We are always told that it takes willpower to lose weight...or if we want to be successful at something we just have to harness our willpower and make it happen.
It's not that easy.
Your willpower doesn't just sit around waiting for you to use it. It shows up sometimes and other times it's no where to be found! It's fleeting but the good news is, it's re-chargeable! You start the day with a full tank of willpower but the bad news is: as you go through the day, you use it up little by little...so when you get to the end of the day and late night snacking is calling your name, it's REALLY TOUGH to ignore those voices and put down the cereal or ice cream.
Willpower is like a fast twitch muscle that gets tired and needs rest. It's incredibly powerful, but has no endurance. You can work on that muscle and make it stronger, but it will still get tired sometimes! Willpower is also like gas in your car...when you resist something tempting, you use some up. The more you resist, the more empty your tank gets, until you run out of gas...which is not where you want to be.
That's not all...
There have been studies that show that the more willpower you use for one task, the more your blood glucose levels drop. Crazy huh? Since willpower is a mental muscle and doesn't bounce back quickly...if you employ it for one task, there will be less power available for the next unless you refuel. To do that, you'll want to eat foods that elevate blood sugar evenly over long periods, like complex carbs and proteins.
Think about this...
What are your "default settings"? Because whatever they are...you're going to fall back on those when our willpower is low. Will you grab a bag of chips or cookies OR a bag of carrots? You can adjust your "default settings" over time...these are called NEW HABITS! We focus a lot on building those in our accountability groups. I read once that it takes roughly 66 days to build a new habit...not the typical 21 days you normally hear about. So be patient with yourself! Be CONSISTENT and slowly add in some healthier habits. Focus on things that you can do for the long term and just build into your life. Then once you get those down, focus on some different ones to continually be growing and changing.
The reason we get hung up on willpower is because we don't focus on it enough. We use it all up without reserving some of it throughout the day....this means being intentional about what you buy and keep in your house and staying away from the treats in the break room at work. If you're constantly allowing yourself to have temptations right in front of you, you're going to constantly be using up your willpower and have nothing left over by the end of the day.
Some other ways your willpower gets taxed:
- Taking tests
- Trying to impress others
- Coping with fear
- Suppressing emotion or impulses
- Doing something you don't enjoy
- Selecting long-term over short-term rewards
- Implementing new behaviors
- Filtering distractions
Every day we run into these issues and more...it's up to us to PROTECT our willpower and our actions!
A few ideas:
1) Don't spread your willpower too thin. You have a limited supply of willpower, so decide what matters and reserve your willpower for that.
2) Monitor your fuel gauge. Pay attention to how you're feeling and if your willpower is lacking, don't put yourself into situations where you're going to compromise your goals and go crazy.
3) Realize that your willpower is not infinite...so stop beating yourself up when you struggle with it. We all struggle with it but you CAN make it stronger!
(This topic was adapted from the book The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results)
Last weekend my parents were in town for a quick visit so we spent all day on Sunday with them and my brother's family. We went to church, went to brunch and then spent the afternoon hanging out by the lake where their new house will be built next year! Our brunch adventures this week took us to Victors on Water in Excelsior, MN...right off of Lake Minnetonka. This tiny town has so many cute shops, restaurants and coffee shops...I love it!!
Anyway...this was our first time to Victors and everything was just spot on. The food, the service, the atmosphere...we will definitely go back!! The picture above is what Dan had and it was the Polenta Benedict w/ asparagus, king crab, poached eggs and parmesan fondue....and obviously an arugula salad on top. He loved it. I had the Pork and Vegetable Hash with two eggs and toast. It was delicious and I ate every single bite. I also had a bloody mary that was seriously good. One of the best I've had in a while! Great flavor and thick...which I like.
My view at lunch...isn't he cute?? And miraculously, Eli slept in the Ergo the entire time. It was LOVELY!!!
And then we ended the afternoon/evening with some time on the lake, some naps and cuddle time and then some sushi. Sundays are my FAVORITE!
Oh and YES, we would highly recommend Victors on the Water. Go check out the weekend brunch and then walk down by the lake and enjoy the view!
I'm a sucker for chicken salad...always have been and always will be!! Needless to say, I've tried a lot of different varieties, but I've never made it or had it with mango before. I've always liked the versions that have grapes in them for that little extra sweetness so when we had a mango leftover on the counter, I figured why not try it out instead. It worked!!! It was delicious and sweet and salty, with a little bite from the red onion. This will definitely get made again.
Not to completely change topics on you, but one thing I hear from people ALOT is how expensive it is to eat healthy. One thing I want to start doing with some of our blog posts is to add a price component and show you guys what it would cost to make some of the dishes that we make. One of the most important things when it comes to shopping on a budget is buying things that are in season. For example mangoes right now are selling for 80-90 cents per mango. Also buying in bulk is important. If you follow us or have been in an accountability group with us, you know that we love Costco. You can get so much great stuff for pretty cheap! Most of this meal came from Costco but you could easily throw it together for roughly the same price buying everything at a regular grocery store.
Here's the breakdown:
That's a better price than anything you will get going through a drive thru and SO much healthier! You could totally eat this on it's own or put it in a Flatout wrap with some spinach and have some veggies on the side you and you have a completely healthy meal for under $4. Also as far as nutrition goes (if you like to watch your macronutrients like I do) each serving will provide you with 381 calories, 19 grams of fat, 19 grams of carbs, 39 grams of protein.
If you are like me and you grew up with the Food Pyramid as your reference to what a healthy diet should look like, then I'm sure you will follow my logic in this post. That pyramid told us to eat a certain number of grains, pastas and cereals. It also mentioned meat and protein, listed dairy as a food group and told you to limit fats. Although if you look closely at the pyramid, fruits and vegetables are separate, but the advice you hear all the time is, "Eat your fruits and veggies." If you follow anyone in the health world, I'm sure you've heard that statement before. If you do a quick google search on the subject you will get results like these:
Experts Recommend 5-9 Servings of Fruits and Vegetables Per Day
Then if you click into some other links from what I would consider well educated institutions like WebMD or Harvard School of Public Health you find that they have articles that lump the two groups together as if they are interchangeable.
So why is this bad advice?
Instead of the saying, "Eat your fruits and veggies" it should actually be "Eat your fruits" and "Eat your veggies." The problem comes when you combine the two. Especially when that advice is what we teach our children. If these two food groups are lumped together - like they almost always are - and you have the option to eat sweet fruit versus slightly bitter greens like kale or arugala, which are you going to choose? Which are your children going to choose?
The difference between eating 9 bananas in a day versus 9 cups of broccoli is pretty significant.
By comparing these two, the intent isn't to say that fruit is bad or even worse than vegetables, they're just different. It is easy to see though that if a person were to consistently eat a lot of fruit that they would be consuming a lot more calories and a lot more sugar. It is a "natural" sugar but it is still sugar that your body will either use as energy or store as fat if it isn't needed.
My advice would be that you aim for a minimum of 5 servings of vegetables per day...and preferably non-starchy varieties. So that means things like broccoli, cauliflower, various greens (kale, spinach, chard, romaine), carrots, sprouts, jicama, celery, onion, garlic and so on. I know things like avocado, tomatoes, peppers, and squash are technically fruit but for the sake of getting nutrient dense, low calorie foods we will call them fair game for your 5 servings per day.
As far as the popular advice out there that says you should eat 9 servings of "fruits and vegetables" per day...that total number is fine in my opinion. If you want to eat more that - even better. I would always strive though to keep your veggie to fruit ratio to be 2:1. So take the 5 servings of non-starchy veggies, add in maybe a sweet potato or regular potato and that gives you 6 servings of veggies. Go ahead and eat three servings of fruit to get that that 9 number! Some advice on fruit selection: if your goal is weight loss try to keep 2 of those 3 fruits lower in sugar content, so things like melons, berries, citrus fruit. Your higher sugar fruits would include things like bananas, apples, grapes, dates, figs, and mangoes. Once again if you don't use that sugar you will store that sugar for energy later in the form of fat.
Continue to eat your fruit and continue to eat your veggies but stop lumping them together as one!
Get home at 4:30pm from my day job and if Eli is still napping I'll sit down and try to crank out a little bit of work on my real passion...aka helping women with their health and fitness! Which in turn helps with their CONFIDENCE which helps them to BELIEVE in themselves again....which helps them see that they have POWER to change. To show them that they don't have to diet.
Seriously guys...there is nothing better than lifting others up and helping them see their worth. It's what I love. This "little" business that we have has changed my life and it's not done yet.
On the outside looking in, you might only see some workout dvd's and shakes...but if you were to peel back the layers you'd see an AMAZING, passionate, supportive community of people whose goal is to CHANGE LIVES and lift others up.
Mine was changed 3 years ago when I simply decided to do something different. I wanted to STOP feeling tired, feeling like my clothes didn't fit right, feeling like I wasn't good enough or smart enough, feeling like I had no passion, purpose or drive...I KNEW deep down that there was something out there that I was meant to do...but I was just kind of coasting along at that point. Fast forward to July of 2013 when I signed up to be a Team Beachbody Coach and while I probably don't look all that different on the outside now, the emotional and mental transformation I've gone through is pretty significant 💗
I love who I have become and I still get this feeling in my gut when I think about this business and how it's changed me...somewhat slowly and quietly. Still an imperfect, authentic human being...just dreaming big and trying to help the people around me do the same thing!!
I am passionate about helping others love who they are as well and there is no better place to start than your health!!
We love eggs!!! We eat them daily, which means we cook them daily. We like our eggs over easy to over medium, there is just something about that runny yolk that just makes eggs so good. I'm not sure where I picked up this trick on cooking the perfect over easy egg but it is so awesome and easy to do. You don't have to worry about breaking the yolk open when you flip it or try to get them out of the pan. Once you master it, which won't take long, you will have a super simple way to cook your eggs perfectly every time.
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.