Archive for October, 2009
OK, so as of today I am telling myself that summer if really over and winter is right around the corner because my taste in foods is changing. This happens to a lot of us who live in areas that have four seasons. I tend to eat as much in the summer as I do in the other seasons; it’s just that the foods are different. In the summer I eat more fruits that are juicy and sweet and a grilled pineapple really helps me with a sugar craving. Now that the weather is colder and mornings are dark I can feel myself wanting chili, soups, stew, meatloaf, potatoes and all kinds of comfort foods that are hearty and really good for you, that is, when you eat them in the right portion and not overindulge like I can. Yep, like most of Americans I really have to watch my portions. If I do not practice mindful eating I tend to eat big portions and then the pounds come on little by little. If this happens to you, here are some ideas that might help you until we return to the beach next summer. 1. Do not wear sweats all winter long, they would make anyone want to do nothing but sit on the couch and eat all day. Wear jeans and more fitted clothes when you can. 2. No matter what, you have to get your workouts in. Your health depends on it. 3. Take one day a week and make a pot of soup, stew or chili and freeze it in portions…that will help with lunches and quick dinners. 4. Buy apples, oranges, grapefruits, bananas and pears, as these fruits are abundant right now. Just adding these tips might help you to get through the winters as they do for me. Debra
I woke up this morning wanting to stay in bed, then get on the couch and eat junk all day. Now mind you it was only 6am and these were the thoughts going through my head that early in the morning. Well that fantasy was crushed when reality set in and I had to go and teach a spin class at 7am and then see 2 clients before noon, write a blog and do an interview for prevention magazine. This is how my day usually begins and I love it. So, as I was driving to the spin class I began to think about how I might have really entertained these thoughts in the past and may have actually eaten junk to begin my day. I changed my thinking, to think about my personal RULES TO LIVE and EAT BY and I wanted to share them with you. 1. I never entertain negative thoughts. It is so important to change that way of thinking as it affects all parts of our lives. 2. I am a true believer in ‘you are what you eat’. Refined sugar is like a drug; the more you eat it the more you want it. You will have no energy and it just turns to fat and does the body no good at all. 3. I make sure I exercise at least 4-5 times a week faithfully, even when I do not want to do it. The benefits of exercise go way beyond helping women to lose weight, as the health benefits will help you to live a longer life, alleviating many medical problems that might have occurred. 4. I eat at least 2-3 fresh fruits a day, year round. As the seasons change so do the kinds of fruits that are available and that gives me a bigger variety. 5. I realize that I need to really work on my portion control. Although I do not eat a lot of junk, I tend to eat bigger portions and can take in too many calories if not careful. 6. Fast food is almost a no-no with me. Every once in a while I might drive through for a quick craving but that is rare as I know that fast food is loaded with salt, sugar and fats. 7. Eating out is really the time to be aware of what I am eating. I will split an appetizer with friends and have a meal but will never have dessert. If I split a dessert, then I will bypass the appetizer. Do not think you need both. 8. Going to the movies I will bring some oranges and grapefruits that I cut up or buy a small popcorn. That is it. I am there to see a movie, not to have a food fest. 9. I rarely buy sugar junk foods when food shopping. If I really want something I will buy a small package and enjoy it. If I buy anything in a large size, who will eat it? Me. I never mentally beat myself up for not being perfect in any area of my life, especially when it comes to food and eating. I work on it and make it better, as that is a more POSITIVE way for us to handle it. None of us are perfect, and to make changes in your life you have to be able to breathe and realize you will slip- up, but that will only make you come back stronger. Debra
I teach many different types of workouts and knowing someone’s medical condition is important to me, especially if they have high blood pressure (HBP), as there are certain moves I would never allow someone to do with HBP in my fitness classes. So, when one of my members emailed me to ask me if 140/90 was high that alarmed me terribly. According to her, a nurse took her blood pressure and told her to see her doctor. Nothing more, nothing less, I told her to make an appointment right away to check the numbers again. As a professional I know that 140/90 is considered HBP and needs medical attention right away. According to the Amecian society of hypertension 35 million women have HBP yet only 1/3 of them know it. She would be a classic example of that. Here are some things that you can do along with the doctor’s advice to begin to control HBP: 1. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day…just another reason to get moving. 2. Increase potassium intake. This helps to speed up sodium excretion. High Blood Pressure is mostly caused in sodium overload. 3. Meditate. Research shows that relaxation can lower blood pressure by breathing slow and deep. I practice this type of breathing as much as possible. 4. Eat dark chocolate that has Flavanols; antioxidants found in the cocoa of dark chocolate. This also helps in lowering the risk of heart disease. The cocoa needs to be more than 60%. 5. Eat low fat dairy. Studies show that not only can low fat dairy products lower HBP but they can actually prevent it in the first place. You need at least 2 or more servings a day. It is really important that you know not only your blood pressure but also get a blood test to check cholesterol numbers, for without good health there is really nothing else that matters. Debra
I know you have heard this a million times but I need to say it again, you need to eat a GOOD BREAKFAST. Going to Dunkin Donuts for a coffee and a muffin does not qualify as healthy. A muffin is just a round piece of cake filled with fats and sugar and loaded with calories. For someone who wants to get healthy and change their eating habits, that is not how to start that process. BREAKFAST or the first meal of the day is important, as it begins to give the brain and the body fuel to get the day started. You will also be supplying the body with vitamins and nutrients to energy, So what should you eat to get your day up and running? Here are some of my favorite ways to start the day: 1. Fruit salad is a sure winner, it is easily digested and will give you energy and packed with great things for the body. 2. Egg whites with some veggies is a power breakfast filled with protein. Some research tells us that egg whites are one of the more perfect foods to eat. 3. Oatmeal is great especially in the winter. It is filled with fiber and so good for the body. Add apples, raisins and cinnamon to flavor it up. 4. Low sugar cereal such as SPECIAL K, CHEERIOS, BRAN FLAKES OR SHREDDED WHEAT are great to get the day started. Add some berries or bananas and you are good to go. 5. How about a wrap with a 2 egg omelette and 2 slices of turkey bacon? 6. Make a shake with fresh fruit, yogurt, honey, soy milk. That is a delicious way to start the day. Remember, the first meal of the day sets the tone for the rest of the day. Debra
Last night after teaching my step/toning class I realized that I had not eaten enough food for the day and I was starving. I had so much to do the day before and like a lot of women did not take the time to eat and ignored the fact that I was hungry. By late afternoon, I realized I needed to eat but it was too late as I had this class to teach and did not want to take the chance that I might get sick or weighed down with a full stomach as I rarely eat at least 1 hour before my classes. By 7:30pm I was famished and decided to GRAB something on the way home.. Even for me that could be a big problem. When I have not taken the time to eat properly, driving past pizza parlors, convenience stores and fast food take-out can be dangerous. As I passed by McDonald’s I remember seeing the commercials and ads for the new ANGUS BURGER that was on their menu. I thought about it and decided I wanted an Angus burger and the convenience of buying it was right in front of me. Now the question became, what would I get with it? I knew that if I did not think about the calories, fat and salt content I could really be in trouble. Mentally, I knew that most FAST FOODS places were loaded with calories, fat and salt but I was so hungry that emotionally I really did not care at that moment. I pulled into the parking lot and at that moment I told myself to think about my choice before it was too late. As I waited in the drive-through line a light bulb went off in my head and when the girl asked me what I wanted I ordered 2 plain burgers for Hannah, my seven year old yellow lab, and one Angus burger with the works for me. Then as they usually do she said ANYTHING ELSE? You know they say that for a reason…you might order more. I said to her that is all, but to myself I said,I REALLY WANTED FRIES AND A MILKSHAKE to go with my burger. As I drove home to eat, I told myself that I listened to what I teach and practice, MINDFUL EATING. If you are not sure what mindful eating is, it is taking the time to THINK about the choices you make when ordering out or cooking at home or even food shopping. It allows you the time to really realize you can eat better and not feel so guilty or horrible after perhaps eating too many calories, but not making good choices. Do I practice MINDFUL EATING all of the time? I wish I could say YES but alas I do not. I do have my “eat whatever” moments but thankfully they are rare. However, I have practiced it enough in my journey to remain a size 12 for nearly 20 years. Mindful eating is a great tool to learn when you are losing weight. It allows YOU to take control of your life and choices. Next time, think before you order, you will be saving hundreds of calories.
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