Ditch Diets to Lose Weight

Good morning!

I hope this finds you feeling fresh this beautiful Monday :)

Today will mark the beginning of a nutrition series meant to help you reach your health and fitness goals.

The tip for today: DON’T FALL FOR DIETS!

Here’s the most important thing you can remember is that YOU do not fail diets, diets FAIL YOU! Diets are not meant for success, period. There is not a single diet that can be pointed to as the magic pill. How can I say that? Well, let me pose a question:

If you have to stay on a specific DIET for LIFE, does it really work?

In other words, is a diet working once you start living life?

Your personal diet should be just as different as you are! As you can imagine, mine is pretty weird :) We are all made different, from our hair to our intestines and our diets should reflect that difference. Each of us should eat for health first, but we should also have an enjoyment to our food. Eating clean isn’t a “diet”, it is a lifestyle that many who expect great things from their body adhere to. Why? Well, it’s customizable to each individual. This is precisely why the meal plans you find on here are only for a range of 1-4 weeks. You shouldn’t have to stay on a strict plan forever…that’s not enjoyable.

Scientists have found that is we do not enjoy our food then we are more apt to feel deprived. Notice that has nothing to do with calorie count, but rather the enjoyment factor. Personally, I enjoy salads in the warm weather…it’s the body’s natural response to the external change in temperature. However, if you offer me a salad in the winter, there is no way I’ll touch it! It’s all about the enjoyment.

So, how do you up your enjoyment of your daily diet? Invest some time in it! You don’t have to have 5 course meals every time you eat, but you do need to put forth a little brain effort to plan ahead. Like soups and stews? Fix them on the weekends so you always have something satisfying to eat for a meal. Swap out fatty meats for leaner cuts (i.e. ground chuck for ground sirloin) and amp up your veggies. Those who say they are picky veggie eaters, look for different ways to prep your vegetables. It probably isn’t the vegetable you do not like, but rather the preparation or memory tied to it. Not all veggies taste good raw and there is a LARGE percentage of us that have a hard time digesting raw veggies.

Today, I have a treat for you. EVERY week (since it’s still a little cool) I cook a pot of vegetable soup. It’s easy to digest and pairs well with anything OR can be eaten alone as a light dinner. I encourage you to PLAY around in the kitchen! Mix up your veggies and seasonings and figure out what works best for you. Remember, in season veggies are cheaper on the budget and better for the body.

Vegetable Soup

BASE:

In large soup pot, place 4 tablespoons EVOO (or 2 TBSP coconut oil)

add 1 roughly chopped onion, 4-6 cloves minced garlic and 4-6 celery stalks, chopped

once the onion starts to turn clear add in 2 cups chopped mushrooms (I like baby bella) and simmer with a pinch of salt and pepper for about 6 minutes

Add to this 3 sweet potatoes (small cubes) and 3-4 chopped carrots

Bring all to a simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes

While this is happening, I usually bring the tea kettle to a boil.

After 10 minutes, add in any veggies you want (during the colder months, I usually keep frozen veggies on hand and add those)

cover with the hot water from the kettle AND done.

Your soup is ready and can be paired with burgers, deer sausage (my family fave), chicken breast, center cut pork loin, etc. Keep your meats lean and your body will respond :)

Being the queen or king of the kitchen doesn’t take a ton of time. All it takes is a little prep work and some imagination.

Come back later for more on healthy cooking and eating!

Bon Appetite! and have a healthy day,

 

MichellePhoto Mar 12, 4 00 22 PM

 

Tough Love Tuesday: Unrealistic Expectations

Tough Love Tuesday!

Motivation Monday: Biggest Loser Recap

Well, it’s that time again…..time for millions of viewers to slide into our couches and watch a show about weight loss :) Seems a bit odd, right?

Last night marked the beginning of a brand new season for the long running show. Jillian Michaels made a triumphant comeback and was in rare form. Bob Harper is still holding tight to his long-playing role as the top trainer and Dolvett Quince came back to resume his role as well. The BL also added a twist to the show in that they are bringing in 3 kids to be ambassadors for fitness. This means they won’t be at the ranch full-time and they cannot be eliminated. Good move on their part for bringing awareness to the childhood obesity epidemic. Oh, and Alison Sweeney is hosting again and might I say she looked FABULOUS last night!

As I move on through the recap, I need to remind you that the Biggest Loser is first and foremost a REALITY TV SHOW. They cater to ratings. I’m not judging, but I feel that some people watch the show and get caught up in the alternate reality of it all. Take it with a grain of salt people…… First night was exciting for sure. I loved the way each of the trainers handled the kids. Children should be trained differently from adults. Both in training progressions as well as motivation. The adults were a bit of a different story. The first workout was par for the course and each trainer stuck to their respective roles. I have to say, Jillian makes excellent points about the way we treat and speak to ourselves. I love the line she said about “That is abuse. All of this in here is not.” I agree whole heartedly. Now, I may not kick people out of my gym when they get dizzy (I usually offer a G2 and tell them to rest as it’s usually due to poor fueling), but I agree with her tough approach. you have to want it badly enough to challenge what has become your normal.

Aside from people dropping like flies and feeling poorly about the state of their own health (or lack thereof), everything went fairly smooth for the opening evening. As I sat and watched (with the rest of America!) I was bombarded with a lot of thoughts about this entire approach to weight loss. I mean, ALL of the contestants chosen made comments about the fact that they were doing this for their health and/or to live for a certain loved one. So, here’s the thought that keeps banging away at my heart and mind…..Why on Earth do you have to wait to be on a reality show to do it?

Whoa! I know what you’re thinking, “Come on now, at least they’re trying”. I say, no, they haven’t even begun to really try. Here’s the place I’m coming from. I have lost 104 pounds. No trainer, no huge gym, no pre-planned meals, no TV show, no cameras. Some might rebut by saying I already knew how. You would be wrong. I started right where many of these contestants start. There is NO lack of knowledge available, there is a lack of discipline to go get it.

Real fitness is just that, a DISCIPLINE. It’s not about motivation, inspiration or TV ratings. It is developing a discipline within your life to commit to your health and the health of your family. The young man who goes by Bingo (isn’t he precious???) is the same age as my son. It has taken me taking responsibility and telling him “Just a small serving” or “Get up and go do something”. Goodness, most of the time I get up and do things with him! And I’m busy too people, so don’t even try….. Develop a discipline in life and you will succeed. Success is derived from discipline.

So, I promise I’m not hating on the show! I realize that it does get some people inspired and that is worth the watch itself. Here’s the rub though: years ago when I first started teaching aerobics I had a lady who came religiously to my classes, and she was losing weight steadily. Then, one day she stopped coming. A few weeks later, she met me up at the gym. She explained that the Biggest Loser was coming to Houston to hold auditions and since you have to be a certain amount overweight to participate, she stopped working out and was gorging to gain her weight back. Houston, we have a serious problem….

Why do we think that only a TV show can save us? We are enamored with the celebrity of it all. Ask any professional actor and they will tell you the celebrity part is the worst part of the whole thing. Yet, we pine for it. It’s as though we honestly believe that living in an alternate reality is the only way we can succeed. To that I say this: if you believe you can only succeed in an alternate reality, you have already given yourself to failure. There was a man chosen who stated he had waited 3 years for his chance to be on the show. THREE YEARS!!!!! Do you have any idea what he could have accomplished in 3 years?!? And yes, I get the fact that when you do it on your own there are no cash rewards, no accolades, no interviews……but honey, it is so worth it!

The dedicated discipline you earn from putting in your own work far exceeds anything a reality show can offer! You want to see a change in this world? Start a fire in you first! Be the one that begins to develop a change in your own family. Take personal responsibility for your health and fitness. Stop making excuses and playing the victim! You and I are no different from each other. We both hurt, we bleed, we struggle, and if you’re like me, we have a raging sweet tooth! But you know what? Fitness doesn’t care who you are, how much money you make a year, where you start, or how long it may take. Fitness is available to EVERYBODY. You don’t need a membership, you don’t need a certain color shirt and you sure don’t need to be picked from a crowd. Did you realize that as of right now over 66% of the United States is struggling with obesity? That’s the MAJORITY! You are no longer going to sit idle amongst the majority, waiting hopefully for your name to be called. You will stand from this day on. You will walk tall and know that YOU CAN DO THIS.

So, what’s it going to be? Are you in or are you out? Are you tired of waiting for your “chance”? Be the first to step out and make a real change…..no script required :)

LIVE OUT LOUD!

Michelle

Fun Friday! Merry Christmas

Workout Wednesday!

TOUGH LOVE TUESDAY!

Beware: I’m not holding back on this one. It’s time to be HONEST to get results!

GOALS!!! Effective Goal Setting to Reach ANY Goal

Thirsty Thursday!

Welcome to the end of the week!

I have 2 awesome Summer inspired smoothies for you today. Make them up and share with a friend! :)

Watermelon Chiller

Perfect for those steamy Summer days at the beach or the water park. You can make this up to 2 days in advance and store in an air tight container.

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh watermelon

1 cup coconut water (I used unflavored but you may choose to use a flavored variety)

Fresh mint ( I use about 10-12 whole leaves as mint cools the body and stimulates digestion, but you may want more or less)

1/2 cup no sugar added not from concentrate orange juice

A couple handfuls of ice

Blend together until smooth and feel free to garnish with mint and serve in chilled martini glasses ;)

Antioxidant Pick Me Up

This smoothie delivers more bang for your buck since it has loads of antioxidants and some protein as well. This is a perfect recovery smoothie for late Summer nights as well.

Ingredients:

1 cup unflavored coconut water

1 cup low-fat natural vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup each, frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries, frozen raspberries

1 handful of baby spinach

Mint to taste

1 teaspoon ground flax (optional)

Blend ingredients till smooth. This makes a thick smoothie, so feel free to thin it out with extra water.

 

Now that you have your smoothie recipes and are ready to enjoy your hot Summer, I have a few tips for keeping your produce fresh and not wasting money:

  1. Wash and chop veggies when you get them home from the store.
  2. Place all produce where you can see it so you’re more apt to grab it AND you know what you have to work with for meals.
  3. When your produce begins to show signs of ripening too quickly, feel free to freeze it! Bananas that are turning brown are great for smoothies, just take the peel off and place in a freezer bag. Another inventive way to save the fruits are to finely chop berries and place them in ice-cube trays with some water. Freeze through and you can add any flavor you like to your water, tea, or lemonade. My personal favorite is strawberries chopped with fresh mint and made into ice cubes. Delicious, and the kids will love them too!
  4. Make sure your veggies can breathe. During the colder months you can get away with leaving them in the bag, but now they tend to ripen too quickly. Make in investment in veggie bags that help keep them fresh so you don’t lose veggies or money.
  5. During the warm months, plan on buying fresh veg and fruits 2x per week. This way you are ensured to have the best nutrition. Be wary of overbuying.
  6. When all else seems to fail, make soup! Vegetable soup is great for nutrition and can be frozen for later use.

Now that you have what you need, get out there and stock up on health! Remember, you and your family are worth a little planning effort and a lot of love, so invest today!

Keep Living FIT!

Michelle

Review: Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed and Shred

Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed and Shred

Hey Fit Lifers!

Today I am reviewing another Jillian Michaels workout DVD. Why so many JM DVD’s? Well, people eat them up like candy after a rough week since she’s a “celebrity trainer”. That term is a whole different post. Anyways, I feel it is best if we are educated about what we are getting into :)

So, on average I like the DVD. The one downside is that if you already own a lot of JM DVD’s (30 day Shred, No more trouble zones, Killer buns and thighs, etc) you aren’t getting totally new workouts here. JM has her brand of fitness and it’s short and sweet. These DVD’s fit into just about any schedule and she truly has found her workout niche. There are two thirty minute workouts on this DVD each with beginning modifications. I like the way she talks about breathing since many of us choose not to do that during our workout. Overall, Extreme Shed and Shred is great for those who are still more drawn to their couch than the gym, and that’s JM’s specialty! You can get in and out fast, however you will not be burning enough to return to your couch for the rest of the day. If you’re more of an avid exerciser, then you’ll want to opt for something more challenging.

Beginners enjoy! More advanced athletes, run over to the next :)

Remember, you get a home DVD workout review EVERY Monday, so come back next Monday and I’ll be tackling the original P90X PLUS giving you some information on the differences in P90X2.

Don’t miss it!

Have a healthy day,

Michelle