The BEST Veggie Packed Peanut Curry
I love a good peanut curry.....if we go out for thai food we typically get a couple dishes to share and the panang curry is almost always the one we choose! Dan recreated it the other night at home and it was probably the BEST peanut curry he's ever made!!! So obviously....I had to share the recipe with you guys!!
I know it's been a while since we last posted a blog but I'd LOVE to get back into blogging/sending out a newsletter. Would you guys find value in that?? What would you want us to post more about?
Quick update on our life....
1 year ago we moved out of our RV and into a house....and now we've moved back into the RV!🤣🤷🏼♀️
I had been praying for a while...asking God to show us whether we should keep the rv or continue to try and sell it...if we lived in it (instead of the house we were living in) we could drastically use our income in different ways!! i.e save, pay off all of our debt and more!
Anyway we’d been looking at monthly RV spots around Austin and they were all booked solid and had a waiting list for long term spots....but the other day we found a park just 15 min west of my sister’s house. We emailed them and they had availability starting in October! I had this random idea (aka not a coincidence...total God thing) to ask if they needed a camp host and they said they were actually looking for one!! We’d get our monthly spot paid for...plus utilities. We’ll do maintenance/greet guests and check them in, 4 hrs a day, 5 days a week....and we’d get paid for that too!
Anyway. We met with them and she texted that same night saying they wanted to offer us the position😱
This seems to be a huge answer to prayer....BUT it’s also a huge change for us! There are some downsides but also a lot of upsides.
So basically the last couple of days have been a bit overwhelming trying to decide if we should do it or not....praying, talking, crunching numbers etc....and we decided to do it! 🙌🏼🙌🏼SOOO....now the packing, downsizing, selling of things, simplifying begins! So thankful that we’ve done this before so we know what to expect!
I love the quote:
“I’m not sure what the future holds but I know who holds the future”.
Have you ever had a big decision to make?? What was it and how’d you do it??
2 questions I asked myself: “does this decision and life change bring us closer to God? And “Does it bring us closer to the purposes He has for us?” Moving forward into the unknown is scary. But I also know that when we live such a safe life with no risk taking and no faith, the enemy loves it. God provides opportunities that will stretch us, mature us and challenge us and we GET to choose. I always want to be OPEN to the crazy changes and possibilities He has for us!
OK....now the recipe to the BEST VEGGIE PEANUT CURRY of all time!!
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 cups broccoli
1 cup green beans
1 can drained chickpeas
1-2 cups broth
1/2 c peanut butter
1/4 c curry powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 c fish sauce
1/4-1/3 c Soy Sauce (we use gluten free soy sauce or tamari)
1 can full fat coconut milk
Salt & pepper to taste
Cook onion and carrot for 5 minutes in coconut oil. Add everything but the broccoli and green beans and bring it to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes. Add broccoli and green beans and simmer on low for another 10 minutes.
Top with cilantro and/or hot sauce and ENJOY!!!!
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
I know some people that begin to drive heave if they are threatened to eat a brussel sprout. A couple are in my immediate family. Growing up my mom on occasion would make them but they were usually either steam or boiled with some butter on them. Although I could probably stomach that now, at the time it was one of the most disgusting flavors. The smell was similar to what a Band-Aid smells like and I could only imagine what they taste like.
Had my mom prepared sprouts this way, I'm guessing there would have been a 50/50 chance that I would have actually eaten them. I mean they are still green and green food in our house was immediately met with rejection, unless it was Jello. That stuff was delicious! Just don't ruin it by putting fruit in it!
The process of roasting brussels is pretty straightforward. One key is making sure you start with fresh brussels not the frozen version. If you get the frozen ones, they will be more apt to just steam and bring you and I back to that Band-Aid flavor and smell. So start fresh! Then all you need to do is trim a little bit of the chewy stem off of them if there is some. We like to half or quarter ours from there depending on the size. You could roast them whole but they would take a LONG time so that's not advised. Once you halve them, spread them out evenly on a baking sheet. Drizzle with roughly 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per pound of brussels. Season generously with salt and I like a little pepper also but not always.
Once seasoned, put them the oven that was preheated to 425. Depending on the size they should take anywhere from 20-30 minutes and I like to stir them half way through. What you are looking for is for them to start turning slightly brown if not black. In the cooking world that's called carmelization! Do it! They aren't burnt, they are perfect that way. It will bring out some of the natural sugars that are in a plant that is inherently bitter and if prepared poorly can taste like Band-Aids!
Try it this, I bet you will like brussels for the first time! Or at worst you won't hate them.
Want to take this next week off from planning your own Healthy Meals? Let us do the work for you! Follow the link below and we will give you are 5 Day Meal Guide for free!
Golf, Beer and Supplements
If you didn't read our bios, in a previous occupation I actually used to work as a golf professional. No, I didn't play on the PGA Tour. I worked at a club, ran golf tournaments, sold merchandise, gave golf lessons and every once in awhile I got to play! People always would tell me how jealous they were of my job, to which I would usually just agree because that was easier. Easier than saying I work ridiculously long hours, never get a weekend off, get paid a shade above minimum wage, and had 300+ "bosses" called members that all wanted something different. But I digress...
This post isn't about my life as a golf pro so much. I got to thinking the other day after listening to someone else talk about selling nutritional products. They made the comment that nutritional products and health products are much easier to sell to the healthy! People that are familiar with things like probiotics, gut health, adaptogens, etc. That kind of sucks if you think about it. The healthy people already do a pretty good job of taking care of themselves so why should they invest more into their health.
That got me thinking about my days as a golf pro and how a similar analogy also rang true. It was much easier to sell golf lessons and golf equipment to the more advanced golfers. Four hundred dollars for a new driver, no problem. Five hundred dollars for golf lessons, sure!
You can pretty much change this analogy into anything else.
I also used to be a craft beer nerd too. Your average Joe wouldn't likely spend $10-20 for a bottle of beer but I didn't blink an eye at that. Why??? I saw the value in the beer!
The golfer sees the value in the lessons. The healthy person sees the value in nutritional products.
It all comes down to value... whatever you value that is where you will spend your resources! Since we live in the health world this is a tough predicament to be in and actually quite frustrating. There is nothing more that I would want to do then help people that are morbidly obese lose 100+ pounds. To actually save their lives of people that are in a downward spiral.
What does it take to help a person like that though? It takes that person seeing value in investing in his/her health! Unfortunately it usually takes a rock bottom moment for a person like that make a change. Maybe it is a diabetes diagnosis or a heart attack. When you take away health, it becomes a lot more valuable and you will be more apt work pretty hard to get it back.
I know we help a lot of people begin to believe in themselves again and reach a lot of their goals, which is amazing! We won't stop doing that! My hope and prayer is is that just one person will read this and think that their health needs to be valued more! That they are willing to make the investment with their time and money to turn their life around. That obesity and disease doesn't have to be the trajectory that their life is on.
If that's you, we would love to hear from you. I know that first step and asking for help can be one of the hardest. Know that we will meet you where you are at and will be by your side through the whole process.
Pumpkin Spice Protein Pancakes
It wouldn't be fall if we didn't throw a pumpkin recipe at you. Since we love pancakes here you go! We've been making a variation of these pancakes for the longest time. However the texture on those other ones just wasn't quite where I would like it when it comes to a pancake. So just a couple little tweaks and we have this new one which I think will be our go to pancake recipe for a quite some time.
If you are wondering what the hell the broccoli is doing in the picture, I thought this was a pancake recipe, you aren't the first one to think that is a weird combo. This combo is a great a solution for a number of people that we work with on a regular basis. Two staples that people usually fall short of on a daily basis is protein and veggies. Why not start your day with a healthy dose of both?
Why are protein and veggies important? Particularly for people trying to lose weight these two things will likely be your biggest help in seeing measurable progress in a short period of time. By getting adequate protein, 20-40 grams, per meal you will fill yourself with bulk but with lower calories. Same goes for the veggies, due the high fiber in veggies you are adding bulk without adding calories. It's because of this that you are able to eat to the point of being full all while staying in a calorie deficit.
If you are curious how much protein and fiber you should specifically be eating head over to our Calorie Calculator page and submit some information and I will get you a customized plan to let you how much of each you should be eating. This will be based on your size, activity level, and your goals.
Otherwise enjoy the heck out of these pancakes, we sure did!
Protein: 10.9 g
Fat: 4.4 g
Carbs: 3.5 g
Sugars: 0.9 g
Fiber: 1.6 g
Counting Macros 101
Curious what the process of tracking your macronutrients entails. We would like to give you an idea of the process along with the benefits and pitfalls.
Counting macros: What is is all about? 0:07
How to you calculate your macro and calorie needs? 1:13
Who is counting macros good for? 5:17
Who isn't it good for? 7:00
Two camps to losing weight... 9:14
Incorporating treats 13:38
Hope that helped you understand tracking macros a little better. There is so much with tracking macros that you just learn through doing. If you feel like you want to start tracking your macros. Head over to our Calorie Calculator, input some personal information then submit the form at the bottom of the page and I will respond with a personalized macro plan for you.
Is Obesity Contagious?
I've been smacked in the face with this concept a few times in the past month so I took it as a sign that I needed to write and share my thoughts.
Is Obesity Contagious?
We think of a lot of diseases to be contagious, the flu, a cold, but what about obesity? The American Medical Association back in 2013 actually changed it's stance on obesity and it is now classified as a disease. If you go to the CDC website it actually states that 36.5% of Americans "have" obesity. That word "have" struck me when I read it.
Philosophically that is a whole new ball game. Now a person isn't defined by being obese, they "aren't" obese they just "have" it. If you have something you can get rid of it, right??? That's good news! If you have it, does that also mean that you can give it to someone?
In 2007 researchers from Harvard published an article in The New England Journal for Medicine, The spread of obesity in a large social network over 32 years, that explains these concepts. Some things that stood out were, if you have a friend that is obese that you would be 57% more likely to obese yourself. The study didn't show that obesity was connected to geographical location. For example if you have a neighbor or coworker that is obese they won't rub off on you as much as someone which you actually have a close relationship.
"Obesity is a social disease. And it needs a social cure." - Dr. Mark Hyman
I love this line from Mark Hyman, "Obesity is a social disease and it needs a social cure." Unfortunately the population of the United States is heading in the wrong direction.
As of 2015 70.7% of Americans over the age of 20 are considered overweight or obese. If 71% of the population had a virus that was slowly killing you every government agency and medical professional would be hysterical in finding a cure. What gives? Why are people complacent about the disease of obesity?
I think it comes back to this being a social disease. If you walk down the street or through your office building and 7 in 10 people you walk past are overweight, doesn't that skew your perception of what is normal? Now instead of comparing yourself to the cover model on the magazine, I think people are comparing themselves to the people that are overweight or obese. The thought likely goes through their head either consciously or subconsciously, "Well at least I'm not as fat as that person, so I must not be that bad."
Then you have the people that use the genetic excuse as a crutch. The same study mentioned above found out that if a sibling became obese it raised your chances of becoming obese by 40%. So if your friend, that you have no similar genetic information as becomes obese it increases your chances by 57% but a family member only 40%. Wouldn't that suggest that obesity is more of a nurture disease rather than a nature disease?
Why does this matter?
Being overweight and obese can have serious health consequences. It can lead to things like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, gallstones, cancer and increased joint pain. Not all overweight people will develop these diseases or will report negative biomarkers but it does raise your risk.
There is also a direct correlation to how overweight a person is and their activity level. So once you get trapped in the cycle of being overweight it becomes more and more difficult to lose weight. Your activity goes down, you burn fewer calories, you pack on more weight.
What do we do?
First thing I think we need to start treating being overweight or obese as a disease that needs treatment. It can't just be the way a person is... It can't be something we ignore thinking it is just a benign condition without consequences.
What actions do we need to take?
I believe as individuals we need to support people where they are at! Whether they are fit and lean or morbidly obese, we need to be there for a friends, family, and neighbors. We need to be encouragers! We can't wait for someone else to take action, you need to be the one! The one that gets moving! The one that cuts out a lot of the junk food! The one that eats more veggies! Do it with joy! Be contagious with your healthy behaviors!
That's why I love so much what we do! We get to be those influencers! More importantly we try to encourage others to pay it forward, to pass along what they learn and share with the people they care about.
We need to be interjectors of positivity and health into the cycle that people get stuck in. If you feel like you are stuck, find people that are going to lift you up and believe in you. Find someone that won't let you fail, aka stop!
Lastly, as a society we have become overweight and obese! It will only be as a society that we can solve this problem. We need to reset that trajectory that our country's health is on currently. Health can and needs to become more contagious than obesity! If you are ready to help be part of the change, share this post, reach out to a friend in need, or reach out to a friend that can help you!
If you've followed us for a while you know we aren't big fans of counting calories. It's not that we don't think they matter because they do 100% when it comes to weight loss. The thing that people get confused about though is just doing straight up math with calories in versus calories out and if those numbers tip a certain direction your weight will also change. Your metabolism is a bit more complicated than what your fitbit tells you that you burned during your exercise session that day and what My Fitness Pal tells you that you consumed.
What's our approach then to help people lose weight! It comes down to nutrient density and calorie density. Our bodies are pretty intelligent and for most people they know when to stop eating in order to maintain our weight. The thing that happens when people eat processed foods, the triggers that tell us to stop eating don't get tripped. The other way that these triggers don't go off is when we consume food at a fast pace!
So our approach is to consume high quality, whole foods at a slow pace and stop when you are close to being full and you will likely lose weight. If you are trying to maintain, then you eat to being full. Yeah there is certainly some nuance that can come into play around macronutrients and timing but for the most part this strategy works.
This is where the question of, what weighs more... a pound of broccoli or a pound of nachos? Let's breakdown this comparison:
I took the challenge myself of eating both a pound of nachos and pound of broccoli in one sitting. Let's just say it was an interesting experience. Overall both "meals" filled me up equally and the rate at which I ate definitely slowed down towards the end of both.
I mentioned it was an interesting experience... what that means is I actually became physically ill by consuming one whole pound of broccoli. My stomach and GI tract just couldn't handle processing that amount of broccoli. The nachos, no problem... I was eating again in a few hours. Why this happened I don't know the exact answer. Fiber content maybe, but I've consumed 11 grams of fiber in one sitting before this. Vitamin or mineral overdose, possible but not probable. If you have an answer let me know, I'm curious.
To put things in perspective a bit on whether or not this is a lot of food. The average American eats between 3 and 5 pounds of food per day, we will call it 4 on average. So, a one pound meal probably isn't that unusual. To break things down a bit further, the average American consumes around 2,700 calories per day. So doing a little math the average pound of food that an American consumes is around 675 calories (2,700 calories divided by 4 pounds of food). Based on the nutrition facts, you can see that broccoli falls WELL below that average and the nachos a fair amount above that number. Can you see how eating whole foods and especially non starchy veggies can help a person consume fewer calories?
The reason a lot of diets fail I believe is because our body is naturally satiated by a certain poundage of food. If all you are doing is eating smaller portions of your current foods your body is going to crave more food to fill itself up. I wrote up a whole other post on this topic, Are You Smoking Shorter Cigarettes to Get Healthy? If you aren't filling your body with a certain poundage of food you either need to resort to some incredible willpower or you will likely binge a time or two.
If your goal is weight loss and you don't want to micromanage every gram of food that goes into your body here's what we would recommend:
Are You Living a SuperLife?
I know we haven't done many book reviews on our blog in the past. Recently we were approached by a "book tour" company and they asked if we would read and review Darin Olien's book Superlife. I first read this book back when it came out back in 2015! I was even fortunate to get to meet Darin and hear some stories behind the book. Turns out he grew up about an hour from where I did. Apparently kids from small farm towns in rural Minnesota can have a career in nutrition!
When I was approached to share Darin's message I was all for it. The principles he teaches in the book are also some of the fundamentals of living a healthy life and always good to revisit myself. Darin breaks out these fundamentals into what he refers to the 5 Life Forces.
Life Force 1: Nutrition
This is at the core of being healthy. His basic approach revolves around eating whole foods in abundance and variety. Eating this way will ensure that you are satiated with micronutrients that all too often we lack. Being a vegan himself he isn't a huge proponent of eating animal products but is ok if people chose to eat animal products as long as they are high quality and occasionally eaten.
With nutrition he also stresses the importance of keeping your gut healthy! This is something I strongly advocate for as well and think can be a real game changer for a lot of people. For most people that looks like... cutting out processed foods, adding foods/supplements rich in probiotics and prebiotics, and probably supplementing with some digestive enzymes.
Life Force 2: Hydration
Water... something so basic but something that so many people fail to consume. As humans, we are water! Roughly 2/3 of our bodyweight is water. It does everything from provide pathways to carry raw materials around our body to insulate us and keep us warm or cool. Let's just say it's super important! Darin provides some great tips to upgrade the quality of your water also in the book.
Life Force 3: Oxygenation
Oxygen - it's critical to life and something that gets overlooked in regards to health. Darin quotes a couple of studies that talk about how cancer thrives in low oxygen situations and dies off in oxygen rich environments. Pretty amazing stuff! Increasing oxygen ties back into life forces 1 and 2. Whole food plants contain more oxygen than processed, packaged foods. Getting adequate water also increases the amount oxygen that enters our bodies. Combine that with some intentional deep belly breathing and you are really improving your oxygenation.
Life Force 4: Alkalization
This life force is one that is definitely overlooked and understudied. Darin and I maybe differ slightly on this point. Some of the research that I've done and read suggests that it is highly unlikely your body will become more acidic based on what we eat. The pro-alkaline movement tends to look at the acid levels of a person's urine which looks at what is excreted versus the pH of a person's blood and cellular fluid.
My opinion here is the jury is still out, but I would agree with Darin in that a diet high in plant based foods will improve your overall health.
Life Force 5: Detoxification
Darin is a big believer in the process of detoxing the body. He points out the constant stress that our bodies are under from everything in our environment to what we consume. Our bodies have normal detox pathways but they get backlogged when we consume low quality foods and are exposed to chemicals in our environment.
His advice to handle all of this, focus on the first 4 life forces and your detox system will be able to handle the workload.
Darin, finishes the book with some recipes and final thoughts on how you can implement the 5 Life Forces into your current life.
I'm a big fan of Darin's approach to health and this book does an excellent job in getting people to think a little differently about their health. It's not all about being reactionary and trying to take care of yourself after you get sick. It's about doing things that produce vitality in your life and keep disease at bay. If you are looking to up your health game I highly recommend this book to give you a solid baseline of information.
Let's Talk Chocolate!!!
It's hard to find someone that doesn't like chocolate. In our online accountability groups that we run we are always talking to people about how and what kinds of chocolate can be a part of a healthy diet. Yeah there is a way and we will get to that.
When the candy industry got their hands on the delicious cocoa bean they figured out a way to take a superfood and turn it into something super dangerous. They stretch the cocoa powder so far and add so much milk and sugar to their concoctions that chocolate as most people know it becomes a sweet treat. That is where the danger comes in to play. Sugar is addictive. (1) Consuming it leads to consuming more of it and your tastes begin to become altered. The amount of sugar it takes to sense "sweet" increases. (2)
This all equates to you needing tremendous amounts of willpower to control the quantity of eating these types of food. Guess what... that's a losing battle!
I mentioned above that the cocoa bean is a superfood! Let's talk about that and how you can choose chocolate that improves your health and doesn't lead to the damaging effects of consuming the candy industry's version of chocolate.
7 Health Benefits of Consuming Chocolate
1. Nutrient Dense - Chocolate from a micronutrient standpoint is very dense. It provides a large amount of iron, magnesium, manganese, and copper. It also provides potassium, zinc and selenium. The fiber content of dark chocolate is one of the best benefits of consuming it. Fiber is a missing piece is a lot of people's diets and important for the health of your gut and blood sugar.
2. Controls Blood Sugar - One of the secret ingredients in chocolate that doesn't show up on a nutrition label is a phytonutrient called flavanol, particularly epicatechin. This compound has been shown to improve a person's insulin sensitivity. Therefore making your insulin work more effeciently and regulate blood sugar better.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure - Staying on the flavanol theme, this amazing little phytonutrient also increases the levels of nitric oxide in the blood which relaxes your blood vessels and therefore lowers blood pressure. (3)
4. Source of Antioxidants - You've maybe heard of the ORAC rating, it is a way to measure the antioxidant power of different compounds. Guess where chocolate lands when measured... yup you guessed it is right at the top of the list with some other amazing foods. Antioxidants are important, especially in whole food form, to regulate the levels of free radicals in our bodies. The less free radical damage that occurs in our bodies the lower overall inflammation throughout our body and increased health. (4)
5. Improves Cholesterol - Dark chocolate has been shown to increase the amount of "good" HDL cholesterol. It has also been shown to limit the amount of LDL cholesterol that oxidizes. This is due to the previous point about it being a powerful antioxidant. LDL cholesterol isn't inherently bad, our bodies actually need more of it than HDL. The problems with cholesterol arise when the ratio of HDL/LDL gets out of whack and/or it becomes oxidized and therefore inflamatory. (5)
6. Improve Brain Function - Better brain??? Yes please! Dark chocolate can improve brain function from a couple different aspects. First, blood flow, as mentioned above dark chocolate and it's powerful flavanols help with overall cardiovascular health and therefore better blood flow. A couple other powerful components in dark chocolate include theobromine and caffiene. These compounds are stimiulants that have both been shown to improve brain function. (6)
7. Improved Skin - Those same flavanols that we've talked about also help with protecting your skin from UV rays. This doesn't mean you should just lather up with melted dark chocolate instead of sunscreen, but it's fun to know that that treat you have can help in this area too. (7)
Hopefully I've made a case for why and how chocolate can be can considered a health food. Don't stop here though and go grab the nearest Hershey bar thinking you are improving your health. Let's talk about how you can select chocolate that actually improves your health and doesn't harm you.
Selecting the Right Kind of Chocolate
The candy industry has a pretty good hold on chocolate production. This past summer we made a stop in Hershey, PA to check out Chocolate World!
Chocolate World should probably be renamed Sugar World. By weight I'm guessing a standard Hershey bar contains more sugar than cocoa. We had to search pretty hard to find some true dark chocolate in the big Hershey store. Even the dark chocolate we found was less than desirable according to what I consider healthy.
Here is a simple equation that I created that you can use determine whether or not the chocolate you are eating is health food and will provide all the benefits listed above, somewhere in the middle, or straight up candy and the negative effects outweigh the benefits.
In general the higher the percentage of cacao the healthier the chocolate. In order to get into that moderately healthy category you should be looking for at least 60% cacao but most likely you will need 70%. Once you start getting over 80% that is typically when your chocolate starts becoming health food.
One thing to close with is that consuming chocolate can improve your health if you choose the right kind but it is also a calorie dense food since most of it's calories come from fat. Don't take this information as an opportunity to go hog wild on dark chocolate thinking that because it is healthy it can't affect your weight. A typical chocolate treat for us is usually 2 squares from a dark chocolate bar or about 1/2 of what a serving size is supposed to be according to the packaging. This is enough to give us the health benefits along with our chocolate fix without consuming a huge amount of calories.
We hope this information helps you understand chocolate a bit more and how it can and should be part of a healthy diet. We encourage you to share it if you think it is something your friends need to hear.
1. Evidence for sugar addiction: Behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake
2. Reduced dietary intake of simple sugars alters perceived sweet taste intensity but not perceived pleasantness.
3. How do dietary flavanols improve vascular function? A position paper.
4. The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide
5. Plasma LDL and HDL cholesterol and oxidized LDL concentrations are altered in normo- and hypercholesterolemic humans after intake of different levels of cocoa powder.
6. The effect of flavanol-rich cocoa on the fMRI response to a cognitive task in healthy young people.
7. Long-term ingestion of high flavanol cocoa provides photoprotection against UV-induced erythema and improves skin condition in women.
This might sound like a strange question to ask. One would think if you do healthy things you would be a healthy person. If you eat a lot of veggies, workout regularly and drink your water, all healthy things, chances are you will be healthy physically.
We want to dive deeper into this question though and talk about the mental side of being a healthy person. We believe the ball game really changes when a person get's healthy mentally and begins to identify themselves as being a healthy person.
Let's start with talking about why the person doing healthy things is different that a healthy person.
Do Healthy Things Person - This person likely has some goals to lose weight, change their body composition, get off medications, etc. All great goals! They also likely have been given a prescription to achieve those goals from a doctor, personal trainer, or nutritionist. They are told things like eat less processed foods, eat more fruits and veggies, follow an exercise routine or drink more water.
All of those things will likely make a person healthier! So why are we making this distinction between doing healthy things and being a healthy person? This person has a measurable and attainable goal. What happens when they reach their goal? Game over... now what? Their motivation was in achieving their goal, what is going to keep them motivated? They were committed to those healthy things to achieve a goal. No goal, No commitment.
Do you see where I'm going with this? Doing healthy things can help you make progress and even reach some pretty amazing goals but I believe to sustain that change there has to be a mental shift. So let's take a look at the healthy person.
Healthy Person - This person's identity revolves around improving his health. They are a student of health, always learning and striving to better themselves. The healthy person's goals are constantly changing and evolving.
A healthy person can still indulge from time to time but there is no guilt in it. There aren't rules laid out for a healthy person that they HAVE TO do certain things to be healthy. Their decisions come naturally, there isn't stress in decision making. Exercise isn't a thing to burn calories. It is something that they do to feel better or to be social.
One thing that has helped us stay in the "Healthy Person" category has been our commitment to become health coaches ourselves. As health coaches we are looked upon to be examples and leaders. It doesn't mean we have it all figured it out. It just means that we consistently do all those healthy things as a way to inspire others to switch from doing healthy things to becoming a healthy person. Part of my identity is being a healthy person. Yeah I get ridiculed at times but seriously like making fun of someone because they are ridiculously good looking. I take it as a compliment!
How would you identify yourself? Have you not stepped into the world of doing healthy things yet? Are you doing healthy things? Or are you a healthy person?
Focus On What You Can Control
We've worked with hundreds of people in an effort to improve their health and lose weight. I think most people strive to be healthy and live life at a reasonable weight. I will say though a lot of people put an emphasis on weight. They think that is the driving force to better health.
When I lost most of my weight I was doing a program called The Ultimate Reset. This program is a 21 day whole food cleanse/reset. The great thing about this and getting started was it laid everything out for me. I didn't have to think. The process was laid out in black and white. Eat this, take these supplements and you'll see results. I wasn't thinking about whether or not I was losing weight, I just knew what my next meal or snack was supposed to be. For more on my journey check out this post, Change Your Mind, Change Your Body.
We have made the comments before that it is more about progress and not perfection. I would take that one step further back and say that it is more about committing to the process first. You control the process! You don't necessarily control the progress. I think that is why I saw results with the program I did. I committed to actions and those actions led to weight loss and health.
If you you are looking to lose weight and get healthy, what process are you going to commit too? Some things that I believe are vital both losing weight and getting healthy would be:
We've put together a simple tracker that you can use to track your progress with these simple steps. Just click the button below and follow the directions.
Classic Lemon Vinaigrette
One thing we really encourage a lot of our clients to work on is to be more veggies, especially greens. One of the easiest ways to get more greens in is to eat more salads. We love our salads, and try to it one 5 days a week. We aren't just talking about a little side salad with dinner. We are talking full on, stuff my face and stomach salad that is loaded with greens and veggies. We see a lot of people that grasp that concept which is awesome, but then they douse all those quality veggies with some low quality salad dressing.
A couple of tips if you do buy store bought dressings;
If the idea of eating more veggies and cleaning up your eating sounds like something you would be interested in, we will be hosting a special group on Facebook in a little over a week. The group will revolve around having a salad a day for week. We will provide recipes like the one above and some more tips on how to put together an amazingly healthy salad. If you are interested click on the image below and RSVP.
Healthy Home = Healthy Life
I want to share some stats and awesome info that I recently read in the book Eat Move Sleep. First off let me give a plug for the book...it's been a great read that goes super fast and has tons of practical tips to help you start making changes in your life. It's not loaded down with science but provides enough to let you know that the stuff he is saying isn't some nonsense he pulled out of thin air.
There is a chapter in the book where he refers to a study of more than 6,000 people that all tried to lose weight and what the common characteristics were of the most successful. A common theme among the successful was being healthy at home. Seems like common sense right??? You spend most of your time there but so many people live in a toxic home that doesn't promote health!
Here were just a few of the interesting stats that the study showed:
Eating breakfast... If you've followed us for a bit you know I've dabbled with Intermittent Fasting. There is a great science behind it and can lead some amazing results. It's a hard thing though for a novice to jump right in to and be successful. I think that is why the breakfast stat is an important one. Eating breakfast is a great way to set the stage for the rest of the day. If you start your day with a quality breakfast you will be a lot less likely to jump at the office donuts or the french fries at lunch. Your cravings will stay in check!
Weighing yourself once a week, this one was a little interesting to me. I get that tracking your progress is a good way to determine if you need to make changes but for the average person they really don't know what changes to make. Other than maybe eat less and exercise more, which we know isn't always a great solution. Plus weight isn't the sole determiner of progress. So we will just let this one go...and agree to disagree.
I love this last stat about TV watching. Frankly because I used to be a 10+ hour a week TV watcher. Let's be honest even the most riveting show gets boring at times so I turned to ice cream to help with that boredom. Mindless TV watching often times leads to mindless eating. On top of that TV watching also means sitting which is terrible for your health. The amount of activity went up substantially when we ditched the cable and we would encourage you to do the same.
Other Ways to "Healthify" Your Home
Laura almost didn't let me make these for her. Apparently she has a thing about eating chia seeds because they get stuck in her teeth. I get it... kind of. I was able to twist her arm and get her to try them and I'm pretty sure she was glad she did. We all loved these pancakes, even Eli. Another bonus: zero chia seeds stuck in her teeth too. Talk about having your (pan)cake and eating it too!
Seriously if chia seeds aren't part of your diet you need to consider adding them. Even if a few stray seeds end up in your teeth the benefits far outweigh any social anxiety from being caught with something in your teeth. Even if you do get caught it also gives you an excuse to share this amazing seed story with someone new!
If you started reading this post you either figured out that I was talking about metaphorical cigarettes or you are an actual cigarette smoker. If you are a smoker, my advice would be to stop. But this post isn't for you, so let's talk about that metaphor I'm referring to in the title.
Shorter cigarettes in the health world basically means eating less bad things. I wish I could take credit for thinking of this comparison but I heard this idea from Jonathon Bailor. He's Mr. Analogy/Metaphor when it comes to taking complicated health stuff and comparing it so the average Joe can relate. Instead of eating a cheap hot dog on a white bun you opt for the nitrate free hot dog on the whole wheat bun. Instead of the Hidden Valley ranch dressing you choose Newman's low fat something. Instead of white rice with your stir fry, you use brown. Instead of old school mayo, you use a paleo mayo you find on Pinterest.
Personally we see so many take this approach to upgrading their food in our online groups. Here's the thing, making swaps for less "bad" things will only make you sick and fat...slower. In order to truly get healthy, the food you eat needs to heal your body. I often talk about 3 categories of food:
The million dollar question is: What foods fall into the 3 category and how much of them do I need to eat? This category is mainly non-starchy veggies. A few other things that I would throw in there would be anti-inflammatory fats like olive oil and coconut oil. Also foods that are rich in Omega 3 fats like chia seeds, flax seeds, fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel that come from quality sources. I've held off mentioning fruit because a lot of times people can overdo the fruit thing. It's not unhealthy and if you eat a variety in the right amounts, it can be really good for you. Eating 5 bananas a day isn't going to help your health. Eating a banana, some blueberries and an apple will help most people. For more on my thoughts on Fruits and Veggies check out this post, "Eat Your Fruits and Veggies," Why That's Bad Advice.
Quantity... If you've followed us for any length of time you know that we aren't calorie counters. Our general rule of thumb is to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. This philosophy works incredibly well if you are eating a majority of your foods from Category 3 and some foods from Category 2 and minimal from Category 1. Basically what that would look like would be a plate that is comprised of 1/2-2/3 of things from Category 3, then the rest of your plate could be a protein source, chicken, steak or a vegetarian carb/protein source like beans or quinoa. Your veggies could be cooked in or topped with a healthy fat. It could be a salad with TONS of greens, topped with more veggies, then some nuts or seeds and some sort of protein source and a dressing made from healthy fats and vinegars or citrus.
It's really that simple, do that over and over and you will get healthier and lose weight. There isn't some magic pill or powder you need. It's whole food nutrition! It's not about eating less bad stuff, it's about eating more good stuff.
p.s. I realize that last line could be contradictory with our belief in Shakeology....please note that Shakeology IS whole food nutrition!! Shoot us an email if you want to know more about it!
Today we're sharing our favorite guacamole recipe with you :) No time for small talk...because we know all you really wanted was the recipe...so here you go!!!
3 ripe avocados (mashed)
Juice of two limes
3 jalapeños with seeds cut out and chopped finely
1 med red onion
1 bunch of cilantro chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 tsp garlic powder
Tbsp of olive oil
Tbsp of Apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp of cayenne (optional)
Throw it all into a bowl. Mash avocados first and then stir all the other ingredients in. You could also use a food processor if you like it nice and creamy and not chunky.
Life As We Know It, Right Now
I have to apologize that you've been missing out on recipe posts and nutritional posts lately. We are in a stage of life right now where things are just a little crazy in our home and work world. If you follow us, you know that we just bought an RV...if you don't know what that is all about, check out this post. That entire process was SO time consuming!! Being a first time RV buyer there is SO much to take into account. Length... Slideouts... Diesel or Gas... How old are the tires? BTW if tires are 12 years old they need to be replaced and RV tires aren't cheap. Goodbye $2,800! Those are just a few of the things that you have to think about when looking into buying one. AND THEN you have to learn how to drive the thing!
Now that we have all of that behind us. Our focus has shifted to renovating our new home. We want to make it feel like OUR home...so we're going to be attempting to take the "factory production line feel" away.
Just a heads up that there are Facebook groups of 15,000+ solely dedicated renovating RV interiors. Who knew???
We are also working on selling our vehicles and buying a new one that has the ability to be towed behind our RV. We are selling off, donating or trashing pretty much everything in our 1,200 square foot townhome in order to get things to fit into our new 250 square foot home. Let's just say I am turning into a Craigslist ninja. Did you know that there is a national craigslist search option? Yeah someone figured out how to do that.
Other things on the horizon of our life...
So yeah that is what our last month and the next month look like for us. It's been a pretty wild experience so far. With all of this craziness right now we are just trying to keep our heads above water.
Laura is still running accountability groups and mentoring coaches on our team.
We are still working out pretty much daily, drinking our Shakeology daily, eating healthy 80-90% of the time.
To us that stuff has become a habit or a non-negotiable which is great at this point. That wouldn't have always been the case. Five years ago I would have been too tired to workout and eating frozen pizza for the convenience.
So yeah we have to apologize for not having as much content on the blog but that will all change soon. Plus we will be sharing some of our crazy adventures from the road. Thanks for reading!
Give Up on Giving Up!
This post is for those of you that are some sort of health journey.
You've maybe just started or maybe you've been trying different things for awhile now.
I want to offer up a piece of advice that made all the difference in my health journey and I believe the reason I haven't been a yo-yo dieter like so many. I didn't connect the dots on WHY I hadn't reverted back to my old ways until I heard a fellow nutrition expert mention something on a podcast I was listening to the other day.
The concept or question you need to ask yourself if you are striving to be healthier or lose weight is... Are you somebody who is doing healthy things? Or... Are you a healthy person?
Let me break that down a bit. If you are somebody that is doing healthy things, you might be eating more veggies, exercising regularly, avoiding processed foods, or drinking more water. Sounds great, right? A person doing all of those things should become healthier, but will they stay healthier? This is where I was at 10 years ago. I was exercising regularly and doing some of those other things. The problem was...I'd get tripped up easily. If friends wanted to go out for pizza and beer, I was there. If I was invited to a happy hour, I would accept and pass on the gym. I did everything to fit a status quo that wouldn't rock the boat among my friends and family. My healthy habits flew under the radar and because of that I was easily able to justify not doing them.
Fast forward to 2 1/2 years ago. I had just completed an online accountabilty group and seen some great results. My eating had changed, I now had more confidence in "rocking the boat" and not succumb to all the unhealthy distractions that surrounded me daily. The difference: I was now a healthy person. My identity was now tied to healthy habits. This is the thing that just clicked for me this past week. I guess I never thought of it this way, but it is so true. Once I made that commitment, once I identified myself as a healthy person, everything changed. I was no longer easily knocked off of my healthy lifestyle. Or if I did get knocked off, I got right back!
People began to see me as a healthy person. They started noticing the changes in me, both physically and the choices I made. With this also came some ridicule and light-hearted teasing. Friends would make comments about my food choices or about exercising. Those comments usually led to inquiries and them wanting to know more. Had I just been "doing healthy things" these comments would have stopped me in my tracks. It would have never progressed to the point of them asking questions and then some of them making their own healthy changes.
It's good to remember that the people around you will also "test" your commitments. Think of a time when you went to a party and chose ahead of time to not have an alcoholic drink. A friend would likely offer a drink when you arrive, and when you say no thanks, they will press and ask why or pressure you a little bit. This might last for a minute or two but if you hold your ground, most people will respect that and move on.
Same goes for being a healthy person! People will test your commitment. They will try to get you to eat the cheesecake, the cookies, the pizza. If you hold your ground, you will earn their respect or you will find out that they really aren't a friend at all. This will also help solidify your commitment, making future challenges that much easier to handle!
One of the coolest things that happens when you make the shift from doing healthy things to becoming a healthy person, you begin to impact your circle of influence. You shift the status quo just a little bit. You help that coworker that was hesitant about ordering a salad at lunch because she didn't want her other coworkers to think she on some sort of diet. She now sees your lead and has that confidence to not be judged. At family holiday dinners, people begin to ask if dishes are ok for you to eat. They are open to possible substitutions. There is a trickle down effect that is noticeable.
If you have just been dipping your toes in this healthy lifestyle pool, I would encourage you to commit and jump right in the deep end. Let healthy become part of your identity and the game will change for you too!!
Thanks for reading, to stay up to date on all of our blog posts along with get amazing content delivered right to your inbox just fill out the quick form below. Make it a Great Day!!!
Hearty Miso Soup
We have started making an effort to clean out our cupboards and freezer as we prepare to move out of our house and into a 300 sq ft motorhome. That means we will likely be making a lot more soups. I had a coworker/chef once tell me about the concept of "Mustgo Soup." When he was making soup for the day he would look in the cooler and see what was about to go bad and that must go in the soup. I love that about soups in that they can be so versatile and there really aren't that many rules. Just throw it all together with a delicious broth and there you go.
This miso soup was super tasty and a ton of flavor. I will say that I scaled back the amount of miso from what we used, it was a little much in my version. In case you've never used miso it is a fermented soybean paste that you can find at most grocery stores in the refrigerator section. I like to shop at our local Asian grocery store, so they have an entire section of it, super easy to find! This is the kind we bought, Miso Paste. I definitely recommend splurging for organic when it come miso since it comes from soy. It ensures you aren't consuming GMO soy which is what you find in any non-organic soy products for the most part. Another miso trick is because it is a fermented food, meaning it contains live probiotics which are super healthy for your gut, you don't want to add miso to boiling soup otherwise it will kill those probiotics. I've also found it easier to separate out some of your broth and add to the miso paste to make a slurry before adding it back to the soup. It will mix in that much better.
Hope you enjoy this soup.
Dieting vs Mindful Eating
This post is more about how you eat than what you eat. The fact is that so many people when they start up a diet or try to lose weight put an emphasis on what foods to eat and not eat. The advice that is often touted is eat more veggies and skip the sugar, which is great advice. What if looking at your food or smelling your food could help? How about chewing your food more, yeah there is science behind that one! How about breathing while you eat? Lastly and probably most importantly, thinking about how the food you just ate made you feel. All of this begins with some mental preparation. Changing your mind first is one of the key things you can do make lasting change that is ultimately rewarding and not a fleeting accomplishment.
I would love to take you through the list above and offer up a few tips on how I think you can change your mindset to go from a dieter to a mindful eater.
Willpower vs. Trust
I've met a number of people that just try to will their way to losing weight. They fight cravings, HARD!!! They overthink their plans and work out elaborate schemes that someone claims is the cure all. They are constantly having to think about their next step, their next meal or lack of one. Versus... Someone that trusts the process. A mindful eater won't micromanage the scale or measurements. Remember that advice about eat more veggies and less sugar, yeah that's about as complicated as it needs to be and a mindful eater won't overcomplicate things.
We've got a whole separate post solely dedicated to Why Willpower Doesn't Work if you want to check it out.
Cultural Conformity vs. Individual Empowerment
This one could be applied to any area of our society today from politics, dieting, religion, you name it. Society is always looking to group people together. If you are a healthy eater than you need to eat "X, Y, and Z." If you are unhealthy than you eat this. My advice here is, if anyone ever says they have the perfect diet or way to eat, run the other way! We are learning that there is no one size fits all diet out there. Food intolerances are on the rise and with that brings a very individualized food landscape where you need to determine what works best for you. This happens through experimenting and really listening to your body cues... which brings us to the next topic.
External Cues vs. Internal Cues
This ties back to the previous in that we allow society to dictate what we should look like and feel like. Rather than look to a number on the scale or measurements, focus on how you feel. Do you feel stronger? Do you have more energy? Is your digestion better? Focusing on the external stuff is a losing proposition, so don't go there!
Weight Loss vs. Health Enhancement
I'm sure I heard this somewhere else but my saying is... "Weight loss is a side effect of being healthy, not the other way around!" Can you lose weight without getting healthy, absolutely, but it likely won't be long term or if it is it will cause stress mentally and physically on you. Put the emphasis on healthy first. Rather than worrying about calories consumed, worry about nutrients consumed! Nutrient deficiencies can cause everything from weight gain, fatigue, to chronic disease.
Avoidance vs. Acceptance
To me this is all about owning your decisions and actions. You are the one that ultimately is responsible. I see this in people all the time in our groups, they come up with an excuse for every situation on why they couldn't exercise or find healthy food to eat. I get that these things happen but the mindful person will be aware of it and accept the decisions then move on. It's not someone else's fault, it's not even their own fault. Excuses and guilt are extremely heavy anchors that will keep you from making progress. Own it and move on!
Rigid vs. Integration
Dieters have lists, eat this not that. Things are off limits! Whereas the person that is successful long term will figure out a way to "integrate" new foods into their current diet. This process takes longer but what happens is those good and healthy foods begin to crowd out the not so healthy foods. Over time you are eating super healthy food that make you feel awesome. Integrate don't discriminate!
Counting Calories vs. Quality Calories
I could write a whole book on this topic, thankfully someone else has, The Calorie Myth by Jonathon Bailor. I've summed some of his work up in this blog post, Stop Eating Less and Exercising More. The idea is here is your body doesn't do math that well so trying to control calories in to calories out just won't work. Your body is really good at finding a healthy weight if you give it the nutrition it needs. Focus on nutrient dense food that is prepared in a delicious way.
Restrictive vs. Flexible
If I tell you that you can't have something, what does your mind immediately do? "I WANT THAT THING!" Being ultra rigid in your food choices won't serve you. It will likely lead to binging when our willpower muscle is worn out. We promote and encourage people to have some treats when they are trying to lose weight. Life is meant to be enjoyed, be conscious of your treats, plan them out and savor every last bite.
Deprivation vs. Fulfillment
Being "hangry" is a thing! If the plan you are on encourages a level of hunger, skip it. Instead eat to the point of being fulfilled but not full. This will likely require you to slow down when you eat and chew your food a little more. Eating nutrient dense food and protein with every meal will also help when it comes to hunger.
Quick Fix vs. Lifestyle
I know lifestyle change is kind of a buzz word out there right now but it is because it is exactly what needs to happen and what does happen when people change in a healthy way, a mindful way. Let's talk about the "quick fix" for a second. It usually revolves calorie restriction and over-exercising. Right there it goes against everything I've mentioned so far without even explaining how the physiological changes won't stick because of the methods. That's why coming at it from a lifestyle change where you integrate new foods in slowly, eat to fulfillment, focus on health and give yourself time to change or reach weight loss goals.
Fight Food vs. Celebrate Food
I love this one because so many people look at food as the enemy, it's calories and calories make you fat. If you focus on the quality of food you eat, then food becomes nutrients not calories. It's something to enjoy in abundance and not tiptoe around. Also along with this comes the actual act of eating. We've become a fast food nation even if you aren't actually eating McDonald's or Burger King. When was the last time you slowed down to look at your food, to smell your food. I mean really smell it like you see judges do on crazy cooking shows. Lastly do you chew your food, not chomp and swallow. Chewing is huge when it comes to breaking down food so that we can absorb the nutrients in it. It is also the point where our DNA starts interacting with the food that will eventually become cells in our body. Slow down, enjoy your food it's more than something to fill you up it's something that gives you life.
We hope this helps you connect to your food and your actual act of eating more. Did something speak to you? What's one area where you need to focus your attention?
When you don't feel like proofing a blog post, you just talk! So you get to deal with my "umm's" and "and's", hope you don't mind. I also want to start doing some more video messaging so hopefully these will get better.
Let us know your thoughts? Do you cook? How has it changed your life?
2016: A New Year, maybe a New You, If...
It's that time of year where people start thinking about what they will change in the new year. To some degree, I think this is a good thing! If you listen to any media sources, you are bombarded with the talk of "resolutions". The thing that also comes with talk of setting resolutions is how you can be successful with your resolutions, or how to not break your resolutions, or even the talk about how "X" percent of people will fail by "X" day.
I mean come on, if there is as much talk about failing and how not to be one of those statistics, what do you think is going to happen? You will BECOME one of those statistics!!! Where your mind goes, your energy flows. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because you know that 75% (or whatever that number is) fail at keeping their resolutions, when you begin to slip, mentally you are ok with that. You are normal. Most people fail, so don't feel bad.
Here's the thing, if you are reading this, you are either a really good friend or family that want to support us. You are trying to kill some time at work. Or you actually care about being successful with your health and weight loss transformations. Or maybe you want to grow your online business. For the sake of of this post, let's just assume you fall into that last category!
Here's some advice for you. Instead of resolutions, I want you to write out goals. Goals are serious, they are different. They don't have all the baggage that resolutions have with them. I recommend writing out new goals at least once a month. By doing it monthly you are constantly being reminded of what you want to accomplish. It isn't some distant thought that you had 6 months ago. The same goals might be on your list for 6 months which is totally fine. Next, make sure you write them out by hand on paper! Yeah we are talking old school. There is something that happens when your brain tells your hand to write something versus typing on a computer or phone.
Another thing that I heard the other day about goal setting and building a life of your dreams, is that most people tend to focus on all the ways they can't accomplish something. I can't start a new business or fitness program, I don't have the money, I don't have the time, I don't have the skills, I don't have enough friends, I don't have the education. Just like with all the talk about resolutions and how people fail because all they hear about is how people fail, the same thing happens if your mind is wrapped around all the reasons you can't do something. With your list of goals, I want you to write out all the reasons why you CAN and why you need to accomplish them. It will also help when writing out your goals to write them in a definitive tone or even in a past tense. For example, I will lose 20 lbs or I lost 20 lbs. Rather than I want to lose 20 lbs. See the difference?
Progress starts with a shift in your mindset. Once your mind is right, action becomes so much easier. When there is no doubt that you will take action, your mind already has, so your body will follow. With action comes momentum and even though you will hit some roadblocks there will be nothing that will stop you from accomplishing your goals.
I believe this is the most important question a person can ask themselves if they are trying to get healthy or lose weight.
"Is it Working?"
I think people can get very dogmatic in their approach to nutrition and it can lead them down an unhealthy path or maybe just a frustrating one. I think this is more prevalent today with the creation of so many "diets" or "lifestyles" out there. You have the Standard American Diet which I find funny that the acronym for that is S.A.D. Then you get into Paleo, Vegan, Zone, Vegetarian, Atkins, Pescetarian, Raw Food, Mediterranean, South Beach, Ketogenic, and Alkaline to name a few. Then you have the balance of macronutrients, low fat/high carb, high fat/low carb, low protein or high protein. Yeah, is your head spinning yet???
The truth is all of these "diets" could work. The opposite is also true, all of them could be totally wrong for you as an individual. If you ever hear someone say that this way of eating or that way of eating is the best way, my advice is run the other way!
Humans and the environments that they live in vary so much that there is no one size fits all diet. There are some common themes that science is showing gives people the best chance to be healthy and lose weight. Eat more vegetables and eat fewer processed grains and sugars. After that everything else is pretty much up in the air.
This is where that question, "Is it working?", comes into play. In order to get results I think you need to ask this of your current diet and fitness regime at a minimum of every 3 months and a maximum of every 1 month.
Why that time frame?
It is possible to over manage your choices...that's why I like 1 month minimum. You need to give things a chance to take hold and your body needs to adapt to the changes you are making. The concept of 1 step backwards to take 2 steps forward totally applies. Our bodies may have some perceived negative results before the good stuff starts happening. For example, if you start weight training, you are going to be causing inflammation in your muscle tissue which leads to extra retained water and therefore added weight and size. Also going from S.A.D. to a more plant based diet may cause some digestive distress initially due to the added fiber, but that will regulate after a couple weeks most likely. Point being, give it some time!
On the other side, if you aren't asking the question at least every 3 months then you might be wasting effort and resources. Which will eventually cause a person to go crazy and throw in the towel. If your goal is to lose fat or change your body composition, this makes it super important to track your weight, measurements and take photos. Without proper tracking you won't know if what you are doing is working. Three months should be enough time to make progress on a given plan unless a person has major medical issues. If you haven't seen progress I would recommend making fairly minor changes to begin. Some things that could mean would be; eating more or less food, recalibrating the %'s of calories you get from different macronutrients, or increasing your compliance (fewer treats), or switching up the intensity/duration of your workouts. Or as simple as adding a multivitamin or fish oil supplement. You don't need to go from a straight Paleo diet to Vegan if you haven't seen the scale budge after 3 months. Start small, but make adjustments.
If you have a decent knowledge of fitness and nutrition you can probably make these small tweaks yourself. You can use an app like My Fitness Pal to track calories and macronutrient %'s. If you aren't keeping a food journal, START!!! That will help you understand if you are actually eating the foods that you think you are. In the journal you can also track how foods are making you feel and maybe identify foods that cause distress in your body and eliminate those.
If you are novice or beginner, i.e. you had to google macronutrient, then I would recommend reaching out to someone that is trained. Chances are you want results sooner rather than later. Working with somone that is trained will help you get you going in the right direction faster and be able to make more educated tweaks to your plan. Your time is valuable and your health is important, make the investment!
I'll close with this, when you are analyzing your progress, don't just focus on weight or measurements. Your exercise and diet should maximize your health and performance too. Make sure you factor in those things when figuring out if you are making progress. It's really easy to lose weight if you just stop eating...but you will lose weight really fast and your health will deteriorate. If you lead with HEALTH, the performance and body composition will usually fall into place.
So... Is your current plan/program working for you? Share in the comments your results and what has worked or what hasn't.
Paleo Pumpkin Muffins
I've never considered myself a baker. There is just too much measuring and too many dishes to clean up afterwards. On top of that most baked goods don't exactly line up with healthy eating. What are the cornerstones of baking; usually a combo of white sugar, flour, and poor quality fats. Basically the worst combo when it comes to health and maintaining a healthy weight.
Now that I've poo pooed bake goods let me tell you about the super tasty muffins I made, lol. This recipe by no means qualifies these muffins as health food but I did remove those poor quality ingredients that cause inflammation and hormonal havoc in your body and replaced them with friendlier ingredients. The recipe that I based my recipe off of is one that my mom passed down to me. She would always make it as a bread loaf instead of muffins and I remember just loving it. Probably because of the amount of sugar that was in it!
So here were my "healthy" swaps. Instead of white sugar I used dates that I pureed with a little almond milk. Instead of regular wheat flour I used a combination of coconut and arrowroot. Instead of vegetable oil I used coconut oil. As you will see in the nutrition facts below I reduced the sugar by 18 grams per serving, which is huge and when it comes to weight loss and the insulin response that you would get from eating it. Swapping out the flours will help with GI issues that people have from gluten, along with the high Glycemic Index that comes along with regular wheat flour. Coconut oil versus vegetable oil is a no brainer unless you are still living in the 1980's and think saturated fat will kill you.
This are super simple to make and fairly guilt free as long as you don't eat 6 of them. They are a great kick snack for our 16 month old son too, which is super convenient. Hope you enjoy them!
Paleo Pumpkin Muffins
Mom's Pumpkin Bread
Last Call for The Master's Hammer & Chisel Test Group
The Voices in Your Head
I wrote up another blog post not long long ago about the concept of ambivalence. The idea that you can hold contradictory desires in your head at the same time. If you are overweight, I'm guessing this is the conversation in your head. It would be nice to lose some weight and fit into some old clothes but... I just don't have the time or energy to tackle something new right now. My job is busy, the kids are crazy with activities and life, and I just love french fries way too much. Plus I'm not that out shape.
You've maybe tried a diet or exercise program or gym membership but as soon as you start going with that, you look in the rearview mirror and you think how comfortable you were before, and how hard this is now. The change doesn't seem as sexy anymore and you revert back. Then things get bad enough again where changing some things seems like a good idea... and....
Am I close???
That was my thinking at the time of my before picture. I had those voices inside my head. I didn't think I was that out of shape, and to be honest, compared to some I wasn't. I thought I was doing a decent job of working out eating. I didn't wake up one morning and all of a sudden I weighed 25 lbs more than I should. NO... those pounds crept on slowly through all of those little decisions I was making or not making. I had already set the cruise control on the way to Diabetesville in the land of Obesedom.
Does any of that sound like where you are at with your health journey? Do you struggle with those same doubts and hesitations? It's ok, those are natural. Here's the awesome thing, you can change!
For me I finally said enough was enough I surrendered myself to a process to get healthier and fit. It was hard! I didn't like it! That process pushed me to get uncomfortable. It taught me to relearn a lot of things when it came to diet and exercise.
It's been a 3 year journey since that before photo! I'm proud to say I haven't put the weight back on like so many statistics say should have happened. The only thing I can give credit to for that is being held accountable for my decisions. Yeah I not only coach people how to make changes, I'm doing the work too. I'm constantly learning and growing in this journey. That's what makes it fun for me.
3 Tips to Get Control of the Voices in Your Head
With that I would love to extend a couple invitations to you if you want to start moving through these steps. First off, if you are ready to surrender your current lifestyle and habits and start rebuilding some new ones, Laura and I have an online accountability group that starts on Monday, November 30th. Being a part of one of these groups was the process that started my transformation. This will be a 5 week group on Facebook where you will get nutritional advice, daily motivation, a community that will support you, and a chance to win some prizes. Serious what do you have to lose? Why not hit the New Year running?
Secondly, if you know that you won't stay committed by just wading into this fitness and health thing. Or maybe you've done a couple groups with us but just haven't quite felt that real motivation to change. If you know it will take the pressure of people looking up to you to truly commit. Why not jump in the deep end and give this coaching thing a try? Oh and don't worry the deep end isn't that deep. We make sure to help you get started right so that you can be successful with your weight loss and your business. That's the best of both worlds right, get healthy and make some money! If you would like to know more about coaching, shoot us an email, we would love to chat.
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.