Posts Tagged ‘Veggies’

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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Reduce Belly Fat with these 21 Fat Loss Tips

Fat Loss doesn’t have to be as complicated as many people make it out to be.

It really takes small, baby steps, for permanent weight loss success.  Here are 21 tips to virtually guarantee success — no weight loss pills, no bogus fat loss scams, or other infomercial quick fixes.  Just tried and true belly busting strategies.

1.  Find a support partner.  Someone who can keep you on track and accountable to stick to it.  This person will ONLY give you positive feedback and never shoot your goals down, or try to steer you in the wrong direction (e.g., you look GREAT, don’t worry about eating X)

2.  Replace all liquid calories with water and real tea (green, black, or white — not fake prepacked junk).  

3.  If you bite it, you must write it — record your intake either by hand in a journal or on a online source, like or

4.  Stay positive — always remember progress, not perfection.  This way you will continue to make progress.

5.  Eat smaller, more frequent meals — including protein, fruit and/or veggies with each meal.  These will keep your appetite in check and energy levels high.

6.  PLAN AHEAD — sit down one day for 30 or so minutes and plan the week ahead food wise.  This will allow you to make the best choices.

7.  Check in with others — social support is key.  This is your accountability partner from #1, but maybe even logging into forums or in person groups too.  It’s easy to let yourself down, but no one wants to let others down!

8.  MOVE MORE — structured exercise is great, but you can’t just be "an active couch potato."  If you move for 30-60 minutes/day, that means you might be sitting or laying for the other 23 hours.  Play with the kids, walk the dog, get up from your desk regularly and walk around.  Movement is necessary!

9.  Eat more fruit.  Add 1 piece of fruit each day … then build on that each week until you’re getting upwards of of 5 servings daily.

10.  Eat more veggies.  Add 1 vegetable each day … and build on that each week until you’re getting upwards of 5-7 servings daily.  You can’t eat too many veggies!

11.  Try a new fruit or veggie.  We get stuck in a routine, eating the same foods over and over again.  This week eat a unique fruit and vegetable for you — if you only turn to apples and bananas, try berries, grapefruit, or some other fruit.  Same with veggies — expand your horizons!

12.  Eliminate trans fat — there’s not many foods/ingredients I’d say "eliminate" — but this is one of them.  Man made trans fat is horrible!

13.  Drink enough water so that your urine looks like pale lemonade.  It may or may not be 8 cups daily … use your urine color as a guide.  When it’s warm, drink more. :-)

14.  Check the number of calories you are consuming. We always stress that all calories aren’t created equally, but at the same time, we can’t avoid calories all together.  They still matter.

15.  Focus on quality, not just quantity.  Calories do matter, but an apple and raw nuts for about 250 calories is much different than a 16 oz soda for the same number of calories.  "Fill up" on nutrients, not junk foods.

16.  Put the focus on fiber — recommendations are up to 35 grams/day.  Don’t worry about carbs, worry about fiber.  Fruit and veggies are great for this.

17.  Write down your goals.  Don’t just think about them, write them.  The act of putting them on paper increases the likelihood of achieving them.  

18.  Replace 1 meal each day with a large salad that’s loaded with veggies and topped with lean protein.

19.  Use fruit, veggies, and beans are your 3 primary forms of carbohydrates — loaded with fiber, loaded with nutrients, yet not filled with any junk.

20.  Stick to foods that have no more than 5 ingredients.  Max.  HINT — you won’t find it with pre packaged foods, so leave those on the grocery store shelf.

21.  Review your goals daily, commit to these 21 habits, and you’ll virtually guarantee success.

What did we miss?  We’d love to hear what tips YOU use to stay lean and healthy!

Sugar: More Addictive than Drugs?

We talked recently about the dangers of sugar – an ingredient (among others) that is killing us! 

A friend of ours — Jeff O’Connell — just published a book, Sugar Nation: The Hidden Truth Behind America’s Deadliest Habit and the Simple Way to Beat It, that is starting to gain some serious attention about this very topic.  Interestingly, Jeff has type 2 diabetes — but at 6’6, very lean and active, he’s certainly not your "typical" type 2 diabetes patient. 

So in the book he talks to a ton of researchers, physicians and others looking deeper at some of the causes of the disease that’s growing by 7,000 people PER DAY. 

Well, Americans are certainly eating enough sugar to make it toxic.  While surely there are some controversial nutrition recommendations in the book, it’s important to look at some facts about sugar. 

sugar is toxicAdded sugars make up about 16% of total calories in the American Diet — SIXTEEN!  That means 16% of the American Diet is not just void of ANY nutrients whatsoever, but it’s filled with completely useless calories.


And ‘added sugars’ means sugars from any source — white sugar, brown sugar, organic sugar, high fructose corn syrup, soda, honey, organic cane sugar, etc.  The sugars mainly found in processed foods are added sugars and so are any sugars you personally add.  Basically, any sugar that’s not naturally found in foods like fruits, veggies or dairy products so don’t use these new "rules" as a way to say you have to stop eating fruits and veggies.  That’s taking smart guidelines and applying them to what you may want to hear.


Just to give you an idea — here are a few of the major culprits of added sugar in Americans’ diets.


  • Soda, energy drinks, sports drinks: 36% contribution to total added sugar intake
  • Cakes, cookies, pies: 13%
  • Fruit drinks and “-ades” (not 100% fruit juice): 10.5%

Sugar has earned a spot on the AHA’s black list — saying it’s basically a "negative nutrient" that needs to be limited for your heart’s sake (and, really, every other organ in your body too).

The AHA recommends that added sugar intake be limited to 100 calories (25 grams, or 6 teaspoons) per day for women and to 150 calories (about 37 grams, or 9 teaspoons) per day for men.  To be honest, even less would be even better…the less, the better. 

Keep in mind that now, the average American eats over 350 calories each day in sugar alone (about 22 teaspoons,or nearly 3-12 oz cans of soda)!  Talk about a way to make sure you gaining belly fat and ruining your health!

Added sugars have NO place in your body whatsoever.  NONE.  ZERO.  ZIP.  (NOTE: for certain athletes, sports drinks and post workout drinks CAN play a role, but that’s not the majority of the population).  Unfortunately the majority of the population are those who still drink too many of those things yet don’t move their bodies.

Here’s the deal.

Adding sugar to your diet is like pouring mud down your throat.  Gross, right?  Yeah, they have about the same amount of nutrients — actually, the mud probably has more!

The study I’m referring to was published in AHA’s Scientific Journal, Circulation … and they talk about the link between high sugar intake and insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and type 2 diabetes.  Of course we can also point to the increase in belly fat from eating too much sugar, which can lead to basically every other disease known to man.

Very simply, we are OVERFED YET UNDERNOURISHED!!!  And added sugars need to go.

In fact, the AHA has a very strong conclusion in their study: "There is sufficient evidence to link excessive sugar intake to the pandemic of obesity and cardiovascular disease."

Scary stuff.  That is, unless you’re not "in the know."

Tricks to limit added sugars

This is what we do to limit added sugars and make sure we don’t throw ouroverall "diet" in the toilet.

  • Eat whole foods with a max of 5 ingredients each (preferably just 1 ingredient) — fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, whole grains, & fish, as each are void of added sugars.
  • If it comes in a package, leave it on the shelf (think snacks, pastries, cookies, most breakfast cereals, etc)
  • Leave foods on the shelf if they have any of these as the first few ingredients: brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, sugar (dextrose, fructose, glucose, sucrose), high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, malt sugar, molasses, raw sugar, syrup.

Kudos to the American Heart Association … most governing bodies haven’t stepped it up and made such a bold move.

If you liked the article above, please click the ‘Like’ button below for Facebook and leave a comment on the blog 


5 Fat Loss Mistakes!

Our goal isn’t just to talk about losing fat.  Anyone can lose fat, fast. What’s more important is discussing how to lose fat permanently! And I say lose "fat" because some weight is good — we don’t encourage muscle loss, so focus on body fat and you’ll be golden. Just the other day I was on the phone with a writer for a popular fitness magazine.  And the writer asked me what I thought were the top 5 fat loss mistakes that people make. He was surprised that there was barely a pause before I started rattling off the common problems I see with people who are trying to lose fat.  And it’s not that I’m some incredibly brilliant genius, it’s just that after working with 1000′s of people over the years, it’s very clear where people are struggling when trying to lose belly fat.

  1. Portions are out of control! This image is a perfect example of portion distortion.  Not that any of these are smart food options, but even if we went back to the smaller portions of each, we’d be headed in the right direction.portions-have-changed1So what can you do about it?  When at home, don’t serve family style.  You’ll eat more when serving out of a larger bowl or platter.  Read food labels, too, so you can see that sometimes 1 bottle, or 1 bag of a product, is often 2, 3 or even 4 servings!
  2. Thinking all calories are created equal! A calorie isn’t a calorie.  That might be in the face of science.  Some say that all calories are equal, meaning as long as you cut calories, you’ll lose weight.  Sure, but is your goal to lose fat or lose muscle?  And don’t you want to fuel your body with all the nutrients you can?  After all, slugging down a 250 calorie sugar laden soda is far from eating veggies and hummus, peanut butter and an apple for those same 250 calories. So a calorie isn’t a calorie — eat quality, don’t just focus on quantity!
  3. Outeating your exercise. Run 1 mile and you burn about 100 calories.  Walk 1 mile and you burn about 100 calories.  That means if you wanted to lose 1 lb/week through exercise only, you’d have to run or walk 5 miles every single day!  That’s not realistic or a good use of your time.  It’s much easier to eliminate those extra calories by replacing junk  with high nutrient fuel or eliminating calories from soft drinks, for example.  Exercise, yes, but you’ll get more bang for your weight loss buck by monitoring the foods you put in your body.
  4. Skipping breakfast as a way to "save" calories. Eat breakfast and you’ll weigh less.  It’s as simple as that.  Just eat the right types of foods — avoid sugary breakfast cereals and instead opt for fruit, raw nuts, yogurt, eggs and veggies, for example.
  5. Thinking exercise is your answer to losing fat. Exercise doesn’t work.  Nutrition does.  Sure, exercise needs to be a part of your fat loss routine, but even though you may exercise 1 hour/day, what happens the other 23 hours?

There you have it – the 5 most common fat loss mistakes! If you truly want to be permanently successful,avoid the mistakes above and you’ll be well on your way. Tomorrow we’ll be back with some fat fighting recipes!

The KEY to Permanent Fat Loss

There are a lot of factors that play a role with permanent fat loss…

easy tricks to lose fatTraining.



And more.  But then within each there are even more … what type of training are you doing?  How often?  What’s the intensity.

Same goes for nutrition — portions, food choices, do you eat breakfast, meal frequency, etc.

But one nutrition factor stands head and shoulders above the rest when getting rid of belly fat and getting beach body ready.

It’s not carbs or fiber.  It’s not fat.  And it’s not protein.

It’s satiety or how full you are.  Satiety is the key to permanent weight loss!

The question, then, should be what foods help me feel more full without providing a ton of calories?

And the goal should be eating as much food for as few calories as possible.

Can you lose weight eating Snicker’s Bars all day?  Sure, just don’t eat too many … but you’ll be miserable and starving!

Or, for the same number of calories, you can load up on veggies, fruit, lean proteins, healthy fats, and some grains. 

Losing fat doesn’t have to mean deprivation like so many make it out to be.  So how do you make this a reality? 

  1. Start each meal with a vegetable and/or fruit.  We’ll often start with a salad or make a larger salad to be our complete meal.  Or somethings we’ll have veggies and hummus as an appetizer. 
  2. Have broth based soups to fill you with volume.  This works particularly well in the colder months.
  3. Add berries to your morning bowl of oats (or other cereal).  Here’s my trick — rather than pouring the oats first, like most people, pour the berries first, as these give you more nutrition and volume.  And FILL UP the bowl — this way there’s not as much room for oats.  More volume + More nutrition = fast and effective fat loss.
  4. Load up your morning omelet with veggies for the same reason as above.  More nutrition and more volume.  Then with the protein from the eggs and volume from veggies, you’ll be more full for a longer time.  Here’s a video of me making "the healthiest breakfast in the world" — omelet with veggies — for us in the morning.
  5. Go vegetarian (at least a few days each week).  This is an easy way to boost your veggie intake, increase volume, and eat more nutrients to lose more fat permanently.   
  6. Don’t drink your calories, eat them.  Soft drinks, fruit juices, and any other liquid calories don’t give a lot of bang for your buck. 


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