Alcohol is a topic that comes on a regular basis in the groups that we run. Let's face it...a lot of people like to indulge in an alcoholic beverage! Some people use alcohol as a treat with dinner or at an event, some use it to wind down after a long day, and some use it to improve their dance skills (or at least their perception of their dance skills).
I know the title of this post may seem a little backwards to some people. Alcohol has calories and those calories have next to zero nutritional value. Why then, should someone that drinks, continue to drink if their goal is to lose weight? Won't stopping help them actually lose weight?The short answer to that question is yes, it will help if you cut out all alcohol. The long answer is why I wanted to write this article.
Laura and I really believe in creating a lifestyle that is healthy and sustainable for the long run. For us that means creating habits that are healthy and easy to repeat. Some habits for example would be: drinking lots of water, eating protein with every meal, eating lots of veggies, cooking meals at home, reading nutrition labels, and working out. We also believe that a healthy lifestyle can and should incorporate a few treats. Alcohol and desserts would fall into this category.
You might be thinking, "GREAT, they say I can just keep drinking like I am and I will lose weight!" Well not quite, that depends on how you use alcohol. Sorry there is always a catch!!!
I would encourage you to be super honest with yourself and figure out why you drink?
That would probably be my biggest takeaway for you with this article:
Do Your Actions Match Your Goals?
I don't want to tell you how much to drink or not to drink at all. That is for you to decide based on how healthy you want to live. I will say that there is a lot of research that does say having a small amount of alcohol does actually have some health benefits. So there is a place for it if you used properly. I would ask you to go back to that list of questions above or if you thought of some on your own, sit with that for a bit and really get an understanding of why alcohol is a part of your life. Are the reasons you are drinking positive, beneficial and adding value to your life?
Earlier I mentioned creating a healthy lifestyle and building healthy habits. I would recommend that alcohol consumption (and eating desserts) SHOULD NOT become habit. If you think about it, habits are things you do mindlessly, they don't take any decision making skills. I believe that treats should be conscious decisions that you choose to incorporate into your life. If alcohol is a healthy part of your current lifestyle and your actions match your goals than by all means continue what you are doing. Cutting alcohol out during your weight loss journey only to re-add it once you hit your goal weight will only cause issues at that point. I encourage you to learn how to "healthify" your alcohol decisions so that if you are going to drink, the lifestyle you create is one that you are happy with during your weight loss and after, because frankly once you get on the road to becoming healthy it never stops!!
Both of these pictures were taken in Mexico. The first one was 2 years ago and the second one one was about 10 days ago. My transformation in these two pictures has nothing to do my physical change. Heck my sunglasses are the same, crazy I haven't lost or broke them, right?
At the time of the first pic I was working as a golf professional. I was working long hours for mediocre pay. I wasn't able to spend much time with Laura especially in the summers. Vacations like I was on were rare. I missed a number of weddings and other family functions because of my responsibility to my job. I don't mean to paint my life as terrible it was far from that. I wasn't truly living though.
Fast forward two years. I now get to raise my son, spend as much time with Laura as she will let me. 😂 I get weekends off to spend with friends and family. I'm in the best shape of my life. I've made a number of new friends that lift me up and are positive influences in who I am and who I will become. I work when it is convenient for our family. I'm smarter. I'm more confident. I'm excited for my future and no longer worried about it.
What was the catalyst for this change? Beachbody! It's been so much more than some workouts and a shake. It's a community and culture. It's friends and experiences. It's given me purpose and drive again to better myself and those around me. I'm no longer just going through the motions of life, I'm really living it. I'm so thankful for this transformation.
If you are in a place that sounds like where I was, or just looking for that "thing," I would love to share more about our Beachbody community.
Welcome to Team FullyFit
We want to recognize a couple of our friends that have decided to make a commitment to their health and fitness. They have found success in their own journey using Beachbody products and want to share that success with others.
Please welcome Cheryl Vaske to Team FullyFit! Cheryl and Dan used to work together at Hazeltine National Golf Club. Cheryl has been a couple of our Challenge Groups and has fallen in love with Focus T25 and loves Shakeology. The 25 minute program fit nicely into her busy day and helped her lose some weight all while getting stronger. She has decided to make a commitment not only to her health but also wants to help others reach their potential too.
We are SO excited to have you on board Cheryl...and for those of you that know her, she would love to connect with you on how you could begin your own health journey. She will actually be co-hosting a fitness and nutrition accountability group with Laura starting on May 4th. If you want more details about what that accountability group is all about, reach out to her us and we would love to help.
We are SO excited to welcome our good friend, Jillian Kruger, to our amazing team of coaches. What that means is...she loves health and fitness and wants to help other people create change in their lives!! She is such an amazing, compassionate person...a busy mom...and loves to be active. She participated in a few of our accountability groups and has done T25 and the 21 Day Fix.
We are so EXCITED for her to start this new journey and have no doubt she will be an incredible coach.
If you know Jillian and need some help building some healthy habits into your busy life, reach out to her!! She'd love to chat more with you to help!
So this week was an experiment for me on our quest to make a new meal for a Monday post. We've tried cauliflower crust pizzas in the past and really haven't had any luck with flavor or texture. We love the idea of pizza that we can eat without any guilt so we wanted to give it another try.
So this time I thought it would be fun and tasty to add sweet potato to the cauliflower. This would give it a bit of that sweet flavor that you get from regular dough when you add honey or sugar. I was also hoping it would help crisp up the crust a bit more.
If you can't tell by words like "experiment" and "hoping" this didn't quite turn out the way I had hoped. Although tasty it didn't quite have the texture that I was hoping. The outside got crispy but the interior stayed a little on the soft side. It was definitely a fork kind of pizza.
Feel free to make some suggestions if there are any bakers out there that know a way to add more of crunch and firmer texture. I'm thinking maybe a little more tapioca starch and a higher heat when I bake it next time.
Once I master this crust I will post the recipe cards that you guys can download. Until then I would appreciate any feedback on how I could improve this recipe and process.
Make it a Great Monday!
Hosting Easter Dinner
Yesterday was the first time that Laura and I hosted Easter dinner for either her family or mine. It was my family plus Laura's brother, Michael, that joined us for our Easter festivities this year. I have to be honest and say it is difficult to cook for my family, we have a few picky eaters. We are from a small town and didn't grow up eating a lot of different foods. My mom always made good food but it similar in flavors and familiar so that is how the taste buds of my family developed. Meals became traditional. Just like the sun always rises in the east, we always have ham at Easter. I love tradition and there is something comforting about knowing what you will be eating and those foods will remind you have times long ago. Part of me though loves to take the traditional and tweak it and that is what we did this year with our Easter dinner.
So of course we had to make a ham, but instead of traditional oven baked ham I got the idea to grill/smoke our ham. I love smokey foods. This would also free up our kitchen oven to do other things and not have a giant ham taking up half the space. I did a little research and found that spiral cut hams tend to dry out when cooked on a grill, so opted for non-sliced ham. The process of smoking the ham was actually pretty easy. Prior to putting it on the grill, I did a light rub on it. I first added a layer of dijon mustard and then rubbed in some brown sugar to almost make a paste around the outside of the ham. This helped create a nice layer sweet and smokey on the outside.
We have a pretty big grill, so I just turned on the two outermost burners on medium, and placed the ham in the middle of the grill. This provided indirect heat, similar to an oven. As you can see in the picture I used a little smoker box that I picked up at Home Depot and kept it stocked with apple wood chips. This setup kept the temp of my grill around 250. I smoked the ham in a disposable aluminum foil tray for an hour and forty minutes, checking it every 20 minutes to make sure the temp was steady and occasionally add some more wood chips. At the 1:40 mark I added a little apple juice, maybe a cup, to the bottom of the tray, and covered the top with aluminum foil, to essentially steam the ham and keep it from drying out. After 40 minutes or once the ham got to 135, I removed the foil and begin the glazing process. I cheated and just used the glaze that came with the ham, which was a currant glaze and pretty tasty. I turned the heat up to medium high on the two side burners and glazed it twice, keeping it on the grill for another 25 minutes. That was all for the cooking process. I just let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
As for the sides there was one side that I had to keep pretty close to the original, my moms Scalloped Corn. Think gooey cornbread. We did modify a little bit and used greek yogurt instead of sour cream and almond milk instead of regular cow's milk. Sorry this is the one thing that isn't pictured above.
The other sides included mashed potatoes. Obviously I had to do something to dress up just regular mashed potatoes. I added a couple parsnips to the pot of boiling potatoes. I also sauteed some leeks and garlic in some butter, which I added to our Vitamix and blended with some more butter and almond milk, which I added as we mashed the potatoes. I couldn't sneak these past my older brother however, he knew something was up with his "regular" mashed potatoes. Fail on my part. I also did a really easy roasted carrot that I tossed with a little honey and ground ginger. If you make the carrots make sure to toss them in the honey after they are done cooking otherwise you will have a sticky burnt mess in the oven.
Baked beans aren't a traditional side for our Easter dinner but I thought what goes better than ham and beans... Also I have always wanted to make some beans from scratch. This process involved soaking dry beans and then I cooked them in the crockpot overnight. I quasi followed a recipe by The Beeroness for her Slow Cooker Maple Bacon Beer Baked Beans. I did tweak the some things in the recipe. I added some beef broth instead of water. I also ended up adding a small can of tomato paste and a little brown sugar after tasting them in the morning. I like the tomato flavor and richness that the tomato paste added.
The last couple of items in the picture above are what we refer to "individual" corn and a broccoli salad. The individual corn is named for my younger brother that never liked the Scalloped Corn so my mom always had to make a little side dish of regular steamed corn for him. That tradition has continued. The broccoli salad was a spin on the traditional broccoli salad with a mayo dressing. I opted to make a clementine vinaigrette, then added bacon, clementines, dried cherries, slivered almonds, and fresh mint. Flavor-wise I really liked it but the dressing got a little thing so it didn't coat the broccoli quite as well as I hoped.
Of course we had to finish off with some dessert. We didn't go crazy, with anything elaborate even though my mom was mentioned she wanted us to recreate a salted caramel cheesecake that she recently had vacation. We kept it simple with angel food cake and berry syrup, some fresh strawberries and fresh whipped cream.
If you have some picky eaters in your family, I would encourage you not to shy away from foods that they might not like but instead try to find ways that you can "sneak" them into dishes. Chances are their distaste for a food is probably based on either a poor preparation of it or memory from when they were 9 years old and they lived off of Fun Dip instead of broccoli. If you are a picky eater, I encourage you step out and try some new things. It's not going to kill you, unless it is sushi made from raw chicken, don't do that it might actually kill you. Who knows you might actually really like something and be missing out. Just like life you tend to regret the things you didn't do/try versus the ones you did do/try. If you want specific recipes for anything I mentioned I would be happy to share, just comment below.
Have a Great Monday!!!
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.