Posts Tagged ‘diet’

One of the Biggest Struggles with Nutrition

"I can’t eat vegetables … I don’t like any of them."

That’s what one of our clients recently told us.

None.  She said she doesn’t like ANY of them … can’t stomach them.

To be honest, she’s not far off from the rest of the population.  A recent study showed just 25% of the population at the absolute minimum recommendation of 3 servings daily.

Do you?

I’ll admit that eating veggies regularly DOES take a little more thought and prep than many other foods, including fruit.  But  you tell me — is a few more minutes of prep time worth:

  • Hitting your weight loss goals
  • Slashing your risk of cancer
  • Decreasing the risk of getting sick
  • And the list goes on…

So here are 5 insanely easy ways to eat more …

  1. Try spaghetti squash in place of spaghetti — slice it in half, roast in flesh side down for about 45 minutes on 350, or until tender.  Take it out, remove the squash with a fork, which looks just like spaghetti strands, top with your favorite sauce and voila.
  2. Add veggies to an omelet — it’s an easy way to up your intake — start your day on the right foot.  Check out our healthiest breakfast in the world video to see how we get about 7 servings in that meal alone!
  3. Replace 1 meal per day with a large salad (and add lean protein to it and a handful of nuts, like almonds)
  4. Replace 1 current snack with veggies with hummus
  5. Make veggies the base of your meals — if you have pasta, fill a bowl with veggies first and add pasta to the top.  Same with stir fry or even the omelet recipe in #2.  This way you have more veggies than the other part of the meal.

And, for those who say "they don’t like any veggies," I think it means what you’re used to hasn’t been good.  Maybe canned veggies which are loaded with sodium and little flavor.  Try branching out and eating ones that are a bit more unique. 

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The Power of Less

We were at the park with Ella the other night and were talking with another set of parents while our daughters played together.  As we continued to talk, the conversation came up of how we manage to fit in exercise with Ella…and how will we with another one on the way.

This particular couple already has 2 kids, both under 3.  And both, admittedly, have struggled to maintain their own exercise habits.

Now we’ll be the first to admit, having kids certainly throws a little wrench into the mix … it makes eating healthy and exercising regularly a bit more challenging, but certainly not impossible or out of the question when you have a strategy in place.  What used to be our normal routine is now dictated by an almost 2.5 year old.  And again this will all change in a few weeks for us personally. 

It doesn’t mean exercising is impossible until your last kid turns 18 and you’re an empty nester.  And even if you don’t have kids, similar challenges exist — you’re working longer hours, don’t want to get up an earlier to exercise before work like we do in our Louisville boot camp and simply struggle to make time.

What we shared with them at the park is exactly what you’re going to hear today …

…it’s something we’ve learned and adapted over the last few years since Ella has been around.  Our goals certainly shifted — years ago I would train twice per day — lifting once, some type of cardio or sprints later on.  Kara did the same when she ran more often; lifting in the morning and then running in the afternoon. 

But basically we now get in and out of the gym or wherever we’re working out as quickly as possible.  We call it the "Power of Less."  Interestingly, in the book the 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss, he coined the term "minimum effective dose" … same idea.

…how little can you do and still get the best results?  In other words, less is more (or is it less is MOHR?). :-)

Ferriss points to the example of boiling water.  Boiling water is boiling water.  It doesn’t get "more boiled" with greater and longer heat.  

We’re not trying to get people to move less; we’re trying to be practical in our recommendations because at the end of the day, spending as much time with Ella as possible is a lot more important than spending as much time as possible working out. 

One example of getting more done in less time is changing the intensity of your workout.  We can do 10 hill sprints in 20 or 30 or so minutes…very challenging workout that puts a lot of demands on many muscles of our bodies.  Or we can go out for a walk each day, do that for about 60 minutes, barely elevate the heart rate or work muscles with any type of intensity and not get close to the same results.

Does this mean walking is bad?  Of course not…and we DO often do that stroll just to get out of the house.  We’re not necessarily even doing it for the sake of exercising, it’s just better than sitting around watching TV and it’s a great way to break up the work day and take a break from staring at a computer.

But let’s go back to that minimum effective dose … or what we say is the "Power of Less."

Maybe it means you have to bump up the intensity of your workouts to get more in less time. 

The Power of Less works for nutrition, too.  In fact we talked about it the other day when we suggested you STOP THINKING.  There’s 15 million different ideas, diets, and tips out there … focus on ONE and you’ll get results rather than flip flopping daily and believing every single thing you read. More on this to come in the future…

It’s where less is more.  And where LESS will get you BETTER results. 

The Power of Less.  Agree?


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7 Foods to Always Have in Your Kitchen

As we talk and work with more and more people, the more we realize how pushed for time everyone is … of course we know this, being busy parents ourselves who are also running a company.

The difference, though, is we’re comfortable in the kitchen and enjoy cooking.  We love finding new recipes, experimenting with various foods, and now it’s even more fun teaching Ella about all of this. 

We understand we’re a rare breed — few people either A) enjoy cooking and/or B) know where to even start if they were to venture in there.

Today we wanted to share some "must have" foods in your kitchen/pantry at all times.  While we love our favorite smoothie — a little variety in the diet is a good thing. 

So it got us thinking … it’s always good to have a few "real" foods on hand that will work in a pinch.

7 foods to always have stocked in your kitchen.

  1. Greek Yogurt:  Why do we like it?  It’s double the protein and half the sugar of "regular" yogurt.  Always good when you’re in a pinch – now you always have a super easy snack on hand if you get the individual containers of Greek yogurt.
  2. Nuts:  In our opinion, these are some of the greatest foods.  Ever!  They’re a great source of healthy fats, they’re a decent source of protein, and loaded with antioxidants.  Oh yeah and they don’t need to be refrigerated.  An absolute win win!   Perfect for travel.  Perfect for your desk at work.  And you can simply throw a handful on a salad, in a stir fry, or just eat ‘em as a snack. 
  3. Packaged salmon (or tuna):  We prefer the packets over the can because they’re even that much more convenient — no can opener, nothing to drain.  These may not be "your thing" — but hear me out.  They’re not perishable.  They will last in your cabinet for a long time and if you are open to either salmon and/or tuna, they’re a great source of protein and healthy omega-3′s.  Whenever we travel we always have these — let’s face it, eating out all day every day is not the best.
  4. Frozen berries:  We like these because they’re non perishable and loaded with nutrition.  These are winners for sure.  Always have them on hand to throw in smoothies, yogurts, or have with oats. 
  5. Nut butters (almond, peanut, etc):  These are perfect for a quick meal — spread them on some whole grain bread, or just have with a banana or celery, as a quick snack.  Here’s a favorite meal of ours — 1 cup blueberries, 1 TBS almond butter, a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut.  Enjoy like a bowl of cereal!
  6. Black beans.  Natures perfect carbohydrate — super high in fiber and antioxidants, yet also provides a nice amount of protein to boot.  Try mixing a can of the salmon or tuna with 1/2 cup black beans, toss with balsamic vinaigrette, and you’ve got an easy meal that’s ready in minutes. 
  7. Jarred tomato sauce.  We’re advocates of throwing together you’re own sauce — it’s quick, easy, and has waaaaay less sodium and sugar.  But this is always great to keep on hand for the times you’re in a really tight pinch … quick, easy, and can help you put together a meal in no time flat.  A quick one for us — pick up a rotisserie chicken, top it with a little jarred sauce, melt some mozzarella on it, and you’ve got the easiest chicken parm you’ve ever eaten!

There you have it — 7 foods to always keep on hand.  Out of that entire list, just 1 needs to be refrigerated!

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F.O.C.U.S.

Wow, lots of interest and "FB likes" to our post the other day regarding our blog last week suggesting people "stop thinking" to change body composition.

Here’s another piece to this puzzle.  But it may upset some people.

Ready?  We don’t care what type of nutrition plan you follow …

Paleo Diet, Low fat, Low Carb, Raw foods, etc.

We care that you stick to it.

There’s an acronym we use when sharing this with people:

Follow

One

Course

Until

Successful 

We’re not saying there are not better approaches and worse ones for long term success, so we’re always going to steer people in the right direction — but not traditionally through "diet" changes, and instead more so through behavioral changes that help reach their goals.  For example, replacing a daily serving of chips with a handful of pistachios and a piece of fruit isn’t really a "diet" per se, it’s a simple behavior that will ultimately help with success down the road.

But at the end of the day, ANY program you follow will work … it’s just that most get upset that results aren’t coming as quickly as they hoped, or maybe they get bored with the food choices they are limited to on the particular plan they are trying to follow and as a result, throw their hands up and do nothing. 

We do know if you’re diet is too complex, it will not have staying power.

Which is why we always suggest going back to basics.  This is the purpose of the "7 Word Diet" from Michael Pollan we’ve talked about before.

Eat foods. Not too much. Mostly plants.

Pretty basic, yet easy to remember.

And again, more important than following any "diet" is following the simple behavior tips and strategies that will help with permanent success.  These aren’t rocket science tips and strategies — there is nothing sexy about eating more veggies and fruits, for example — but we don’t need rocket science, we need permanent simple strategies that will help people with long term success.

  1. Eat a veggie or fruit with every single meal and snack
  2. Replace all liquid calories with non calorie alternatives.
  3. Include protein with each meal
  4. Replace junk fiber free carbs with high fiber alternatives
  5. Eat less of whatever you’re eating

You see.  Not rocket science.  Far from "sexy."  But follow those 5 strategies on a regular basis and you will be successful.

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12 Fruits and Veggies With the MOST Pesticides!

Last year we published a blog about The Environmental Working Groups "Dirty Dozen" list … well, they’re at it again with an update … with the 12 fruits and veggies you SHOULD make sure to buy organic, as these 12 are highest in pesticides.

We’ve talked about organic vs. conventional foods in previous blog posts. 

Basically the "Dirty Dozen" list are the 12 foods that have been found to be highest in pesticides when a random sample is taken from a the grocery store shelves.  In other words, since these are highest in pesticides, it’s suggested that if you’re picking and choosing which foods should be organic, focus on these 12 first. 

This shouldn’t come as a surprise with the recent headlines suggesting the pesticides in foods, namely many berries, like blueberries, are linked to ADD in children

That being said, here is the updated Dirty Dozen list of foods from the Environmental Working Group.  Again, these are the 12 foods you should go organic with if you’re picking and choosing.  As an easy rule of thumb, notice all of those are ones you’d eat the skin/leaf. 

As a general rule of thumb, if you peel it (banana, avocado, melons, etc) there’s less concern over pesticides since you’re not eating the part that would be sprayed. 

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines – imported
  7. Grapes – imported
  8. Sweet bell peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries – domestic
  11. Lettuce
  12. Kale/collard greens

Maybe even a MORE important message, though, even more than focusing on those 12 higher pesticide foods … is that conventionally grown fruit and veggies is STILL better than none. 

Next, if you ARE picking and choosing organic or not, focus on these 12 to spend the extra money.

Do you choose organic?  Let us know!


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