Welcome to 2020!

Welcome to 2020! It’s a brand new year with brand new opportunities, experiences, and goals to be met! Yep, that’s right- those pesky New Year’s resolutions. The two biggest categories of resolutions are money and health.

Making resolutions to change your health status is probably the biggest resolution made from year to year. And individuals and corporations alike are ready to capitalize on your goals.

The winter months bring the highest sales of diet books, nutrition supplements, exercise equipment, diet plans, and meal replacements. Surprise, surprise. A major problem with these diets is that most of them promise quick fixes and claim “instant weight loss” and “fast results.” However, if you want weight loss and healthy habits to last, you can’t have quick fixes and fast results.

Also worth mentioning, God’s answer to 2020 might not be more resolutions, but more rest. We live in a culture that wants to do everything, see everything, travel everywhere, read every book, see every movie, take in every TV show, meet every person, say Yes to every request, go to every party, kill it at every aspect of our job, work out every day, etc. It wants to transgress the limitations of our humanity. It wants to be God. It wants to be immortal. It’s Genesis 3 all over again. You step out of the limitations of the beautiful garden that God has put us in. 

The most important thing to remember when making new habits is that you did not create your old ones overnight. The same thing goes with weight loss. If you want to lose weight, remember that you didn’t gain it quickly and you won’t lose it quickly. A synonym for fast dieting is fad dieting. Fad diets are nothing new, and fad diets don’t work.

With all the focus on weight in our society, it isn’t surprising that millions of people fall prey to fad diets and bogus weight-loss products. Conflicting claims, testimonials and hype by so-called “experts” can confuse even the most informed consumers. The bottom line is simple: If a diet or product sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

There are no foods or pills that magically burn fat. No super foods will alter your genetic code. No products will miraculously melt fat while you watch TV or sleep. Some ingredients in supplements and herbal products can be dangerous and even deadly for some people.

Steer clear of any diet plans, pills and products that make the following claims:

Rapid Weight Loss

Slow, steady weight loss is more likely to last than dramatic weight changes. Healthy plans aim for a loss of no more than ½ pound to 1 pound per week. If you lose weight quickly, you’ll lose muscle, bone and water. You also will be more likely to regain the pounds quickly afterwards.

Quantities and Limitations

Ditch diets that allow unlimited quantities of any food, such as grapefruit and cabbage soup. It’s boring to eat the same thing over and over and hard to stick with monotonous plans. Avoid any diet that eliminates or severely restricts entire food groups, such as carbohydrates. Even if you take a multivitamin, you’ll still miss some critical nutrients.

Specific Food Combinations

There is no evidence that combining certain foods or eating foods at specific times of day will help with weight loss. Eating the “wrong” combinations of food doesn’t cause them to turn to fat immediately or to produce toxins in your intestines, as some plans claim.

Rigid Menus

Life is already complicated enough. Limiting food choices or following rigid meal plans can be an overwhelming, distasteful task. With any new diet, always ask yourself: “Can I eat this way for the rest of my life?” If the answer is no, the plan is not for you.

No Need to Exercise

Regular physical activity is essential for good health and healthy weight management. The key to success is to find physical activities that you enjoy and then to aim for 30 to 60 minutes of activity on most days of the week.

If you’re struggling to stay connected to God and live a healthy lifestyle, come see me and start this year off right! 

Welcome to 2019!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Welcome to 2019!

It is a brand new year with brand new opportunities, experiences, and goals to be met! Yep, that’s right- those pesky New Year’s resolutions. The two biggest categories of resolutions are money and health. Making resolutions to change your health status is probably the biggest resolution made from year to year. And individuals and corporations alike are ready to capitalize on your goals.

The winter months bring the highest sales of diet books, nutrition supplements, exercise equipment, diet plans, and meal replacements. Surprise, surprise. A major problem with these diets is that most of them promise quick fixes and claim “instant weight loss” and “fast results.” However, if you want weight loss and healthy habits to last, you can’t have quick fixes and fast results.

The most important thing to remember when making new habits is that you did not create your old ones overnight. The same thing goes with weight loss. If you want to lose weight, remember that you didn’t gain it quickly and you won’t lose it quickly. A synonym for fast dieting is fad dieting. Fad diets are nothing new, and fad diets don’t work.

With all the focus on weight in our society, it isn’t surprising that millions of people fall prey to fad diets and bogus weight-loss products. Conflicting claims, testimonials and hype by so-called “experts” can confuse even the most informed consumers. The bottom line is simple: If a diet or product sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

There are no foods or pills that magically burn fat. No super foods will alter your genetic code. No products will miraculously melt fat while you watch TV or sleep. Some ingredients in supplements and herbal products can be dangerous and even deadly for some people.

Steer clear of any diet plans, pills and products that make the following claims:

Rapid Weight Loss
Slow, steady weight loss is more likely to last than dramatic weight changes. Healthy plans aim for a loss of no more than ½ pound to 1 pound per week. If you lose weight quickly, you’ll lose muscle, bone and water. You also will be more likely to regain the pounds quickly afterwards.

Quantities and Limitations
Ditch diets that allow unlimited quantities of any food, such as grapefruit and cabbage soup. It’s boring to eat the same thing over and over and hard to stick with monotonous plans. Avoid any diet that eliminates or severely restricts entire food groups, such as carbohydrates. Even if you take a multivitamin, you’ll still miss some critical nutrients.

Specific Food Combinations
There is no evidence that combining certain foods or eating foods at specific times of day will help with weight loss. Eating the “wrong” combinations of food doesn’t cause them to turn to fat immediately or to produce toxins in your intestines, as some plans claim.

Rigid Menus
Life is already complicated enough. Limiting food choices or following rigid meal plans can be an overwhelming, distasteful task. With any new diet, always ask yourself: “Can I eat this way for the rest of my life?” If the answer is no, the plan is not for you.

No Need to Exercise
Regular physical activity is essential for good health and healthy weight management. The key to success is to find physical activities that you enjoy and then to aim for 30 to 60 minutes of activity on most days of the week.

If you want to maintain a healthy weight, build muscle and lose fat, the best path is a lifelong combination of eating smarter and moving more. For a personalized plan, tailored to your lifestyle and food preferences, come see me and start this year off right!

Why I left Coffee for Matcha!

Matcha Green Tea Latte

For those of you that know me, you know I LOVE coffee. Over the years I have tried to breakup with coffee because it’s counterproductive with my adrenal fatigue and high cortisol issues, but those breakups have never lasted long. My co-dependent self would always return to my favorite beverage of choice until I forced another breakup. But then I met Matcha…. Oh how do I love thee? Matcha!

What is Matcha?

Matcha is premium green tea powder from Japan used for drinking as tea or as an ingredient in recipes. While other green teas are grown throughout the world, matcha is unique to Japan. It is the heart of the Japanese way of tea and has been celebrated in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony for hundreds of years.

Amongst its many health benefits, matcha…

  • Is packed with antioxidants including the powerful EGCg
  • Boosts metabolism and burns calories
  • Detoxifies effectively and naturally
  • Calms the mind and relaxes the body
  • Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
  • Enhances mood and aids in concentration
  • Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
  • Prevents disease and has cancer-fighting properties
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar

A cup of matcha can have up to 10 x more nutritional value than brewed green tea.

With all that being said… it was so much easier to end it with my beloved coffee. However, I can’t promise that I won’t invite coffee over now and then. We just can’t have the same love relationship like we have had in the past.  It’s just healthier this way. And I am not missing the coffee breath one bit!

Matcha also contains L-Theanine, an amino acid that helps your body to process caffeine differently and create a state of calm alertness. While one serving of matcha has much less caffeine than coffee, it provides a less jittery, more sustained energy boost – with no crash at the end. L-Theanine also improves focus and helps you concentrate.

What type should I buy?

Matcha Wellness makes an organic matcha that I like. You can purchase it on Amazon, but most days you still may see me going through the Starbucks’ drive through and settling for their matcha latte with almond milk…well…because it’s easier that way.  Whatever kind you choose, do your research if you want to get the best health benefits from your beverage of choice.

Here’s to good health and yummy lattes!

Cheers!

Emotional Eating

Bible

Emotional Eating

You are a spirit. You have a soul (your mind and emotions). And you live in a body. To access the abundant life that Jesus promised us, we have to take care of all three of these areas. Just like the Holy Trinity consist of three different persons yet is one in the same God, you too are a trinity since you’re made in His image. God has emotions and we have emotions too. Life isn’t fair or easy, and at times, life really hurts. Yet we often ignore the needs of our souls. I have a story and I know you do too.

Being raised by a Vietnam vet wasn’t easy. Watching my mom work multiple jobs just to put food on the table when I was young wasn’t easy. Feeling discarded and unimportant most of my childhood wasn’t easy. Working full time while attending college wasn’t easy. Experiencing my heart breaking during relationship breakups wasn’t easy. Dating an emotionally and physically abusive man wasn’t easy. Learning how to overcome an under active thyroid wasn’t easy. Raising babies and working simultaneously wasn’t easy. Surviving a marriage crisis when I was pregnant with baby number 3 wasn’t easy. Burying my father-in-law way too early wasn’t easy. Having to give up running because of a physical injury wasn’t easy. Being wronged by those that I love wasn’t easy. Accepting that I can not fix all my relationships wasn’t easy. Watching my kids fail and being unable to stop it from happening wasn’t easy.

What’s your story? Have you even taken the time to think about it? We all have a story. All of us truly are broken and beloved individuals. I imagine the world you live in is quick to point out your brokenness. Does your soul know you are beloved by God? Don’t be too quick to answer. Your emotions and reactions are likely to reveal what your soul truly believes. What is the state of your soul? Or as I like to say… What is the state of your heart?

Emotional Eating can be defined a lot of ways. No matter how you define it, if you’re eating and you’re not hungry…. then you’re partaking in emotional eating.

Since the beginning of time, food has been used as more than just a source of nutrition. Food is used to celebrate special occasions, comfort in times of grief, provide a way to share within a community, and express love and affection. (Not to brag….. BUT I make a mean sugar cookie…. and a celebration is NOT a celebration in my book without some of my fabulous sugar cookies.) None of these things are wrong, but all of these things can get out of control if we allow ourselves to eat our emotions.

Get to the Heart of It

For us Americans, food is far from scarce. Hence, we often use food to meet our emotional needs as much as our physical needs. This has become such a bad habit for us that personally we can’t even recognize that it isn’t food we are craving. We are actually hungry…possibly even starving for God. Spiritually speaking, there is a hunger for God that is often not recognized for what it is. It may be an empty feeling, rejection, hurt, inability to control a situation, confusion, shame, guilt, a sense of longing, even loneliness in the midst of people. We start looking for ways to make the feelings go away. In a sense, we begin to look for food that will fill the hole or mask the pangs of hunger within.

What is the Difference Between Physical and Emotional Hunger?

Physical Hunger

  • Comes on gradually
  • Can be satisfied by any number of foods
  • Once you are full, you are likely to stop eating
  • Doesn’t cause feelings of guilt

Emotional Hunger

  • Feels sudden and urgent
  • Causes very specific cravings
  • More likely to eat beyond a feeling of physical fullness
  • Likely to result in feelings of guilt, shame, or embarrassment afterwards

Are You an Emotional Eating?

  • Do you eat more when you’re feeling stressed?
  • Do you eat when you’re not hungry or when you’re full?
  • Do you eat to feel better (to calm and soothe yourself when you’re sad, mad, bored, anxious, etc.)?
  • Do you reward yourself with food?
  • Do you regularly eat until you are uncomfortable?
  • Do you feel powerless or out of control around food?

When you catch yourself eating when you’re not hungry or giving into a binge, spend some time with God in reflection so together you can figure out why it happened. I often find myself telling my clients, this isn’t really a nutrition problem… it’s a heart problem. Don’t make the mistake of filling up on food when you really need to be filling up on God, His word, His truths, His strength, His Spirit, and His power.

Hope is to our soul what energy is to our body. Just like our bodies must have energy to keep going, our souls must have hope to keep going. “People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4  Sometimes we simply make the mistake of feeding our bodies instead of our souls. To put it differently, it’s not our bodies that are starving and that need to be filled, but our souls.

Trusting God with your feelings is an act of worship. God can handle your emotions. He gave them to you, after all. He can handle your anger, doubt, fear, shame, questions, grief, and even your complaints. Be honest. Tell God exactly how you feel. The right response to unexplained tragedy is not “grin and bear it” but honestly telling God your struggle. Lamentations 2:19 says, “Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord.”

And when you don’t know what to pray, remember… And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:26-28)

The valleys in life are dark places and many of us turn to food when we need to be turning to God. Have life’s difficulties caught you off guard? Do you wonder if God is good? Are you puzzled over how a frustrating, hurtful, or shocking event could possibly contribute to anything good? Though you may not see the good yet (or ever in this life), keep your eyes on God. If He weren’t going to use that situation for your good, it wouldn’t have happened. He has to sign off on every single thing that touches your life. That’s not to say He wanted it—God is not the cause of evil, but He is the solution. Bible

Food Cravings

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Everyone has food cravings at some point or another, but only a few are able to truly handle these intense cravings to maneuver past them. If you often find yourself giving into food cravings and aren’t making progress towards your healthy goals, it’s time that you put together a plan to conquer them once and for all.

Fortunately, cravings really don’t have to get the best of you as long as you have a plan to outsmart them.  Let’s look at a few helpful ways that you can combat food cravings and not sabotage your healthy eating.

Eat Regularly
The very first tip to remember if you want to avoid food cravings is to make sure that you’re eating regularly throughout the day. Yes…. I am talking to all YOU, meal skippers! We need calories to survive, and cravings will always be higher when hunger is increasing. In addition, those who eat on a consistent basis are going to have more stable blood sugar levels and this factor alone will decrease food cravings.

Aim to eat every three to five hours (depending on your activity level and caloric needs) throughout the day since this will make sure you are providing a steady stream of nutrients that your body needs.

Eat High Quality Protein
Studies show higher protein diets lead people to naturally eat fewer total calories. The feeling of fullness and satisfaction that protein provides decreases appetite. Protein foods also tend to raise leptin (hormone that decreases hunger) and decrease ghrelin (hormone that stimulates hunger). Consuming protein also helps with insulin and blood sugar management. Ideally, eating protein at every meal is key, but if you need to prioritize one meal, choose breakfast. Studies show that waking up to a healthy protein, such as eggs, nuts, seeds, nut butters or a protein shake help people lose weight, reduce cravings, and burn calories.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Proximity to food influences how much of it you eat. If your will power is weak, keep healthy foods right where you can see them, and stash unhealthy ones in hard-to-reach places, like at the store. Like the rest of you I have food cravings too, but the temptation is so much worse when my food cravings are in arms reach. So if I actually have to leave the house or work to go buy my food cravings, the chances that will happen are so much less than whether or not I will eat the double stuffed Oreos that are stashed in my pantry.

Cheat Meals
Finally, the last thing you can do to help control your cravings is to plan some cheat meals. Some people really like cheat days vs. cheat meals, but you’ll feel better and be more successful with meeting your nutritional goals if you don’t over indulge all day long. Depending on your goals, most likely you will be able to include 2 cheat meals over a week’s time.

Honestly, I am not a big fan of the word “cheat,” I think it’s perfectly fine to occasionally indulge. The word “cheat” suggest food is either good or bad, and when guilt or shame is attached to a food it can destroy one’s motivation quickly. So don’t beat yourself up over enjoying some less nutritional food from time to time. If you eat clean 80% of the time, you are sure to meet your nutritional goals, and these times of indulgence can motivate you to get through the less-awesome meals, reinvigorate your training, and make your life happy.

So there you have it!  Preparing to avoid cravings before they start will enable you to be successful with your goals and see the inches melt away.

Family Meals Matter

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For many parents, it would be much easier and simpler to forget about family dinners. Jobs, children, after-school activities all contribute to families being constantly on the go, thus feeling the need to eat on the run. But more and more parents are realizing the importance of shared family time at the dinner table. Often, this is the only time when all family members are all together in one place.

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University says that the more often children eat dinner with their parents, the less likely they are to smoke, drink, or use illicit drugs. The center compared teens who dined with families five or seven times a week with those who did so twice or less. Those who ate together more often were four times less likely to smoke, 2.5 times less likely to use marijuana, and half as likely to drink alcohol.

CASA reports that family dinners have a similar link to mental health. Adolescents and young adults who seek treatment for depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems are about half as likely as their peers to have regular family meals. Why? For one thing, mealtimes give children a chance to talk with parents about things that bother them. And the more we talk about our life issues, the less likely our issues will turn into mental health issues.

Children who dine with parents tend to eat better, too. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that children who join family dinners eat more fruit, vegetables, minerals, and vitamins. They also eat fewer saturated fats and snacks, and drink less soda making weight control easier. Unfortunately, despite the benefits to both body and soul, just 30% of families eat dinner together every night.

One way to reclaim your dinner time and limit the stress of planning, shopping, preparing, and cooking family meals is to purchase DIY meal kits or as I often call them, mail meals. To most people’s surprise, I dislike cooking. I know… I know… Dietitians are suppose to like cooking. Nah! That’s just a myth. I am human and struggling to keep up with life like the rest of you guys. However, I am a mom, and my kids would trade me in for another mom quickly if I suggest we consume smoothies, cold cereal, or peanut butter and jelly every night for dinner.

In the past, I wrote another blog comparing quite a few mail meal companies. Check it out if you’re interested in learning about more mail meal companies. For the rest of this blog, I want to focus on a new mail meal company, Meez Meals, that has recently come to the Kentucky area.

Meez Meals caught my attention because they have a diverse menu, claim to be super fast, and ridiculously easy. Plus, the meals are made from-scratch, healthy, customizable, and typically ready in 25-40 minutes. The most unique thing is Meez does ALL the prep work and doesn’t have a mandatory subscription. They are also a YELP 5-star reviewed Chicago company.

So I decided to put my money where my mouth is…. I ordered four meals: Italian Chicken Sausage Pot Pie, Hawaiian Quesadillas, Mexican Chicken Paella, and Steak Bi Bim Bap. Depending on what you order the cost ranges $9-15 per serving, but the more servings you order for each recipe, the lower the price-per-serving. You can order as many servings of a recipe as you like which isn’t always the case with other mail meal companies.

When I received my order, I was very impressed. Everything was clearly labeled, prepped, and ready to cook, and I received easy step-by-step instructions to complete the meal. If you need more help, there is also a dinner hotline you can call for tips. Meez Meals seriously goes out of their way to ensure the most challenged cooks will find cooking easy.

Overall, the food was delicious and the serving sizes were quite impressive. We had leftovers from all the meals except the quesadillas, and the chicken pot pie was the best pot pie I have eaten in my entire life. Whether you’re looking for southern home cooking, authentic Mexican, fresh Italian, scrumptious seafood, or something else family friendly, give Meez Meals a chance. They will NOT disappoint, and you will find it possible to reclaim family meal time again!