Weight Loss: What About Carb Cravings

One of the most common complaints I hear from weight loss clients is that they are experiencing carb cravings, so I thought it would be helpful to give you a very brief explanation of some of the reasons this could be happening to you and suggest some ways to deal with them.

My first step is to be sure you are eating enough food in general. It’s counter-intuitive but not eating enough can stall weight loss too. You’d be surprised at how common it is that people are not eating enough and can’t figure out why they are struggling with fatigue and not losing weight.

The next thing is to be sure you are eating balanced meals that include adequate protein, healthy fats and fiber from non-starchy veggies which will keep you full and satisfied and also stabilize blood sugar. Of course if you have any other underlying health issues, you should seek to address those with your health care practitioner.

Often we reach for a simple carb like a cookie, candy or crackers when we are beginning to get hungry or need a quick energy boost. This is where being well prepared with a better alternative will pay huge dividends for you. Keep hard boiled eggs ready to grab in the fridge. A small handful of nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans or pistachios is a great, high protein and healthy fat alternative that will fill the bill nicely without feeding that carb craving. A pasture-raised beef stick or turkey stick like one of these from Paleo Valley is another wonderful protein choice you can easily keep in your purse, backpack or pocket.

Sometimes protein just doesn’t cut it and you want something sweet. Choosing a low sugar fruit like berries or Granny Smith apples is a great choice. Choosing a healthier carb option is also a good strategy. I always like making healthier substitutions. Keeping roasted veggies that are well seasoned can stop a carb craving in its tracks. Roasted sweet potatoes seasoned with Himalayan crystal salt, pepper and Ceylon cinnamon is very comforting, satisfying and a much healthier option. So are roasted cauliflower, broccoli or Butternut squash. Beans and legumes are also a good substitute for simple carbs. Biena makes roasted chickpea snack you can enjoy occasionally that provides protein, fiber and crunch.

The point is to substitute a better quality of carb or replace it with a healthy protein.

It’s also important to realize that if you have been regularly indulging in simple carbs it will take some time to break that addiction. Do not overlook the emotional component. Often when a carb craving strikes, you are in the midst of some strong emotional reaction. Try to stop and analyze what’s happening mentally and emotionally before giving in to the craving. It’s very possible you are just seeking comfort and there are better, more effective ways to get it than eating simple carbs.

This is exactly why the Today is Still the Day Plan addresses spirit and soul issues and not just physical nutrition and detoxification. You must pay attention to your mental, emotional and spiritual condition and take them into consideration when dealing with weight loss and overall health.

What triggers carb cravings for you and how do you handle them?

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Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

Posted in Emotional Health, Nutrition, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Nutrition: How Greens Delay Brain Aging

According to research from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, simply adding one daily serving of green leafy vegetables can slow brain aging by a decade. I did a newsletter earlier this year about this very research, but I felt it bore repeating since approximately 5.8 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s. This alarming statistic includes an estimated 5.6 million people age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals under age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.

In last week’s post I shared how brain health affects literally every aspect of our lives and health. While eating a leafy green salad a day may not be the total answer to this disturbing trend, why would we not include such a simple, easy step to improving our overall health?

Maybe you won’t eat a salad daily but there are so many other ways to include healthy greens in your meals. I share quite a few ideas in the newsletter referenced above. You can also make a wonderful, delicious pesto from any greens you have, not just basil. I’ve made pesto with spinach, kale, arugula, chard, parsley and combinations of all of the above! Pesto is not just for pasta either. I use it as a topper for my morning eggs – scrambled or omelet – on chicken, fish or meat and as a sandwich spread in lieu of the usual mayo or mustard.

Would you be willing to begin including a serving of leafy greens daily if it can protect your brain health?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Learn more about me and Today is Still the Day, including a free excerpt right here!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.      

Posted in Brain health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Brain Health: Our Connection to a Healthy Life

Brain cartoon of mental heath mind and peaceful theme Vector illustration

Do you realize that your brain health impacts:

Your relationships with loved ones;

Your work performance;

Your overall health, immunity and whether you are susceptible to certain illnesses;

Your health habits and how well you eat and take care of yourself;

Your success in life!

As you may be aware there is a very strong brain-body connection. In fact, your digestive system or gut houses approximately 500 million neurons, which is why we now realize we have two brains – one in our heads and one in our guts!

We are integrated systems – each part is connected to the others and impacts all of them. However, brain health is now known to powerfully influence all other systems. So here are some important ways to keep your brain healthy and in turn all other aspects of your being according to Dr. Caroline Leaf.

She recommends detoxing the brain, body and mind and I thoroughly agree. In fact detox is the first step in all my coaching, including my Today is Still the Day 7 Week Plan. The quality and foods you choose to nourish yourself with will either assist detoxification or create more toxicity. So proper nutrition is an effective first step.

She clarifies the distinction between the brain (the physical organ) and the mind and the need to detoxify the mind as well. The mind, which is also referred to as the heart, is constantly bombarded with toxic thoughts, emotions, relationships and beliefs and regularly clearing those is critical to overall health and wholeness.

Prayer and scriptural meditation is my first choice for this process. Another very effective and simple way to detoxify those negative, toxic stressors is using EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping. I practice this regularly with a decidedly Christian slant and find it to be one of the best ways to address anxiety, stress and toxic thinking.

Dr. Leaf share some other important ways to improve brain health including deep thinking, creativity and adequate, restful sleep, which is another of my 3D Living Program keys.

What steps are you intentionally taking to keep your brain as healthy as possible?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Learn more about me and Today is Still the Day, including a free excerpt right here!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.      

Posted in Brain health, Emotional Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Soul Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Nutrition: Should You Skip This

About a year and a half ago I wrote this post about the Impossible Burger. I think you will pretty easily see what my opinion is on this particular product.  Recently I’ve noticed something called Beyond Burger in my supermarket. I wondered if they were related so I did a little research and wanted to share what I learned and my thoughts here.

My understanding is that the Impossible Burgers are sold in restaurants, like Burger King as of this past April, and Beyond Burgers are sold in grocery stores, which is where I have been seeing them. While the Impossible Burger contains soy and genetically modified ingredients, the Beyond Burgers are Non-GMO Product Verified. However, does just that make them a healthy choice?

I suppose it depends on your definition. “Healthy food” by my definition is the highest quality, real, fresh, whole foods in a form as close to how God created them. So that means organic, grass-fed, pasture raised, wild caught.

My problem with the Beyond Burgers is that they are processed foods. I am not a vegan or vegetarian, so I do eat grass fed beef and that’s what a burger would be for me. However, my daughter in law is a vegetarian and she eats veggie burgers, but I doubt she would choose this one. While there are no GMOs, it does have canola oil as an ingredient, which is an inflammatory omega 6 oil.

Often people see labels like “vegan” or “plant-based” and automatically think they have to be healthier, but that’s not necessarily the case. Creating your particular fuel blend from quality whole foods in their natural form is different from simply choosing something labeled “plant-based.” There is a difference between eating fresh or frozen peas (a whole food) and pea protein isolate (a highly processed product).

I know many people choose options like these to avoid eating meat believing the plant-based options to be a healthier choice. I don’t necessarily agree. I believe it is the quality of whatever food you choose that will make it truly healthy or not. So genetically modified veggies and processed plant-based foods would not be a healthy (in my opinion). I would choose grass-fed and finished beef over a processed plant-based product. However, that is also quite different from beef from conventionally raised cattle which is treated with hormones, antibiotics and fed genetically modified grains. The nutritional content is completely different and I don’t consider that a healthy option either.

So for me it comes down to quality and keeping it real. I, personally, won’t be purchasing either of these any time soon.

What do you think about these alternative meat burgers?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Learn more about me and Today is Still the Day, including a free excerpt right here!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

Posted in Digestive Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Weight Loss: Is There a Best Exercise

Last week I talked about whether there’s a best time to exercise. This week I want to ask if there are certain types of exercise that are better for weight loss than others.  Personally, I believe the bottom line is choosing something you actually like doing and doing it consistently.

But research has been done on people who inherited genes that increase their chance of becoming obese. This research identified the specific types of exercise that are especially effective at combatting genetic effects that contribute to obesity.

This research addressed specific measures of obesity, such as body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage and waist-to-hip ratio. They found that regular jogging was the best type of exercise for managing obesity, according to those five measures.

Additionally, mountain climbing, walking, power walking, certain types of dancing, and long yoga practices also reduce BMI in those individuals genetically predisposed to obesity. Surprisingly, cycling, stretching exercises, swimming and Dance Dance Revolution did not counteract the genetic effects on obesity. Previous research, which focused only on BMI, revealed that any frequent physical activity blunts the genetic effects of obesity, whereas this new research takes into consideration four other measures of obesity that are more closely linked to metabolic problems.

So unless you are genetically predisposed to obesity, I would still suggest, just get moving and stay active and you will reap the benefits of improved health and weight loss.

Now before you give up your favorite type of exercise, I also read about some surprising benefits of swimming. Swimming workouts are one of the best activities you can do for your body year-round. Swimming workouts provide both physical and mental benefits, and can really improve your overall health in a short amount of time.

Swimming increases blood flow to the brain so you experience increased alertness, better memory and cognitive function. In fact, one fascinating study showed that just being chest deep in warm water increased blood flow to cerebral arteries by 14%. That’s not all! Swimming workouts lowered resting blood pressure, improved insulin sensitivity and reduced heart disease and inflammation.

So my take-away from all this remains: choose something you enjoy doing, and do it consistently. There are numerous benefits to all different types of exercise and varying what you do is a good idea since you reap the benefits of each different kind of exercise. There is more to be gained than just weight loss!

What is your preferred type of exercise and why?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Learn more about me and Today is Still the Day, including a free excerpt right here!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.      

Posted in Diabetes, Fitness, Heart Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Weight Loss: Best Time to Exercise

People ask me often what I suggest is the best time of day to exercise. Before I get into a little detail, my short answer is what I recommend in Today is Still the DayI suggest scheduling exercise sessions first thing in the morning, when possible, simply because you get it done before the rest of the day’s activities can intrude. Consistency is key and scheduling it early assures it gets done. Another benefit to this is that if you exercise on an empty stomach (a cup of coffee or tea is fine), you also tap into stored energy (fat!) and burn that as fuel.

In a recent study of people who successfully maintained weight loss, 47.8% of these consistent exercisers scheduled workouts in the morning. While this could indicate morning as the optimal workout time, the consistency is really the key.

If you find it easier to work out in the afternoon or after work and before you go home, by all means, do so! For over 20 years my husband went to the gym after school (he was a teacher) and worked out before coming home for dinner. He found it helped him relax and release the stress of the day before coming into the house. That was especially helpful when our children were small. Since he is semi-retired, he now works out early in the morning.  I have always been a first-thing-in-the-morning exerciser. I just like to get it done and then get on with my day.

So choose something you will do consistently and choose a time that works for you. Bottom line is that the best time of day to exercise is the time you will do it daily!

Do you exercise regularly? Are you a morning or later day exerciser?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Learn more about me and Today is Still the Day, including a free excerpt right here!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.      

Posted in Fitness, Intentional Exertion/Exercise, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Weight Loss: It’s Not Too Late, So Get Started

Higher blood pressure

Increased risk of stroke

Heart disease

Diabetes

Cancer

Fatty Liver disease

Kidney disease

Depression

Osteoarthritis

Gall bladder disease

These are all known health risks associated with being overweight or obese. I’m sure I don’t really need to convince you of the benefits of getting to a healthy weight.

Just in case you need a tiny bit more motivation, I wanted to share this research I recently read about. I work with women of all ages and typically as we reach our 40’s and beyond, many of us seem to find it more and more difficult to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. I’ve spoken to some women who just decide to give up. They feel it’s just too hard and so what if they are 20 or more pounds overweight now. It’s just not that big a deal.

Well as the results of the study of 1200 people mentioned above show, people with bigger waistlines and a high body mass index (BMI) in their 60s had greater signs of brain aging six years later! Specifically, the study showed that being overweight is connected to reduced gray matter, which contains the cell bodies of brain cells, important for cognition, emotional health, personality, sensation, and movement.

According to the study results, being overweight or obese may accelerate aging in the brain by at least ten years. The take-away from this research was that making midlife health a priority can significantly decrease the risk of cognitive problems later on. So if you are in your 40’s, now’s the time to get serious about this.

For me it’s exciting to think that simply by losing weight, people may be able to slow down aging of their brains and potentially the memory and thinking problems that can come along with brain aging. It makes the Today is Still the Day plan principles even more important to incorporate into your life as early as possible.

If you are in your 60’s already, don’t lose heart. It is never too late to make healthy changes and reap the benefits. So take some baby steps in the right direction regardless of your age.

How does knowing that losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight can protect your brain health make you feel? 

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Learn more about me and Today is Still the Day, including a free excerpt right here!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.      

Posted in Brain health, Fitness, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments