Thursday, March 24, 2011

Big Breakfasts for Big Results

By Guest Blogger Joe Wilkes
Breakfast. It seems like forever since Mom told us breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but one study shows it's actually true—she wasn't just nagging us. Breakfast is a key component of weight management: A study presented at the 90th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society showed that participants who consumed large breakfasts high in protein and carbohydrates followed by a low-carb, low calorie diet for the rest of the day lost almost five times as much weight as the participants who followed a low-carb, high-protein diet throughout the day. So what's the big deal about breakfast? And what is a big breakfast anyway? It doesn't seem like the lumberjack special at the local diner would do much to get the pounds off, so what should we be eating?

Eggs and Toast

The study supported the idea that when we wake up in the morning, our bodies want food. You've burned through all the fuel from the previous day, and now your body's ready to burn anything—even muscle—to get a jump-start on the day. And if you skip breakfast, muscle is indeed what your body will burn. Later in the day, your brain is still in starvation mode from breakfast (or lack thereof), so your body will store all the calories you eat as adipose tissue, or fat, to save up for the next day when you try to starve it again. This study also found that levels of serotonin, the chemical responsible for controlling cravings, were much higher in the morning, which is why breakfast is the meal so many of us are willing to skip. But if our bodies are left unfed, our serotonin levels drop, and our bodies' craving for sweets begin to rise throughout the day.

But before you hit McDonald's for their 800-calorie Big Breakfast, or worse, their 1,150-calorie Deluxe Breakfast, or swing by Denny's for a 740-calorie Grand Slam or 950-calorie All-American Slam with hash browns, keep in mind, these weren't the breakfasts the study participants consumed. The big-breakfast group had a 610-calorie breakfast as part of a 1,240-calorie day. Breakfasts included milk, lean meat, cheese, whole grains, a serving of healthy fat, and one ounce of chocolate or candy to defray the craving for sweets. The other group's participants consumed 1,085 calories per day as part of a high-protein, low-carb diet; only 290 of their daily calories were consumed at breakfast. Both groups were on their respective diets for eight months. The high-protein group lost an average of nine pounds, but the big-breakfast group lost an average of 40 pounds. And, perhaps not surprisingly, the big-breakfast group complained less about cravings and hunger.

The big-breakfast group's breakfast consisted of 58 grams of carbs, 47 grams of protein, and 22 grams of fat. Study reviewers attribute some of the success of the big-breakfast group to the fact that the protein and healthy fats eaten kept the participants full and reduced cravings. They also said that nutritional requirements were well met and that there weren't empty calories consumed, because the breakfasts included lots of whole grains, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy unsaturated fats. So bad news for the lumberjack-special devotees—a big plate of greasy hash browns, bacon, and biscuits with gravy isn't going to get the job done, unless the job we're discussing is clogging your arteries.

Here are some healthy big breakfasts, similar to the ones consumed by the study's participants.

Chicken and the Egg

2 large eggs, scrambled
2 slices whole wheat toast
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled
1 grapefruit

589 calories, 52 grams carbohydrates, 48 grams protein, 19 grams fat, 5.5 grams saturated fat, 12 grams fiber.

Oats 'n' Berries Breakfast

Oats 'n' Berries
1 packet plain instant oatmeal, prepared, with 1 scoop Beachbody® Whey Protein Powder
1 cup fresh blueberries
3 oz. roasted turkey breast
1 large hard-boiled egg
1 oz. dark chocolate

631 calories, 62 grams carbohydrates, 47 grams protein, 21 grams fat. 8 grams saturated fat, 10 grams fiber.

Two Egg Sandwiches

2 whole wheat English muffins, toasted
2 large poached eggs
2 slices low-fat Swiss cheese
2 slices Canadian bacon, grilled

597 calories, 57 grams carbohydrates, 45 grams protein, 13 grams fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 8 grams fiber.

Vegetarian Breakfast

Cottage Cheese
1 cup cottage cheese (2% milk fat)
1 cup sliced peaches, canned in juice, not syrup
1 slice whole wheat toast
1/2 avocado
2 vegetarian sausage links, cooked

621 calories, 62.5 grams carbohydrates, 47 grams protein, 26.5 grams fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat, 16.5 grams fiber.

Pescetarian Breakfast

1 6-oz. can light tuna, canned in water, drained
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise (preferably olive oil- or canola oil-based)
2 slices whole wheat toast
1 oz. dark chocolate

592 calories, 45 grams carbohydrates, 51 grams protein, 22 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 10 grams fiber.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Beating the Late Night Binging!

Realize your motivation and then determine the best strategy for either changing your motivation 
or dealing with it.

Reasons for evening eating
There are three common culprits of nighttime snack attacks:

You may be bored or dealing with another emotion like stress, and use this time to preoccupy or anesthetize yourself with food.

You have restricted your calories too much during the day and truly are hungry.

Off-limits thinking
The psychological nature of "dieting" prompts you to feel that late-night eating is taboo which, in turn, creates "off limits" thinking. Sometimes when we tell ourselves we can't have something, we end up wanting it all the more.

Underneath it all, we are all human, and we are all motivated first and foremost by desire. When our desires contradict our current goals, then we must stand square and control them, so that they don't control us.  

You have complete and total control of one thing and one thing only: Your own MIND. When this thought enters your subconscious mind, you have the power to NEVER turn the thought into an action.

Late-night survival tips
To combat those cravings, here are some real-life survival tips for beating the battle.
  • Be sure to eat 3 good meals during the day with 1 or 2 between meal snacks. A good insurance policy is to eat most of your calories before 6 PM.
  • When you feel the urge to eat late at night, try drinking 2 or more cups of water. You can also make a cup of herbal tea sweeten with honey or artificial sugar. Hot liquids have a soothing effect on emotions and appetite.
  • Remind yourself that it's normal to feel hungry late at night due to habitually eating late. Breaking this habit is like learning to quit smoking. Remind yourself of your goal to lose 20 or 30 pounds and the key to losing this weight is to STOP late night eating.
  • Much of late night eating after dinner can be avoided by hiding the junk food. Put foods that you're prone to eat late at night out of sight. Better yet, don't buy junk food at all.
  • Suck on hard candy. Most hard candy have only a few calories and they give you the satisfaction of snacking.
  • Keep a written copy of your diet plan in view, which will keep your goal of losing weight firmly fixed in your mind. The temptation to snack late at night will not be as great if you don't give into the urge for several weeks.
  • Some people have great success by simply brushing their teeth late at night. This method has been known to curb late night eating for many people.
  • The most vulnerable time for eating late is 1 hour after dinner right up to bedtime. Keep your life interesting by working on a favorite hobby and NOT watching TV. The ads on TV can subconsciously trigger the impulse to eat. Boredom is your biggest danger to late night eating.
  • Psyche yourself for the battle. You know that you will feel tempted to snack late at night. It's an artificial feeling that will go away when you go to bed. The next morning, you probably won't be hungry .... eat breakfast anyway .... it's the most important meal of the day.

If you need help creating a sensible diet plan that will help you to lose weight, let us help. We specialize in personal diet plans that will help you lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. Our menus with snacks have helped many successful clients. To get started on your personal diet plan, click  Join Our Club.


My Meal Planner                                   

Team Beachbody® makes it easy to plan 
everything you’re going to eat, so you’ll 
always have delicious food that supports 
your fitness and your weight loss program. 
You can figure out your personal nutrition 
requirements, build and print out menus and 
shopping lists, and make sure you have 
plenty of variety so you’ll never get bored.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Get Healthy Today!

A conversation between a fitness coach and a person who claims they want to get into shape and be healthier. DON”T BE STRIPED SHIRT GUY!!! GET HEALTHY TODAY!! Click the link below, Sign In for FREE, to start on your journey back to health and wellness.

Practice these habits and Guidelines on the assigned day to start.  Incorporate them as you can even if it is only one at a time.  Eventually, they will become daily habits automatically.  

By the yard it's hard, but by the inch it's a cinch.

Monday: Image that everyone you meet and interact with is smiling at you the entire time, even if they aren't.  

Tuesday: Give a sincere compliment to every person you meet today. (Include the one in the mirror.)  

Wednesday: Practice loving encouragement of others in anything they are doing, especially those who are not living up to your expectations. (This includes you.)  

Thursday: Ask sincere questions of how you may be able to help someone accomplish a mutual goal, listen fully, honor their input, and discover an action plan together. 

Friday: Take action to organize next week's work goals and polish off any remaining details of projects scheduled for today's completion.

Saturday: Change your deadlines into goal lines. You will succeed more often and not feel dead at the end of the project. It also encourages teamwork and challenging fun.

Sunday: Observe the natural phenomena such as weather, land formation, flora, fauna, and celebrate your relationship to the beauty and wonder of creation. Utilize what you encounter to its fullest advantage from flying a kite on a windy day to skiing the slopes or building a snowman in the snow.

Tough day: Imaging any tight spot in your body (especially your tummy) smiling a big warm smile while taking in and letting out a slow, deep, conscious breath. (Try it, you will be pleasantly surprised.)

prescribed by Dr. Robert L Groves, ND 

Fat to Fit

Five Easy Steps to Start Your Fitness Program Today!

We all have excuses for unhealthy behavior: too busy, too tired, rough week. But start your fitness journey now, and soon you’ll find exercise more gratifying than comfort food.
Now never seems like a good time to start making positive changes in our lives. Yet today is all we have. Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is a day away.

So what can you do TODAY? Let’s spell it out.

  • T: Tell everyone you know that you are going to lose weight and adopt a healthy lifestyle. This adds to your motivation: When you share your goals with others, you won’t want to let them down.

  • O: Organize a team of supporters. Consider your family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, gym members, and even your doctor. Having folks in your corner to encourage you will help you through the plateaus we all hit on the road to better fitness.

  • D: Decide how much weight you need to lose, how many minutes each day you will exercise, and how many calories you will consume each day. Keep notes, and post your progress daily.

  • A: Act immediately. Start today! Stick to your program no matter what. If you slip up, just get up and restart your program. Make getting fit your first priority.

  • Y: You are the key to success. You want — and deserve — a vital, trim, flexible, and athletic body.

Start TODAY… and you will quickly recover the zestful joy of living that you knew as a child. A change of heart (nothing less and nothing more) will help you realize fitness beyond your wildest dreams. Begin TODAY!

Monday, March 21, 2011

6 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Kitchen

Guest Blogger Joe Wilkes
It's springtime, which for a lot of us means it's time to do a deep-clean of our homes—throwing out the old, organizing the new, storing the winter clothes, and getting ready for warmer weather and a fresh start. For others, it's the beginning of another season of denial about how squalid our living conditions have become. Even more than New Year's, spring is a good time to make some new resolutions and create an environment that'll make us want to keep them. Here are some ideas for getting your kitchen into shape.

1.  Out with the old. I like to think of my refrigerator as a cabinet of hope. Most times, it's full of fruits and vegetables, purchased in a fit of confidence that I would steam and stir-fry my way to a slimmer me. Then I end up going out to restaurants with friends, and my Sunday produce ends up looking pretty bad by week's end. Yet, unbelievably, I leave it all in my refrigerator with the hope that it'll somehow return to a state of edibility. Similarly, expired dairy products and aging condiment bottles litter my shelves, the result of my misguided optimism that they too will come back in fashion—like my '80s wardrobe will, if I just wait long enough. I'm here to tell you, however, that there's been no grocery miracle in my refrigerator these many years. And now, it's time to give the expired residents of this frosty food hinterland a proper burial.

First thing to do: Get rid of everything that even looks old. Be merciless. If it's past the expiration date, throw it out. If it doesn't have an expiration date, throw it out. Another scourge in my fridge is the many plastic containers filled with leftovers. I don't remember exactly what meal they are left over from, but I can't recall anything that included frizzy mold as an ingredient. Much of the reason the containers languish in the back of the fridge is because I'm avoiding the horror of having to wash out the science experiment they've become. This year, I'm going to throw money at the problem, and throw out the leftovers in their containers without ever lifting the lid. Then, I will treat myself to shiny, new plastic containers as a reward for my new hygienic lifestyle. Additionally, if my plastic cutting boards are beyond bleaching, it's a good annual tradition to replace them

2.  Out with the bad. While I'm gripped in the mania of throwing away all the food that has literally turned to garbage, I'm also going to throw away the food that's metaphorically garbage. All the unhealthy snack foods that lure me away from my healthy eating plan are going to have to go. I'm evicting the half-full bags of tortilla and potato chips from my cupboards. Ben and Jerry's® are moving from the freezer to the dumpster. Any empty-calorie snacks I can steal a spoonful or handful of and pretend they don't count have to hit the road. Once I clear the cupboards and refrigerator, I can go to the store and load up on healthy staples, whose temptations I won't have to resist.

3.  In with the new. Now that the refrigerator's clean and the cupboards are bare, it's time to shop. Stock up the larder with delicious, healthy foods from the first two tiers of Michi's Ladder. And make sure to get lots of easy-to-prepare snacks to keep within easy reach when hunger pangs hit. Great snacks include cottage cheese, nonfat yogurt, hummus, salsa, and raisins. Instant oatmeal, whole-grain cereals, and egg whites are good to have on hand for breakfast. And foods like brown rice, dried beans, canned broths, water-packed tuna, and frozen fruits and vegetables are good staples to always keep in supply for mealtime. Of course, you should also try eating plenty of fresh produce, seafood, and lean meats. Just don't be like me and go crazy at the Sunday farmers' market only to have to throw food away at the end of the week. Buy enough perishable items to last a couple of days, then make short trips to the supermarket or farmers' market during the week. Your food will taste better and fresher, and you won't have a CSI episode in the crisper drawer at the end of the week.

4.  When life gives you lemons . . . I know I've talked a lot about throwing all your produce away. But some of it can do a little cleaning work for you before it hits the compost bin. Lemons are very acidic, and their juice is naturally antibacterial and antiseptic. You can use lemon juice to bleach countertop stains and shine up metal. And it makes your kitchen smell lemony fresh to boot! Instead of throwing those lemons in the trash, throw one or two in the garbage disposal and grind away. It'll help get rid of food dried onto the blades while filling your kitchen with the smell of lemons. (If the lemons are really old and the rinds have turned hard and leathery, don't try this. The disposal blades might not be able to chop them, and they'll just rattle around in your disposal forever. Trust me, I know.) Another great tip a friend gave me is to cut a bunch of lemons in half and put them in a big microwave-safe bowl filled with water. Then microwave the bowl of lemons on high for a few minutes, until the water steams. Keep the microwave closed. The lemon-juice-infused steam will permeate all the stuff cooked onto the microwave walls from various exploding culinary attempts. The crud will wipe off easily and your microwave will smell great. Best of all, no toxic cleaners will accidentally find their way into your meals!

5.  Vinegar—not just for salad. While you're cleaning and staying nontoxic, try using the Michi's Ladder top-tier favorite vinegar to spruce up your kitchen. Diluted with water, white vinegar can be used to clean windows, wash floors, and wipe countertops. It cuts grease and removes stains from cookware, and if you run a pot full of the vinegar and water solution through your coffeemaker, you'll be amazed at the kind of hard-water deposits it removes. It's also good for removing hard-water stains on your glassware. It even cuts soap scum and kills mildew, so you might give good, old-fashioned, cheap white vinegar a try before investing in expensive cleaners that can introduce toxins into your kitchen.

 6.  Baking soda—not just for baking. Here's a fun fact. Did you know that baking soda mixed with grease makes soap? It's true. It's a great, cheap, nontoxic way to wipe off your stovetop and the surrounding areas that have been spattered by a season's worth of stir-fries. An open box can absorb odors in the refrigerator, and a little sprinkled in your garbage can will do likewise. If you have a grease fire, you can put it out with baking soda. If you have pots with burned-on food, let them soak in baking soda and water overnight. Also, if you have plastic storage containers that are a bit stinky from their previous occupants, try soaking them overnight in baking soda and water. You can make a baking soda paste with water and polish your silver. It's a miracle product—nontoxic and cheap!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Top Benefits of Shopping at Farmers Markets

Why Everyone Should Be Shopping at Farmers Markets 
by guest blogger ~ March 18, 2011

This is a Guest post by April Uffner

Many Americans, myself included buy produce at their local supermarket or superstore without really thinking about where that produce came from. After all, fruits and vegetables are healthy for us, we grew up shopping

 at the supermarket, and an apple is an apple, a strawberry is a strawberry,right? Actually, not so much! After taking some time to reasearch this topic, I now understand a lot more about the food that I eat.

Did you know that a lot of supermarket produce is picked before it is ripe, ( sometimes it is artificially ripened later). It is transported from different parts of the country, even the world, which can take up to 2 weeks, and on top of that, it may have been sitting on that shelf a lot longer than you think. This affects its nutrient content, it's freshness, and it's taste. It also has a negative effect on the environment, and our local economies.

If you don't like the sound of that, you can shop your local farmer's market. There are many benefits of shopping at the farmers market. Here are some of the top reasons to shop at farmers markets. You may never want to buy your produce at a superstore again!

Fresh, and locally grown! 
At the farmers market you will be purchacing food that is fresh, ripe, and recently picked, sometimes even that day.

It is healthier!
This produce was allowed to reach its peak of ripeness before being picked. It is is nutrient rich, and fresh, it is better for you than supermarket produce.

Meet the farmers!
This means you can ask questions about the produce, try doing that at a supermarket! You will know how it was grown, when it was picked, etc. You can feel confident about the food that you buy.

More variety
Farmers markets offer produce that supermarkets can't. Farmers can grow whatever they want, they do not have to worry about their produce withstanding long trips, unnatural lighting, or temperature changes like supermarkets do. This means they can grow a wider variety of foods to offer to their customers.

Better taste
Since the food has reached the peak of ripeness, and was recently picked, this produce tastes how nature intended it to taste! Farmers market produce just tastes better!

Support local farmers

When produce is sold at supermarkets, farmers are often getting only about 10% of the profits, when they sell their produce at farm markets, they will get 100% of the profit from that produce.

Put your money into your local economy
The farmers you are supporting often support local businesses, local farms also create jobs in the area. Buying at farm markets helps these farms to stay in business, and our local economies to thrive. I would much rather do that than support major corporations.

Better for the environment
Buying local means the food we buy does not have to travel long distances, polluting the environment, just to get to us.

Farmers markets often have lots of other stands offering fresh, homemade prepared foods, freshly ground coffee, seafood, meats and cheeses, sandwiches, candy, smoothies and many more! There are many unique foods here that you can not find in supermarkets! Farmers markets may also have stands featuring local craftsmen, and fresh flower stands as well. It is a fun way to spend an afternoon with your family, and benefit your community at the same time.