Archive for February, 2012

You’re NEVER Going to ‘Feel’ Like It…

I was waiting for an appointment yesterday and the woman noticed I was wearing a Mohr Results Boot Camp jacket.  She asked about it and said "wow, that sounds fun … we did a Biggest Loser program here at work, but IT didn’t work."

I came back and asked what didn’t work about it.

She said — OK, well I guess I didn’t try.  I really didn’t feel like working to change.

Now I didn’t quite say this, but in my head I thought…

"You’re NEVER going to feel like it!"

While she was talking about losing weight, this is really in reference to anything in life … any change you want to make.

Yes In "our" world, that’s losing weight.  Improving your diet.  Exercising daily. 

I recently made a confession how I had been slacking with my daily routine.

Although I’ve since been back at it in full force, mixing some variety into my workouts with more TRX, kettlebells, hill sprints (and loving the unseasonably warm weather in Louisville so I’m not out there in 20 degrees), etc … I too finally said in my head that "NOW is the time because I would never feel like it."

In fact we also heard a recent interview with author and radio personality Mel Robbins where she quotes some research saying it takes just 5 seconds for a thought to leave you.  In other words, if you’re sitting on the couch and thinking "I should get up and go exercise," within 5 seconds if you don’t act, it’s gone.

Interesting.

So here’s how you need to take this to the next level.

First, decide WHY you want to make change.  The outcome you’re after. 

Getting healthy is NOT a good reason.

‘Health’ is like a moving target without a solid definition because it’s different for everyone.

So scratch "I want to get healthy" off the list.  Of course that’s an outcome that will result from changing behaviors.

What’s the REAL reason?

It might be 100% focused on your appearance.  That’s fine. 

It may very well seem selfish.  Even better.

Why? 

Because when YOU personally want to make change, it needs to be about YOU and what’s in it for you.  Not your spouse, kids, girlfriend, boyfriend or whoever else.

Now here’s step #2.  You’ve figure out your REAL why.

Make it very specific.

Fit better in your clothes isn’t specific enough.

Do you want to drop a pants size?  Two pants sizes?

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Finally and most importantly, what behaviors are necessary to achieve this outcome?

A goal that’s focused on the behaviors to achieve the desired outcome is the one that will get you the results you want.  

Focus on the behaviors, not the outcome, if you want to achieve permanent success.

And this all goes back to the line from the interview we listened to the other day "You’re never going to feel like it."

You’re never going to feel like taking the necessary steps to make change permanent, but as soon as you do have that previously fleeting thought that you want to make change, TAKE ACTION.

Your action may not be perfect, but taking action is exactly what’s needed to get the ball rolling!

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Fat Loss for a Great Cause

Real quick … a good friend of mine,
who is a dietitian down in Florida,
recently had a serious curveball
thrown at her and her family.
 
I have taught with Tara many times
and she speaks all over the world to
help spread the positive nutrition
messages that we do.
 
Unfortunately Tara recently learned
that her husband was diagnosed with
Stage IV stomach cancer …
 
… and given just a 4% chance to live.
 
They’ve elected to work with a MD in
Germany because of his unique approach
and one that’s given Steven a 50% chance.
 
The problem?  NONE of the travel, treatments,
or living expenses when they spend time in Germany
are covered by insurance.  So this is 100% out of pocket.
 
And, oh yeah, they have two kids — ages 2 and 4.  
 
Locally we’re going to be doing a charity boot camp.
 
But another friend of ours, who also knows Tara,
is trying to do what he can too and put his incredible
fat loss program on sale for a few days …
 
…with 100% of the profits going to the charity fund
set up in their name.
 
This is really a no brainer — incredible information —
and all the proceeds to go a great cause.   A win win.
 
>> Underground Workout Manual <<– help support a friend in need
 
Better. Every. Day.

Team Mohr

Dark Chocolate Health Benefits

Love is in the air.

I walked into a Walgreen’s store earlier and it was wall to wall Valentine’s Day "stuff" from Teddy Bears to balloons, cards and of course, aisles and aisles of … chocolate. 

And each year is the same thing and we get the same questions. 

Is chocolate healthy?

Should I eat it?

How much?

Let’s get right to it.  Research has shown, that dark chocolate – but not milk chocolate or white chocolate – has heart health properties.

With Valentine’s candy everywhere people may wonder about the health benefits of chocolate

So the question is – does a chocolate a day really keep the doctor away?

Let’s take a look some of the data that are out there.

Research published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and others have examined this question – and the answers are promising.

It starts with the antioxidant properties of dark chocolate.  Antioxidants can be thought of as scavengers in the body that gobble up dangerous free radicals and other destructive molecules. 

Think of antioxidants like Pac-Man – and the destructive molecules as the Ghosts in the game that Pac-Man gobbles. 

Of course antioxidants aren’t just in dark chocolate – they’re in fruit and veggies, tea, and loads of other foods.   But dark chocolate is one of the highest sources of antioxidants called flavonoids and catechins, two powerful ones. 

Of course other foods are better sources of other antioxidants, so variety is key.

A recent study published in the Southern Medical Journal examined the effects of dark chocolate on inflammation, lipid levels, and the stickiness of the blood in 28 individuals.

They fed the individuals 1 oz of dark chocolate daily for 7 days. 

The results: 

  • LDL (the bad cholesterol) dropped by 6%
  • HDL (the good cholesterol) increased by 9%
  • hsCRP (inflammatory marker) decreased

While this was a short study, it can be combined with the other positive data that are available to support the inclusion of dark chocolate into the diet.  Other studies suggest including dark chocolate into a varied diet lowers blood pressure too.

Mohr Results Bottom Line:

  • This isn’t a “free pass” to gorge on chocolate daily — and, no, MOST Valentine’s candy isn’t dark chocolate
  • Aim for chocolate that has at least 70% cacao (it will tell you this on the package).  We personally love 100% cacoa nibs in our yogurt — adds some great crunch and since they’re bitter without the added sugar that’s normally in chocolate, the yogurt does a nice job to offer the sweetness needed.
  • Dark chocolate does not mean King Size Twix, Heath Bars, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, etc.  It means quality chocolate, without the added junk.
  • Limit that intake to about 1 oz once in awhile (not every 10 minutes).  It still contains lot of calories and fat, so if you want to include chocolate, keep those calories in check by reducing your intake elsewhere.

Another favorite thing to do in the Mohr House — take a scoop of UNSWEETENED cocoa powder (you know, the stuff you bake with) and add it to a smoothie.  Not necessarily romantic for your sweetheart … but surely great little boost of antioxidants, telling him/her that you want them to live longer. :-)

One of our favorites and one I’m sipping as I write this:

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop BiPro unflavored protein powder
3 LARGE handfuls spinach
1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree (sticking with the Halloween theme)
1 heaping TBS unsweetened cocoa powder

1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen cherries (although any berry works)

Blend up and enjoy!

Make sure the addition of chocolate is part of all the other heart health diet strategies we’ve talked about like those below.

Avocados are a Healthy Source of Fat

Eggs and Heart Disease

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Can You Eat TOO Much Healthy Fat?

We’ve big fans of healthy fats.  We recently talked a lot about the health benefits of canola oil, have talked about healthy omega-3 and touched on coconut oil and saturated fat in the past.

But with all the talk of fat, comes a question that I got just last night while giving a talk …

… can you eat TOO much healthy fat?

Great question.  And how do you define "too much?"

All fats are certainly not created equal.  That’s an undisputed fact.  Sometimes, though, when people hear x is good, they go overboard and think more is better.  For example, while olive oil is fantastic for you … drizzling it on top of every food you eat is not.  I’ve seen this done, though. 

Fat, regardless of the type, still has calories.  In fact, it weighs in at over double that of carbohydrates or protein, providing 9 calories/gram (carbs and protein both provide 4 calories/gram).  While carbs are often demonized and people think solely cutting carbs is the answer to their weight loss needs.  They’re wrong.

You can’t simply add olive oil to all your foods, include avocado, nuts, salmon, whole eggs and other sources of healthy fat with reckless abandon.  Again, fat contains calories.  And while we don’t believe all calories are created equally … that doesn’t mean they’re unimportant.  At the end of the day total calories still matter.  If you’re eating more than you’re burning through exercise and just general "living" you will not lose fat.  This doesn’t mean we’re advocating a low fat diet.  It’s the right types of fat and the right quantities.

Mohr Results Bottom Line: We suggest aiming for around 25-35% of calories from healthy fats.  Again, the sources of this fat are key — wild salmon, fish oil, egg yolks, olive and canola oils, avocado, nuts and nut butters are all great sources.

Just remember these are all very easy to over eat and we often suggest measuring the amount of oil used.  It’s tough to estimate the amount of oil when poured into a pan — just when you think you’re adding 1 TBS, you suddenly have 2 or 3.  And, at the end of the day, you still need to keep a handle on total calories.

 

Answering the Controversial Canola Oil Questions

The last few weeks we’ve posted some articles about a sometimes controversial dietary fat — canola oil  And we got some feedback both through the blog, on Facebook and twitter — with some concerns about our canola oil recommendation.  We wanted to answer a few of those concerns to put the myths to rest.
 
There’s certainly a lot of confusion about dietary fat.  Not long ago fat free was all the rage.  Now people are adding coconut oil to everything, embracing bacon, and suggesting whole milk is the best option. 

And the other day during a talk, someone in the audience asked specifically about canola oil after I gave the message of swapping solid fats with liquid ones. 

“I thought canola oil is bad” she said.  “It’s poisonous, has a toxin and is too refined.”
 
Canola oil certainly has gotten a bad wrap in many circles.  But for no good reason.

Here’s the truth to it.  Canola oil is a healthy oil — it has the lowest saturated fat of any edible oil and is a good source of monounsaturated fat.  And there are certainly lots of data showing monounsaturated fat is healthy.
 
But that doesn’t answer the rumors of canola oil being “poisonous.” 

Here’s the problem — though the internet is a great tool, a little bit of misinformation can spread too quickly.
 
I had the great opportunity last year to head up to Saskatoon Canada to actually tour the canola fields, where the majority of the world’s canola oil is grown.  Here is a picture of a canola plant that I took when I was in Canada.  Yes, canola oil comes from the crushed seeds of canola plants prior to being on your shelf.
 
In fact, I also had the chance to not just see the canola fields, but feel the canola seeds, crush them to extract the oil, and see where some of our food really comes from.  Very cool — it’s cool actually seeing where our food comes from.  It’s why we love farmers markets so much; you have the chance to actually talk to the farmers growing your food.  And I did just that in Canada, where we had the chance to talk with some of the canola farmers.
 
So here’s a quick snapshot of how oils are processed.  In the processing of all refined vegetable oils, after manual extraction from pressing, a chemical is used to extract more of the oil from seeds.  It allows a significant more amount of oil to be extracted, which is very good news for the farmers who, fortunately for us, are providing us with food.
 
As the oil continues to be extracted from the seeds and processed for us to eat, however, there are no detectable traces of this at all.  We’re not eating it.
 
OK, so right now I know you’re thinking — that’s gross, why should my food be treated with chemicals?

Here’s an even lesser known fact – refined (pommace) olive oil uses the same exact chemical to get more oil from the olives

So in one case you’re pressing seeds from the canola plant to get oil and in the other you’re pressing olives to get the oil. 
 
Interesting, right?
 
The other concern that’s often raised about canola oil is that it is genetically modified (GM).  And, that can be true — speaking with one of the farmers, this fact alone has saved his farm because he has a more disease-resistant crop.
 
Canola was developed by traditional plant breeding in the 1960s. Modern crop biotechnology ("genetic modification") wasn’t even invented at that time. Unwanted traits (erucic acid and glucosinolates) in rapeseed were bred out to produce canola, a unique plant species.

Today, some varieties of canola are genetically modified to be tolerant to select herbicides. Using these herbicides has improved crop production and quality so when talking with the farmers, it’s literally saved their livelihood.  And, luckily for us, farmers are around so we have the abundance of food and produce that we all love.  
 
The genetically modified portion of the canola plant isn’t actually where the oil comes from, but if you’re still not loving that … buy organic canola oil.  Organic canola oil is not genetically modified.  Simple solution. 
 
At the end of the day, canola oil is a healthy oil.  Like I said, they do make organic canola oil that is not genetically modified.  Outside of some of the health benefits of canola oil, here are some practical tips too:

It’s virtually flavor free, so can work with any food where you don’t want a ton of added flavors.
 
It’s less expensive than olive oil.
 
It has the lowest amount of saturated fat among any edible oil available.
 
Here’s an easy recipe I found on the CanolaInfo.org website to try.

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Sweet Potato Fries with Cajun Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb/750 g sweet potatoes, peeled, cut in half crosswise, then cut into 1/2-inch (1.25 cm) slices and finally into 1/2-inch (1.25 cm) strips (to resemble fries)
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil 30 mL
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 5 mL
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper 2 mL
  • 1/4 tsp salt 1 mL

Cajun Dipping Sauce

  • 3/4 cup fat-free sour cream 175 mL
  • 1 Tbsp Louisiana hot sauce 15 mL
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 °F (230 C). Line large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Place potatoes in large bowl. Drizzle canola oil over potatoes and toss gently, yet thoroughly to coat. Sprinkle with paprika and black pepper and toss gently.
  3. Arrange potatoes in single layer on baking sheet. Bake 30-35 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes or until beginning to richly brown.
  4. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with salt. Serve immediately for peak flavor and texture.

Yield: 6 servings. Serving size: ½ cup (125 mL) fries, 2 Tbsp (30 mL) sauce.

 

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