I Know What to Do…I Just Don’t Do It Part IV

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’m just going to have one” and before you know it, you’re staring at the bottom of the bag?

Or you put more on your plate than you think you will eat, with the intention of stopping when you’re full, but next thing you know your plate is empty?

How did that happen?

We all overeat from time to time. Holidays are probably the most common time we tend to over indulge.  But what we tend to ignore is when we do it on a random Tuesday night in front of the television or Saturday night when we’re out with friends.

Overeating occurs when we ignore our bodies signals that we are full.  Or we eat foods that are laden with sugar, salt and fat that trick our bodies into wanting more and make it easy to keep eating. (Think Lays potato chips and their tag line, “You can’t just eat one!”)

The key is learning what your triggers are:

  • Is it a specific food?
  • Is it a certain situation?
  • Is it a feeling that you are eating in response to?
  • Are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired?  H.A.L.T.!

Once you know what your triggers are you can plan around them:

  • Can you avoid having specific foods in your home?
  • Can you have an escape plan for that certain situation?
  • Can you identify what feeling you are eating in response to?  Can you find a different response?
  • Can you check in with H.A.L.T. and fix the problem rather than eat over it?

Triggers can be anything.  They can be visual or a smell or a memory or an activity i.e. “I always eat the large popcorn at the movies”! Anything that prompts you to ignore your hunger and simply eat mindlessly until you are uncomfortable might be a trigger for you.

Spend some time figuring out what your triggers are and then create new behaviors to counterbalance them.  Eating rather than overeating is in your control!

If you need help exploring what your triggers are and how to replace them with healthy behaviors please schedule a free half hour consult ($80.00 value) with me.  Together, we can develop a plan.

I Know What to Do…I Just Don’t Do It Part III

When I think of the 4th of July, I think about Freedom.  As a country, we created our freedom and the birth of the greatest country on earth was born!

Where would you like to find freedom in your own life? Freedom from the negative messages you give yourself? Freedom from a few excess pounds? Freedom from old patterns and ways of reacting to various situations?

Freedom needs to be earned.  It takes a bit of work but it can be done.  Today you may be going to barbecues and confronted with buffets full of food.  Why not create a bit of freedom for yourself? Learn to be free from the pull of those old behaviors and messages.  Wake up on the 5th of July feeling proud of yourself.   The secret is in planning ahead.

5 Tips for Freedom from Food

1.  Plan ahead.

2. Know what you are going to eat and how much.  Decide in advance that you are only going to have one treat and enjoy it.   Or maybe you will decide to stick to just fruit and enjoy that huge chunk of watermelon!

3. Take a plate, fill it with tastes of the foods you want.  Do not return for seconds.

2. Enjoy each mouthful.  Chew slowly. Don’t talk and eat.  Eat and listen.

3. Be sure to include some lean protein, like a hamburger, piece of chicken or fish.

4.  Avoid all the fried finger foods.  Stick to carrots, celery and dips like hummus and salsa.

5. Limit your alcohol.  There are lots of unwanted calories there.  Drink lots of water!

*****The key to success is to plan, plan, plan.

Bonus hint:  Visualize the party.  Imagine all the food choices you will have.  Visualize walking in, taking your plate, what you will eat, how you will enjoy it.  Imagine enjoying all the people at the party and how much fun you will have.  Imagine leaving the party having done exactly as you planned.  Congratulate yourself on your success!

Happy 4th!  I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

 

Delicious Summer Salad

I know I’m in the middle of writing my series, I Know What to Do…I Just Don’t Do It but I came across this delicious summer salad and felt compelled to share it with you!

As far as I’m concerned, this is the best time of year when it comes to food.  It is so easy to get the minimum requirement of 5 fruits and vegetables when there are so many choices!  Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, nectarines, plums,  cherries, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, corn on the cob,  the list goes on and on!

As a reminder, try to by organic when you can, particularly the thin skin fruits like the berries and the fruits with pits like peaches and plums. Also, look for organic corn on the cob, otherwise it is likely to be genetically modified and therefore may not be as healthy a choice.  If you want to learn more about genetically modified foods, go to www.responsibletechnology.com to read more.

This salad recipe is light, refreshing, easy to make and pretty to look at.  I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as I do!

Mango, Jicama and Avocado Salad

1 jicama-peeled and cut into small pieces (pronounced hee-ka-ma it is a root plant that is crunchy like a radish and a little bit starchy.  Sometimes called the Mexican potato.  You should be able to find it at most grocery stores).

1 mango

1 avocado

Cilantro (optional)

1 tsp. Ancho chili powder (optional)

Jalapenos (optional)

Juice of one lime

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut equal amounts of jicama, avocado, and mango and mix in bowl.  Add a handful of chopped cilantro, salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle lime juice over it all and toss.  Serve immediately or chilled. Yum!

Taken from the Atlanta Journal Constitution which was adapted from a recipe from “America’s Test Kitchen”.

 

I Know What to Do…I Just Don’t Do It Series Part II

I used to be an all or nothing dieter.  I would make a plan in my head of the foods I was going to eat or avoid and feel really strong about it.  And then, before I knew it, I would cave. I would decide to “just eat one”.  It might be an Oreo or Chips Ahoy, my two favorites, or maybe it was a lightly salted chip, yum!  Suddenly, I was off to the races!  Once I ate one, I would decide, “Oh heck, I’ve blown it, I might as well eat what I want!”  And I would.

Does this sound familiar?

Creating a healthy relationship with food means creating balance.  It is NOT an all or nothing proposition.

That means that we cannot be perfect all the time so when we choose to eat a special treat, it also means we should enjoy it, savor it and then move on.  A small serving of cake or a couple of cookies does not mean you need to eat the whole cake or bag.

If you feel deprived, you are often also feeling frustrated, angry and maybe even sorry for yourself.  It’s a recipe for disaster and creates yo-yo dieting.

5 Easy Steps to Avoid the “Aw, heck, I Blew It” syndrome

1.  Remember that you always have a choice.  Don’t tell yourself, “I can’t have that…”  Tell yourself that you CAN have it but at the moment, you are choosing not to.  It is not a matter of willpower, it is always a matter of choice.

2.  Eat healthy foods that you enjoy every day.  If you don’t like broccoli, don’t eat it just because you know it’s good for you.  Find another vegetable that you do like and eat it instead.

3.  Treat yourself to special foods in small amounts that you can control. Know what your “trigger” foods are, the foods that get you off and running and try to avoid them.  Put your treat on a plate, savor it, enjoy it and be mindful when you are eating it.

4.  Eat healthy choices 85-90% of the time.  No one is perfect.

5.  Forgive yourself if you slip up.  Creating a healthy relationship with food is a journey and can take a long time. Be patient and forgiving of yourself!

If you think you might need some extra help in getting comfortable with your relationship with food, contact me at vicki@yourhealthystructure.com for a free 30 minute consult (an $80.00 value).

I Know What to Do…I Just Don’t Do It…Series

I hear this a lot when I am talking casually to people about things like good nutrition, getting enough sleep and exercise.  The conversation starts with someone asking me a question and we start talking about healthy lifestyles.  Suddenly, the person says, often with some frustration, “I know what to do, I just don’t do it…”  They are stuck.

My next few blogs are going to be about how to get unstuck.

I think most of us simply get overwhelmed when we try to change too much at once. Does that sound like you? You set these big, lofty goals, get really excited about them and then, after a week or two they just, well, fizzle out. Sometimes the goal totally drops off your radar, as if you forgot that you set the goal in the first place and you just stop.

For example, you decide you are not going to eat chocolate chip cookies any more. You’ve been eating too many at night, so you’re just going to stop.  You don’t buy any, there are none in the house.  But then, your roommate, partner or spouse kindly notices that you are out of chocolate chip cookies and picks some up for you at the store! We wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings, right? So you just go ahead and eat them.  And then, you forget about the goal.  The next time you’re at the store, you buy the cookies! Sound familiar?

Change only happens if the pain of doing nothing is greater than doing something. Maybe you really didn’t want to give up those cookies, you just thought it would be a good idea. That’s why it didn’t take much to push you back into your old behavior.

For this week, pick one thing that you want to change. It can be getting more sleep, getting more exercise, adding in more healthy foods, taking out an unhealthy food choice. Be sure whatever you pick is truly causing you some grief.

Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper. On one side, write: Advantage. On the other side, write: Disadvantage. Brainstorm all the reasons it is to your advantage to give up or to your disadvantage not give up the thing you have chosen to change. If you can’t come up with a lot of good reasons, it may not be the right thing to try and change right now.  Pick something else.

Change cannot occur without commitment!

If you need help deciding how to take this first step, I offer a free 30 minute initial consult to help you get started. I work with people 1:1, by phone and skype. I am also happy to help you in as a group if you have some friends you’d like to work with.

Top 10 Foods that Boost Your Memory and Brain Function

**In honor of Memorial Day, I’d like to say there is one thing we should never forget: freedom is not free. Thank you to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve to protect this great country of ours.**

    Has this ever happened to you?   I had timed leaving the house perfectly for a meeting. I had my purse and keys in hand and I was walking out the door, remarkably, on time. All I needed was my glasses. I went to get them. Afterall, I always leave them in the same place. Mmm, they’re not there. Maybe I left them upstairs? Nope, not there. Maybe they’re on the nightstand. Noooo….now the anxiety is building. Round two, look in all the same places again (did I think they’d reappear?) I can’t drive with out them. Where are they???
    The end of the story is that I found them but I was fifteen minutes late for my meeting!
    How much time did you waste this week looking for your keys, your glasses or trying to remember why you walked into that room?  It’s maddening isn’t it?
    As we age, we do lose some of our ability to remember things.  However, I am learning that our brain is an amazing organ that can age as gracefully as we’d like if we treat it well.
    I recently attended a wonderful half day seminar on brain health by Dr. Paul Nussbaum called “Your Brain Health and Brain Health Lifestyle”.  He talked about five areas of our lives that we need to maintain in order to keep our brains active and healthy throughout our lives.
They are:
  • Socialization-Remain integrated and involved in your community, develop hobbies, build a network of
    family and friends, do not retire i.e. maintain a role in society that creates meaning for you.
  • Physical activity-Walk, dance, write with your non-dominant hand. 25% of the blood goes to the brain.
  • Mental stimulation-Learn new things, travel, play games, do puzzles, surf the web, listen or play music.
  • Spirituality-30 minutes a day.  Relax, pray, meditate, say “no”, have family meals, be mindful.
  • Nutrition-Eat whole, healthy foods.  

    Here is a Top 10 List of Brain Boosting Foods

  • Blueberries-High in antioxidants which decreases free radical damage, a natural occurrence in our bodies
  • Salmon-High in Omega 3′s, a healthy fat that helps develop brain tissue
  • Flax seeds-Also high in Omega 3′s
  • Mixed Nuts-helps boost our memories
  • Eggs-High in Choline, needed for memory function
  • Whole Grains-High in fiber, vitamins and folate
  • Broccoli-Aides in Memory
  • Avocados-Aides in blood flow
  • Green Tea-High in antioxidants and aides memory and focus
The old saying, “use it or lose it” couldn’t be more true than it is with our brains, so go out there and go for a walk, climb a mountain, work a jigsaw puzzle, take a class, learn to dance.

 

    Eat healthy and whole foods and enjoy using your time for something besides looking for your missing glasses!
For more information on brain health, check out Dr. Paul Nussbaum’s website at:  http://www.paulnussbaum.com/ or contact me for an free consult at vicki@yourhealthystructure.com.

Have You Ever Tapped? (not dancing…)

Have you ever heard of Tapping or Emotional Freedom Technique?

I stumbled on EFT or tapping last year when I was still recuperating from my boating accident and used it for pain management.

Tapping is an exercise where you literally tap on specific acupuncture points while saying a script that helps you to relieve the physical or emotional pain you are dealing with.

To tap:

  • Start thinking about the event or feeling that you want to work on
  • Begin tapping on prescribed acupuncture points while speaking a script aloud.  Some people say you can just think about the issues, you don’t have to talk out loud
  • Keep going through the tapping sequence until you feel the intensity of your issue decrease
  • Take a deep breath

What you have just done, in  simple terms, is break the connection between the thought and the physical response. Now, you can have the memory of the event but the physical response no longer occurs. The behavior or the memory no longer has the power that it used to and allows you to move on and create a new response or behavior.

The World Tapping Summit is going on right now. In an interview on the summit with Dr. Feinstein, a psychologist who studies tapping, he states that he thinks tapping will be studied soon, driven primarily by insurance companies, as a safe, inexpensive and effective way to treat a multitude of physical and emotional issues. Currently, research is only being done on acupuncture.

If you are interested in checking it out, the link is: www.thetappingsolution.com/2012event

Check it out and start tapping! You may be amazed at what you can change in your life!

If you’d like more information on tapping, how to do it, or some “done for you scripts”, contact me at vicki@yourhealthystructure.com and I can help you get started.

How Our Brains and Bellies are Connected and Why it Matters

Have you ever heard of a broken brain?  Have you ever worried that you have a broken brain? Or perhaps you know that you have a broken brain and have struggled with various treatments throughout your life to either fix it or help you live with it.
    A broken brain refers to people that have diagnosis such as (not limited to) autism, ADD, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Executive Dysfunction, Tourette’s Syndrome, Bi-polar, Anxiety or Depression.
      Recently I read a book called The UltraMind Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman.  He is a well-known Functional Medicine doctor. In Functional Medicine (FM), there are not specialists like cardiologists, dermatologists, etc.  Instead, a FM doctor looks at your body as one connected system.  FM is interested in the sum of all your parts, not just one part.  FM uses an elegant model of exploring your genetics + internal stressors + external stressors and how these inter-play to cause you dis-ease.
          FM doctors help us “connect the dots” regarding our health by understanding the intricacy of mind, body and spirit.
            In Dr. Hyman’s first chapter, entitled Broken Brains, he states some staggering statistics.
              For example, from page 11:
            • Psychiatric disorders affect 26% of our adult population or more than 60 million Americans
            • More than 20% of children have some type of psychiatric
              disorder.
            • More than 40 million people have anxiety.
            • More than 20 million people have depression.
              • Our brains are connected to our bodies and when we are out of balance because we are deficient in some nutrient or overburdened with toxins we end up with heart disease, arthritis or diabetes. Or sometimes we end up with depression, autism or anxiety.  All these illnesses are simply a name for a set of symptoms that define our body’s response to being out of balance.
                  In Dr. Hyman’s book, he proposes 7 Keys that open the door to UltraMind Wellness.
                    The 7 Keys:
                      1. Optimize nutrition
                      Eating a whole, organic, and plant based diet is important.
                        2. Balance your hormones
                        Quality food, exercise, relaxation methods and 7-8 hours sleep per night will help.
                          3. Cool off inflammation
                          To cool inflammation, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, adding anti-oxidants to your diet. Also add Omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil.
                            4. Fix your digestion
                            Eat fermented foods or take a probiotic.
                              5. Enhance detoxification.
                              Clean up your world, filter your water, and use green chemicals.
                                6. Boost energy metabolism
                                Fruits and veggies help here too!
                                  7.  Calm your mind.
                                  Meditation, community, prayer and play.
                                    I highly recommend Dr. Hyman’s book.  It is easy to read and understand and offers practical solutions for healing a broken brain. As in any program regarding your health, you should discuss this plan with your doctor.  There are quizzes that you can take to self-evaluate but follow up with a doctor and appropriate testing will give you the data you need to make good decisions and help you to heal yourself.
                                      If you’d like me to help you implement these keys in your own life, if you feel like you need someone to hold you accountable, contact me at:  https://my.timedriver.com/TGW2M

                                      Wow! This is NOT Your Mother’s Cauliflower!

                                      Cruciferous vegetables are very important for your health.  Those are vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, and kale.  We all know we need to eat them but yuck!  How many times can you steam a head of broccoli?  And brussel sprouts? Most people will wrinkle their noses.  I want to share with you some of the wonderful things that these little gems can do for you.

                                      They are high in Vitamins A, C, and K.  They are also high in fiber.  They also have small amounts of protein and Omega 3 (like salmon) fats. They are a great bang for the buck and the amount of nutrients you get for a serving.

                                      I do know that many people cringe over eating these vegetables.  I love cauliflower, but I get tired of eating it steamed or chopped raw into a salad.  I have made mashed cauliflower before, it makes a great mashed potato substitute, and decided I wanted to make it again for lunch.  I have to share a secret with you:  I am not a great cook!  I am a “read the recipe and follow it” kind of girl.  I’ve never mastered that art of ” a little of this and a little of that”.  So, I decided I’d better not go from memory but find a recipe on-line.  I found a great one and I am sharing it with you today!  This did not take long to make and it was so delicious.  I cut the recipe in half, since I only had one head of cauliflower, but I still had enough for two meals, so it was worth  the little bit of effort .  This recipe is now going to be in my weekly rotation.  I hope you like it as much as I do!

                                      Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”

                                      Serves 4

                                      2 medium-sized heads of cauliflower, washed and chopped into
                                      florets

                                      1-2 tablespoons
                                      melted coconut oil*

                                      2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

                                      1/2 teaspoon sea salt

                                      Fresh black pepper to taste

                                      Herbs to taste (I like rosemary and thyme)

                                      *Note: I say go for two tablespoons of coconut oil – it’s practically the only calories in the whole dish, and coconut oil is comprised of medium-chain fatty acids that your body metabolizes instead of storing as fat. Of course,  you can also use another
                                      fat like Earth Balance or olive oil if you prefer, but I’ve found that coconut oil gives these “potatoes” the buttery, crave-worthy flavor that sets my recipe apart from all other iterations.

                                      Steam the cauliflower florets until very tender (I’m talking almost-dissolve-at-your-touch tender…). Puree cauliflower in a food processor or high-speed blender until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides. Add in coconut oil, nutritional yeast,
                                      sea salt, pepper, and optional herbs. Continue pureeing until desired consistency is achieved (a couple minutes). Add any additional salt and pepper to taste. A food processor is probably the best option for this recipe, as most blenders will have trouble pureeing the cauliflower without additional water (not the end of the world – I sometimes add a couple tablespoons of water to assist in blending anyway – but you shouldn’t have to do so). If you have a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix, which I used for the batch pictured, it works great, and results in an almost unreal silky-smooth texture. I like it both ways, so experiment!

                                      Post-pureeing, you can also pour the cauliflower  into a casserole dish and stick it in a 350° oven for 20 minutes, or until golden-brown on top. Not only does the cauliflower develop a nice, crispy top to play off the velvety texture, but it looks pretty to boot! If you’re not serving it immediately after preparing, you’re going to have to reheat it anyways, so what have you got to lose?

                                      Copied directly from : http://prideandvegudice.com/2010/12/27/the-best-mashed-cauliflower/

                                      Happy Holidays!

                                      I want to wish all of my friends a Happy Passover and/or Happy Easter!

                                      It does not happen often that these two holidays land together like they have this weekend.  Today is Friday, the first night of Passover and also Good Friday.

                                      I hope if you celebrate either of these holidays (maybe you celebrate both) that you enjoy a weekend of friends, family, good food and connecting spiritually to your Higher Power.

                                      If you do not celebrate in a religious sense, I hope you enjoy the time when stores and roads won’t be crowded and find something nice to do outside on this early Spring weekend!

                                      To your health!

                                      Vicki