but what if you just did 30 squats?  What if you just did 5 minutes of a few exercises to warm up and move your body? Could you do 3 minutes? And then maybe climb a few extra stairs in your day?

It does not always have to be perfect or the best – just get moving.

With the holidays coming and stressors and travel plans rising, think about easy ways to fit in healthy living. Could you do some squats at the airport? Or on the airplane? Or in your hotel room?

Happy Friday everyone! Do 30 squats…right…now.

November 7, 2013

Buyer beware! It is time to eat clean

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 9:38 am

An important reality check for all of us. The FDA finally states that trans fats are no longer “generally recognized as safe” and are a major contributor to heart disease.

What are trans fats? When reading a food label you may notice the words “partially hydrogenated oil” – this means trans fats. Food companies add hydrogen to oils which changes the molecular structure of the oil. When an oil that is “hydrogenated” is used in preparing food, the product has a very long shelf life. This is why when you open a package of crackers, breads, dressings and sweets they taste fresh. The could have been made years ago but the taste is fresh due to the capability of trans fats.

The problem is this processed food ingredient is a major player in heart disease and bad cholesterol in the country.

While years ago it was insisted that trans fats be put on labels, it is only now after years of debate that the FDA is stating trans fats are unsafe and all non naturally occurring (i.e. processed) trans fats should be eliminated from our food supply.

This is a major victory! Slowly but surely the government and the population are raising the bar for what should be allowed in our foods. Our food should be safe – jeez -I think that is a fair request!

While many of you think you are probably avoiding this food, you will be amazed how these ingredients sneak into our products. Please please please take some time to read the ingredients of the foods you eat. For the sake of your own health as well as your family, do not eat foods that contain trans fats. 

Let this be a motivator to eat whole and clean. The less processed your foods are the healthier you will be. Take this important step in owning your health and well being.

I believe you are all worth it. Eat well and live well. 

October 31, 2013

Delicata Delight

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 6:43 pm
Happy November everyone!
I became obsessed with Delicata squash two Novembers ago, cooking with my dear friend Rosie. She mentioned Delicata squash and I smiled and nodded like I knew what she was talking about but really had no clue. I have always been intimidated to cook squash because they seem too difficult to even cut open, let alone cook! When she told me that you do not have to remove the skin and you can simply roast them, I went for it and have been in love ever since. Cut into half moons and roast with olive oil, salt, pepper and a little brown sugar…heaven. 
Heidi Swanson from 101cookbooks seems to agree. She wrote a great article with a bunch of her ownDelicata recipes as well as some favorites she has found. Thought I would pass along the love.
Winter squash is a great food to incorporate this time of year. You are eating seasonally and can find great local sources since this is what is growing on many farms right now. Also it is a twist on a starch as it is a “starchy vegetable” –  so eat a little less bread, pasta and rice and try to use squash as your starch. Less calories than many starches and just so damn tasty.
Yum…Happy Friday and cheers to a great month! 62 days until January 1 – how you doing?

October 24, 2013

Is your gut talking to you?

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 4:17 pm

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? 

October 15, 2013

Quoted in WSJ! Go live the life you want

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 4:27 pm

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.

October 9, 2013

Sipping Through a Straw…

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 11:35 am

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.

Some ideas…

  • 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!

October 1, 2013

What will you weigh in 92 days?

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 9:48 am

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? 

September 25, 2013

Is it Low Fat…or Low Carb??

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 11:37 am

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 grainsHow 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!

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